WRI provides a highly diverse suite of specialized scientific and engineering expertise, intellectual property, and research and development equipment and facilities with emphasis in asphalt, biomass, hydrocarbon, and polymer resources for energy and material applications.

Sustainable Emerging Technologies

Sustainable Emerging Technologies (SET) is a team of dedicated scientists, engineers and technicians devoted to advancing technology development with a “safety first” culture to protect staff, projects, and facilities. The team specializes in advancing emerging technologies from bench scale through pilot scale studies for deployment at the commercial demonstration scale.

Renewable Upcycling Materials and Asphalt Technologies (RenuMAT)

The renewable materials group at WRI focuses on Renewable upcycling, carbon Materials and Asphalt Technologies (RenuMAT). Decarbonization, circular economy, and enhanced durability are just a few key aspects that can improve sustainability for a net zero future.

RenuMAT works with industry partners and government agencies to develop, formulate, characterize and test:

  • Alternative asphalt binders and extenders derived from feedstocks such as coal, algae, cellulosic biomass, etc.

  • Recycling agents (rejuvenators)

  • Upcycling of waste feedstocks into new higher value asphalt products using renewable green chemistry

    • Thermoset composites: wind turbine blade, carbon fiber, printed circuit board (e-waste)

    • Cellulose-based: wood, lignin, paper, used natural fiber (e.g. cotton clothing)

  • Chemical modification of reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS), reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), and separated asphaltenes with renewable carbon solvents

With more than 60 years of petroleum and asphalt binder chemical and physical characterization, physical performance and oxidation behavior, RenuMAT can help you with:

  • Advanced asphalt binder chemical and thermal-responsive characterization relating to physical, rheological, and performance properties such as:

    • Feedstock selection

    • Advanced thermal cracking

    • Durability

    • Polymer modification and compatibility

  • Forensic analysis

Advanced Carbon Materials

We apply a diverse portfolio of analytical and modeling tools that provide molecular, chemical and physical characterizations, including several unique patented tools, to intelligently guide development of precursor formulations for the next generation of advanced carbon materials, such as carbon fiber, carbon foams, graphene, carbon nanotubes, etc., including fabrication processing methods

About WRI

Western Research Institute (WRI), located in Laramie, Wyoming, is a multi-million dollar, not-for-profit, research organization renowned for work in advanced energy systems, environmental technologies and highway materials research and technologies.  Our broad perspectives and know-how in science, technology and real-world, on-the-ground conditions attract industrial partners from corporations, industry associations, government entities, and other research organizations.  We advance client technologies from concept to bench scale through pilot testing and commercialization.  With the Federal Highway Administration, WRI has conducted concentrated research that has supported breakthroughs in materials knowledge, leading to safer, longer-lasting roads. This, and a long record of successful development with the Department of Energy is experience we bring to bear to meet our clients’ needs


Jean-Pascal Planche



(888) 463-6974 or (888) Info-WRI


Latest News

Jean-Pascal Planche Receives the Asphalt Institute's Roll of Honor

April 18, 2024
Jean-Pascal Planche Receives the Asphalt Institute's Roll of Honor

Western Research Institute Announces New CEO Dr. Didier Lesueur

April 2, 2024
The board of directors of Western Research Institute is pleased to announce that it has hired Dr. Didier Lesueur as the next chief executive officer. Dr. Lesueur will replace Dr. Jean Pascal Planche, who will retire in June 2024, after distinguished service as WRI’s CEO since 2020 and as vice president before that.

Jean-Pascal Planche & Yogesh Kumbargeri to Present at Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting, January 7–17, 2024 in Washington, DC

January 3, 2024
Jean-Pascal Planche & Yogesh Kumbargeri to Present at Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting, January 7–11, 2024 in Washington, DC

WRI is partnering with Energy Capital Startup Challenge Finalist to recycle wind turbine blades!

December 6, 2023
Western Research Institute is partnering with Energy Capital Startup Challenge finalists Cam and Jess Anderson to recycle turbine blades at scale, using WRI’s patent-pending technology!

Western Research Institute
3474 N. 3rd Street
Laramie, WY 82072

(307) 721-2011
(888) 463-6974 or (888) Info-WRI

You can contact WRI directly by phone (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. MST, Monday-Friday) at the numbers above.
Also, you are welcome to contact the appropriate WRI representative directly.


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