Rob Anex


(608) 890-3839

112 Agricultural Engineering Building
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706

Lab Office:
3123 WI Energy Institute Building
1552 University Ave
Madison, WI 53726

Rob Anex Headshot

Program Affiliations

  • Biological Systems Engineering

Education and Certificates

  • M.S. 1983 – Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis
  • B.S. 1981 – Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis
  • Ph.D. 1995 – Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis

Fields of Interest

  • Biological systems analysis and assessment
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Techno-economic analysis


  • Biological Concepts for Engineers
  • Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment (on-line course)


Google Scholar Citations

  • Khanal, S., R. P. Anex, C. J. Anderson, & D. E. Herzmann, D. E. 2014. Streamflow Impacts of Biofuel Policy-Driven Landscape Change. PloS one, 9(10), e109129.
  • Kladivko, et al. 2014. Standardized research protocols enable transdisciplinary research of climate variation impacts in corn production systems. J. Soil Water Conservation.
  • Necpalova, M., R. P. Anex, A. N. Kravchenko, S. J. Del Grosso, et al. 2014. What does it take to detect a change in soil carbon stock? A regional comparison of minimum detectable difference and experiment duration in the North-Central United States. J. Soil Water Conservation.
  • Jarchow, M. E., M. Liebman, S. Dhungel, R. Deitzel, D. Sundberg, R. P. Anex, M. L. Thompson, T. Chua. 2014. Tradeoffs among agronomic, energetic, and environmental performance characteristics of corn and prairie bioenergy cropping systems. GCB Bioenergy (doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12096).
  • Khanal, S., R.P. Anex, B.K. Gelder, C. Wolter. 2014. Nitrogen balance in Iowa and the implications of corn-stover harvesting. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 183:21-30. (
  • Rafique, R., M.N. Fienen, T.B. Parkin, R.P. Anex. 2013. Nitrous oxide emissions from cropland: A procedure for calibrating the DAYCENT biogeochemical model using inverse modeling. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 224:1677 (DOI 10.1007/s11270-013-1677-z).
  • Khanal, S., R.P. Anex, C.J. Anderson, D.E. Herzmann, M.K. Jha. 2013. Implications of biofuel policy-driven land cover change for rainfall erosivity and soil erosion in the United States. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12050.
  • Anderson, C. J., R. P. Anex, R. W. Arritt, B. K. Gelder, S. Khanal, D. E. Herzmann, P. W. Gassman. 2013. Regional climate impacts of a biofuels policy projection. Geophysical Research Letters 40: 1217-1222. (DOI: 10.1002/grl.50179).
  • Christiansen, K. L., D. R. Raman, R. P. Anex. 2012. Predicting cost growth and performance of first-generation algal production systems. Energy Policy 51: 382-391.
  • Jarchow, M. E., M. Liebman, V. Rawat, R. P. Anex. 2012. Functional group and fertilization affect the composition and bioenergy yields of prairie plants. GCB Bioenergy 4: 671-679. (doi: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2012.01184.x).
  • Raman, D. R. and R. P. Anex. 2012. Conceptual and mathematical models of batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation: dimensionless groups for predicting process dynamics. Journal of Biological Systems 20(2): 195 – 211.
  • Rafique, R., R. P. Anex, D. Hennessy, G. Kiely. 2012. What are the impacts of grazing and cutting events on the N2O dynamics in humid temperate grassland? Geoderma 181-182: 36-44.
  • Murphy, P. T., K. J. Moore, D. R. Raman, R. P. Anex, S. L. Fales. 2012. Rapid Biomass Quality Determination of Corn Stover Using Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy. BioEnergy Research 5(1): 79-85.
  • Khanal, S., R. P. Anex, B. K. Gelder, P. Dixon, P. Caragea. 2012. Cropping pattern choice with proximity to ethanol production and animal feeding operations. Bioproducts & Biorefining (Biofpr) 6(4): 431-443.
  • Shah, A., M. J. Darr, D. Medic, R. P. Anex, D. Maski, S. Khanal. 2012. Techno-economic analysis of a production-scale torrefaction system for cellulosic biomass upgrading. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining (Biofpr) 6(1): 45-57.
  • Rawat, V., D. R. Raman, R. P. Anex. 2011. Detecting and Subcategorizing Hard-Coding Errors in Bioenergy-Relevant Spreadsheets using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 27(3): 469-474.
  • Kabir F. K., A. D. Patel, J. C. Serrano-Ruiz, J. A. Dumesic, R. P. Anex. 2011. Techno-economic analysis of Dimethylfuran (DMF) and Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) production from pure fructose in catalytic processes. Chemical Engineering 169(1-3): 329-38. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2011.03.018
  • Gelder, B.K., R.P. Anex, T. Kaspar, T. Sauer, D. Karlen. (2011). Estimating soil organic carbon in Central Iowa using aerial imagery and soil surveys. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75(5):1821-1828.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • National Biodiesel Board Sustainability Task Force Advisory Committee, 2008 – present.
  • International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Associate Editor, Editorial Board Member, 2003 – present.
  • Journal of Industrial Ecology, Associate Editor, 2003 – present.
  • Biotechnology for Biofuels, Associate Editor, 2007 – present.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS), 2008-2009.
  • OECD Fellow, Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, 2005 – 2006
  • National Research Council Committee on Science and Technology in Armenia, 2003 – 2004
  • National Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Program, 1999
  • Junior Faculty Research Award, University of Oklahoma, 1997
  • University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program Fellow, 1992 – 1993

Expertise Summary

Dr. Anex’s research is focused on developing and assessing systems for producing energy, fuels and products from biorenewable resources. For example, Dr. Anex’s research group is studying economic and environmental feasibility of biorenewable chemicals being developed in the Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), nutrient recovery and cycling in biofuel systems, and impacts of biomass production on the hydrologic cycle.

Dr. Anex’s research combines process development in the laboratory with large-scale model-based assessment of agricultural-industrial systems. Key tools used to evaluate the economic efficiency and environmental sustainability of biobased products are Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-economic Analysis (TEA). Dr. Anex and his students have been working understand the interdependencies among agricultural and industrial systems with the goals of ensuring food, water and energy security for an ever-growing population.