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Jose Juan Bolivar Caballero

Profilbild av Jose Juan Bolivar Caballero



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Om mig

Can we use vehicles without contributing to \(\text{CO}_2\) emissions?

Yes and no. It depends on where the fuel (gasoline, diesel, electricity) comes from.

My name is Jose Bolivar and I’m a PhD candidate at MSE at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. I work with catalytic, renewable syngas (\(\text{H}_2\) & CO rich gas) production for green fuel production, with a focus on catalyst research and development.

Transportation fuels are usually produced from the extraction and processing of nonrenewable sources, like natural gas and raw oil. The conversion to transportation fuels together with the combustion of the fuels in vehicles contributes to \(\text{CO}_2\) emissions. However, switching to fuel production from renewable sources focuses on reutilization of already existing \(\text{CO}_2\) in the  atmosphere. For example, trees (a type of biomass, a common renewable source) grow by binding \(\text{CO}_2\) from the air and can be used for fuel production. The process releases \(\text{CO}_2\) to the atmosphere, but that \(\text{CO}_2\) had been bound by trees in the past and that will be again by growing trees, making a zero net \(\text{CO}_2\) emission. Fuel production from biomass can be made by a process called pyrolysis followed by catalytic steam reforming. Pyrolysis is a process where the biomass is heated up in the absence of oxygen, producing biochar (similar to charcoal), bio-oil and gases. The latter two can be cracked into syngas by catalytic steam reforming, where they react with steam in the presence of a catalyst. Syngas can be finally used in downstream processes to produce different kinds of fuels, like \(\text{CH}_4\) and diesel.

Catalytic steam reforming of pyrolysis volatiles

My research focuses on catalyst development for steam reforming. Catalysts usually die out too fast and can have low \(\text{H}_2\) selectivity, together with poor thermal properties that lead to low energy efficiency. I try to address these problems in order to take this technology to a commercial scale by testing different catalysts and investigating the process parameters. I do experimental work and simulations to get a better understanding of the phenomena taking place in the catalyst.

Profilbild av Jose Juan Bolivar Caballero