Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Departments & Programs


Adam Brandt

Adam Brandt
Title:Assistant Professor
Primary Affiliation:Department of Energy Resources Engineering
Office Location:Green Earth Sciences Building 066
Research Group:Environmental Assessment and Optimization (EAO) Group
Alternative Website:Personal web page
Phone:(650) 724-8251
Fax:(650) 725-2099


I am interested in reducing the environmental impacts of energy systems. More specifically, I focus on understanding, measuring, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil energy sources. Reducing GHG emissions from fossil fuels is important because fossil energy sources will continue to be key components of our energy system for decades to come.

My research in this area uses the tools of life cycle assessment (LCA) and process optimization to measure and estimate impacts from technologies at broad scales (LCA) and to help reduce these impacts (optimization). Applications include reducing GHG emissions from transportation energy supply and from power systems through CCS.


For updates on research activities, please see the website for the Environmental Assessment and Optimization group.


Through my teaching, I aim to help train the next generation of energy professionals to:

  • Optimize energy systems so as to improve their efficiency
  • Rigorously account for the environmental impacts of energy sources
  • Think critically about systems-scale phenomena in energy production and consumption



  • 2008 | Ph.D. Energy and Resources University of California, Berkeley
  • 2005 | M.S. Energy and Resources University of California, Berkeley
  • 2003 | B.S. Environmental Studies, emphasis Physics University of California, Santa Barbara

Professional Experience

  • 2012 - Present  | Assistant Professor Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University
  • 2009 - 2012  | Acting Assistant Professor Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University

Honors & Awards

  • 2006 | Student paper award, United States Association for Energy Economics

University Service

  • 2013 | Organizing committee: Connecting the Dots: The Energy, Water, Food, Climate Nexus. April 19th, 2013
  • 2012-2014 | Selection committee: Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship
  • 2010 | Search committee: GCEP post-doctoral scholars

Professional Activities

  • 2012-2013 | Team leader: Technical review of natural gas leakage, NOVIM.
  • 2012 | Invited speaker: University of Calgary, Institute for sustainable energy, environment and economy (ISEEE), EES seminar. November 28th, 2012.
  • 2012 | Invited speaker: CERA Week 2012, Houston TX, March 6th, 2012. 
  • 2011 | Invited speaker: Workshop on Low Carbon Fuel Standards, Victoria, BC, October 12th-13th 2011.
  • 2011 | Expert testimony: European Commission, Directorate General - Climate. May 27, 2011.
  • 2011 | Invited speaker: Center for European Policy Studies, Brussels, Belgium. March 21st, 2011.
  • 2011 | Invited speaker: Coordinating research council (CRC) Workshop on life cycle analysis of biofuels. Argonne National Laboratory, October 17th, 2011. 
  • 2011-Present | Technical advisor: California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board (CARB) - Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulatory proceedings
  • 2010-2011 | Technical advisor: European Union, DG Climate - Fuel Quality Directive regulatory proceedings
  • 2010 | Invited Speaker: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, February 1st, 2010.
  • 2009 | Invited Speaker: Stanford University, Stanford Energy Seminar, September 23rd, 2009
  • 2009 | Invited Speaker: Energy, Environment and Society Speaker Series, Humboldt State University, CA, April 2009
  • 2007 | Invited Speaker: Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, CA, December 2007

Courses Taught

  • 2012 (Winter) |    ENERGY 191/291     OPTIMIZATION OF ENERGY SYSTEMS     
  • 2011 (Winter) |    ENERGY 191/291     OPTIMIZATION OF ENERGY SYSTEMS     
  • 2011 (Spring) |    ENERGY 104     TECHNOLOGY IN THE GREENHOUSE 
  • 2010 (Winter) |    ENERGY 191/291     OPTIMIZATION OF ENERGY SYSTEMS      
  • 2010 (Spring) |    ENERGY 104     TECHNOLOGY IN THE GREENHOUSE 


  • 2013*+  |  Barnhart, C.J., M. Dale, A.R. Brandt, S.M. Benson. The energetic implications of curtailing or storing wind and solar generated electricity. Energy & Environmental Science. DOI: 10.1039/c3ee41973h
  • 2013*+  |  El-Houjeiri, H. M. and A.R. Brandt. Estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil production operations using detailed field characteristics. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es304570m
  • (In review)*+  |  Englander, J., A.R. Brandt, S. Bharadwaj. Historical trends in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Alberta oil sands extraction from 1970 to 2010: Causes and implications for future emissions. In review, Environmental Research Letters
  • 2013*+  |  Brandt, A.R., J. Englander, S. Bharadwaj. The energy efficiency of oil sands extraction: Energy return ratios from 1970 to 2010. Energy: The International Journal. DOI: 10.1016/
  • (In review)*+  |  Brandt, A.R., M. Dale, C. Barnhart. Systems-scale energy efficiency with multiple energy pathways and non-energy processes: a bottom-up matrix-based approach. In review, Energy. 
  • 2013*+  |  Brandt, A.R., A. Millard-Ball, M. Ganser, S. Gorelick. Peak oil demand: The role of fuel efficiency and alternative fuels in a global oil production decline. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es401419t
  • 2013*  |  Middleton, R.S., A.R. Brandt. Using infrastructure optimization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands extraction and processing. Environmental Science & Technology 47(2013) 1735-1744. DOI: 10.1021/es3035895 
  • 2013*+  |  Kirchofer, A., A. Becker, A.R. Brandt, J. Wilcox. CO2 Mitigation Potential of Mineral Carbonation with Industrial Alkalinity Sources in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es4003982.
  • 2012+ |  El-Houjeiri, H.M., A.R. Brandt (2012). Exploring the variation of GHG emissions from conventional oil production using an engineering-based LCA model. American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) LCA XII Conference. Tacoma, WA, September 27th  2012. 
  • 2012+ |  Kang, C.A., A.R. Brandt, L.J. Durlofsky. Optimal heat integration in a coal-natural gas energy park with CO2 capture. GHGT-11, the 11th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Kyoto, Japan, Nov. 18-22, 2012 
  • 2012*+  |  Kirchofer, A. A.R. Brandt, S. Krevor, V. Priggiobe, J. Wilcox. Impact of alkalinity sources on the life-cycle energy efficiency of mineral carbonation technologies. Energy & Environmental Science 5(2012): 8631-8641.
  • 2012+  | Kang, C.A., A.R. Brandt, L.J. Durlofsky. Impact of COEmissions Policy and System Configuration on Optimal Operation of an Integrated Fossil-Renewable Energy Park. Carbon Management Technologies Conference, February 8th, 2012, Orlando FL. 
  • 2011*+  |  Kang C., A.R. Brandt, L. Durlofsky. Optimal operation of an integrated energy system including fossil fuel power generation, CO2 capture and wind. Energy 36(2011): 6806-6820.
  • 2011*  |  Brandt, A.R. (2011). Variability and uncertainty in life cycle assessment models for greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian oil sands production. Environmental Science & Technology DOI:10.1021/es202312p
  • 2011*+  |  Brandt, A.R., M. Dale. A general mathematical framework for systems-scale efficiency of energy extraction and conversion: Energy return on investment (EROI) and other energy return ratios. Energies 2011(4): 1211-1245. DOI:10.3390/en408121
  • 2011*  |  Nemet, G., A.R. Brandt. Willingness to pay for a climate backstop: Liquid fuel producers and direct CO2 air capture. The Energy Journal 33(1): 53-81. DOI:10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ- Vol33-No1-3
  • 2011*+  |  Mulchandani, H., A.R. Brandt. Oil shale as an energy resource in a CO2 constrained world: The concept of electricity production with in-situ carbon capture (EPICC). Energy & Fuels. 25(4): 16331641. DOI:10.1021/ef101714x
  • 2011*  |  Brandt, A.R.  Oil depletion and the energy efficiency of oil production: The case of California. Sustainabilities. 3(10): 1833-1844. DOI:10.3390/su3101833
  • 2010*  |  Yeh, S., S.M. Jordaan, A.R. Brandt, M. Turetsky, S. Spatari. Land use greenhouse gas emissions from conventional and unconventional oil production. Submitted to Environmental Science & Technology.  44 pp. 8766-8772, DOI:10.1021/es1013278 
  • 2010*  |  Brandt, A.R. J. Boak, and A.K. Burnham. Carbon dioxide emissions from oil shale derived liquid fuels. In Oil shale: A solution to the liquid fuels dilemma, O. Ogunsola, Editor. ACS Symposium Series 1032. American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2010-1032.ch011 
  • 2010*  |  Brandt A.R., R.J. Plevin and A.E. Farrell. Dynamics of the oil transition: Modeling capacity, depletion, and emissions. Energy: The International Journal. DOI: doi:10.1016/
  • 2010*  |  Lemoine D.M., R.J. Plevin, A.S. Cohn, A.D. Jones, A.R. Brandt, S.E. Vergara, D.M. Kammen. The climate impacts of bioenergy systems depend on market and regulatory policy contexts. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es100418p
  • 2010*  |  Brandt A.R. Review of mathematical models of future oil supply: Historical overview and synthesizing critique. Energy: The International Journal. DOI:10.1016/
  • 2010*  |  Brandt, A.R. and S. Unnasch. Energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions from thermal enhanced oil recovery. Energy & Fuels. DOI: 10.1021/ef100410f
  • 2009*  |  Brandt, A.R. Converting oil shale to liquid fuels with the Alberta Taciuk Processor: Energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions. Energy & Fuels, 2009. DOI:10.1021/ef900678d
  • 2009*  |  Sorrell, S., J. Speirs, R. Bentley, A.R. Brandt, R. Miller. Global oil depletion: A review of the evidence. Energy Policy, 38(9): 5290-5295. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.04.046 
  • 2009*  |  Sorrell, S. J. Speirs, R. Bentley, A. Brandt, R. Miller. An assessment of the evidence for a near-term peak in global oil production. UK Energy Research Centre, 2009.
  • 2008  |  Farrell, A.E., A.R. Brandt, S. Arons. The race for 21st century automobile fuels. In Physics of Sustainable Energy: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing it Renewably. D Hafemeister, B. Levi, Mlevine, and P. Schwartz, eds. American Institute of Physics: 235-250, 2008.
  • 2008*  |  Brandt, A.R. Converting oil shale to liquid fuels: Energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions of the Shell in situ conversion process. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(19), 7489-7495.
  • 2008  |  Brandt, A.R. and A.E. Farrell. Dynamics of the oil transition: Modeling capacity, costs, and emissions. University of California Energy Institute, Energy Policy and Economics Working Paper 021, 2008.
  • 2007*  |  Brandt, A.R. and A.E. Farrell. Scraping the bottom of the barrel: CO2 emissions consequences of a transition to low-quality and synthetic petroleum resources. Climatic Change, 84(3-4), 241-263, 2007.
  • 2007*  |  Brandt, A.R. Testing Hubbert. Energy Policy, 35(May), 3074-3088, 2007.
  • 2007  |  Farrell, A.E., D. Sperling et al. A low carbon fuel standard for California, part 1: Technical analysis. California Energy Commission, 2007.
  • 2007  |  Farrell, A.E., D. Sperling et al. A low carbon fuel standard for California, part 2: Policy analysis. California Energy Commission, 2007.
  • 2006 *  |  Farrell, A.E. and A.R. Brandt. Risks of the oil transition. Environmental Research Letters 1(1) 014004, 2006.
  • 2005  |  Farrell, A.E., A. Kerr, A.R. Brandt, M. Torn. Research roadmap for greenhouse gas inventory methods. California Energy Commission Report CEC-500-2005-097, 2005.

Advisee Degrees

  • Charles Kang (M.S.) 2011
  • Hiren Mulchandani (M.S.) 2010

News & Media