José A. Medrano Jiménez gains his PhD cum laude

Chemical engineer José Antonio Medrano Jiménez obtained his PhD cum laude for his research into the development of an innovative chemical reactor for hydrogen production with integrated carbon dioxide capture using high-temperature membranes and chemical looping combustion. He has carried out his research in the Chemical Process Intensification group in the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry department.

“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done”. Dr. Fausto Gallucci received his VIDI grant in 2012 aiming at the combination of two emerging technologies into a single reactor type to produce hydrogen (H2) efficiently. José A. Medrano Jimenez gained his PhD thesis on 11th September on the full development and demonstration of this reactor concept.

Heat, reaction and separation integration in a single reactor
In this reactor concept a solid metal oxide carries heat from one unit to another unit in a looping cycle, which represents a more efficient strategy for heat integration compared to conventional technologies. This strategy is referred to as Chemical Looping technology. On the other hand, H2 is separated selectively from the reaction section via Pd-based membranes, which in its turn allows the increase in the reactor performance by displacing the process to beyond equilibrium limitations. This technology is called Membrane Reactors. In his PhD thesis, José has combined both in the so-called Membrane-Assisted Chemical Looping Reforming concept, which has the potential to substitute conventional small-scale H2 production systems.

José’s research has led to a much better understanding on fluidization technology. He has developed new methods and improved existing techniques to bring a better description of fluid dynamics and mass transfer phenomena occurring in fluidized beds. During his PhD, he designed and optimized the novel reactor, and thoroughly demonstrated it experimentally. Furthermore, he also developed a new model that includes all the fundamental insights gained during his PhD and showed that it can adequately predict the reactor behavior. He actively helped in the preparation and submission of proposals to bring this technology into the market. The interesting results obtained during his thesis led to a recent grant for TU/e under the Demonstrator program of NWO. He has published 11 scientific articles in leading scientific journals and has contributed to two book chapters.

José A. Medrano Jiménez (1987) studied Chemical Engineering at University of Zaragoza (Spain). He carried out his Master’s research in Zaragoza in the group of catalysis, molecular separations and reactor engineering, followed by his PhD research in the Multiphase Reactors group at TU/e, supervised by Prof. Martin van Sint Annaland and Dr. Fausto Gallucci. 

J. A. Medrano Jiménez received his doctorate on 11th September entitled ‘Membrane-Assisted Chemical Looping Reforming: from fundamentals to experimental demonstration’.
PhD awards with the honor of ‘cum laude’ are relatively rare, and an average of five percent of all theses at TU/e are considered for this distinction. To be eligible the PhD work must be of exceptional quality, and must be performed with an exceptional level of autonomy.