Reinaldo Juan Lee Pereira

Research Associate

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, UK

Office Number: JN 3.03



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Research Profile


Reinaldo’s interest in research began during his master’s project at the University of Manchester where he worked on chemical looping technologies. This work involved techno-economic assessments on a process for producing ammonia with carbon capture via chemical looping reforming. This experience motivated him to pursue a PhD at Newcastle University under the supervision of Wenting Hu and Ian Metcalfe.
His PhD project looked at the gas-solid thermodynamics of chemical looping ammonia synthesis processes. A combination of theoretical, modelling, and experimental work was undertaken to explore the value proposition of this process. The introduction of a solid nitrogen carrier (e.g., Li2NH or BaNH) provides an additional degree of freedom for design, and Reinaldo has proposed that it may be possible to exceed the Haber-Bosch reactions equilibrium conversion by producing kinetically unstable forms of ammonia via a chemical looping reaction.
During his project, Reinaldo has generated process simulations (Aspen Plus) to evaluate the impact of gas-solid thermodynamics on the process’s economics. He has also performed high-throughput screening of materials from the Materials Project database (using MATLAB and a high-performance computer) to identify suitable nitrogen carrying materials for the process. For his experimental work, he has built a custom rig to handle air or moisture sensitive materials such as hydrides, imides, and nitrides. The rig was used to synthesise nitrogen carriers, perform temperature programmed reactions, and form ammonia via chemical looping. As a result of these experiments, he has gained substantial experience with FTIR and Mass Spectrometry. In parallel to his PhD, Reinaldo has also undertaken part-time research projects involving screening of perovskite oxides via machine-learning (a UKCCSR funded project), and another to investigate further the potential of nitrogen carriers for chemical looping ammonia production (a UKCCSR funded project).
Seeking to expand his breadth of interests, Reinaldo has now joined the RCCS group at Heriot-Watt University. Note that Reinaldo is known to be highly motivated, loves finding interests in new things, and is more than happy to help others when he can. Everyone is welcome to drop him a message!

Roles & Responsibilities

Research interests

Hydrogen, Ammonia, CO2 capture, Chemical Looping, Gas-Solid Thermodynamics