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Washington State University
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Peter Pfromm

Peter Pfromm Headshot 2019

Peter Pfromm, Ph.D.

Advancing engineering research in fundamental and applied aspects

Office: 309 Wegner Hall 📞509-335-6579

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
1505 Stadium Way, Room 105
P.O. Box 646515
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6515


  • PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 1994
  • MS Process Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany, 1985

Professional Experience

Peter Pfromm completed the degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (M.S.) in process technology at the University of Stuttgart in 1985. His M.S. thesis work was at Daimler Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany, and he had internships at Heckler und Koch, Oberndorf, Germany, Dow Chemical, Stade, Germany, and Daimler Benz A.G. During his studies he also worked as a research assistant at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, Stuttgart, Germany. After three years as a research scientist at Membrane Technology and Research, Inc., in Menlo Park, California, Pfromm returned to the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology for one year before joining the research group of Professor Bill Koros at the University of Texas at Austin where he obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1994. He was an assistant professor, associate professor, and unit leader of the Kraft Chemical Recovery Unit at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta (now a unit of Georgia Tech) from 1994 to 2002. Pfromm joined the department of chemical engineering at K-State in 2002, and was promoted to professor in 2006. He joined the WSU Voiland School faculty in May of 2017.


Pfromm has taught a wide range of the required courses in the chemical engineering curriculum including thermodynamics, process control, computational methods, separations, and electives such as bioseparations, and biochemical engineering. He has taught continuing education courses for the pulp and paper industry.


Pfromm is inventor or co-inventor of three U.S. patents and has published over 70 papers in the peer reviewed literature. These papers have been cited by others over 1000 times. Pfromm has served on several panels for the National Academies, and has served as reviewer for NSF, DOE, USDA and other agencies.  

Pfromm’s experience in membrane separations reaches from the fundamentals of gas transport in ultrathin glassy polymer layers to pilot scale field work in ultrafiltration, electrodialysis, and reverse osmosis.  He has published on all membrane separation categories in the peer reviewed literature.  Examples of industrial applications include the pulp and paper industry, enzymatic catalysis to produce fine chemicals, and catalytic membranes for hydrogenation of edible oils.  Pfromm has hands-on experience in large scale membrane manufacturing, and in spiral wound and hollow fiber membrane module technology.

Current research interests focus on ammonia synthesis at mild process conditions to store renewable energy, and advanced atomic force microscopy techniques to obtain in-operando real time information on heterogeneous hydrogenation at solid/liquid interfaces with atomic-level resolution.