Nicollette Laroco (2nd year PhD Student in Environmental Engineering) from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) will be at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) as a visiting researcher for 9 months.
In 2016, she received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and in 2018, she received a M.S. in Civil Engineering from CU Boulder. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities and conducted her Masters’ practicum in Bihar, India; which focused on improving biogas production from anaerobic digestion and sanitation systems in rural communities throughout Bihar.
Nicollette’s interest in energy recovery from conventionally perceived waste treatment systems motivated her current predoctoral research in sustainable biogas upgrading approaches. To address current challenges of biogas scrubbing systems, Nicollette’s research leverages a byproduct from the steel-making industry as an alternative, low-cost sorbent. At CU Boulder, she has conducted proof-of-concept studies analyzing the performance of steel slag for H2S removal at the local wastewater treatment plant.
In Spring 2019, Nicollette received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research at UAB in collaboration with Dr. David Gabriel Buguña. Nicollette will stay for nine months at UAB in the GENOCOV research group, with the goal of enhancing her previous research with biological approaches. Through the utilization of sulfur-oxidizing and iron-reducing bacteria, she will analyze the potential of steel slag to serve as a surface that supports bacteria growth with these metabolic characteristics. She aims to couple sulfur and iron microbial metabolisms to improve H2S removal in this biogas-to-biomethane scrubbing system. Her Fulbright research-tenure at UAB will focus on biological reactor design in a continuous-flow system, understanding bacterial metabolism, analyzing bacterial kinetics, and characterizing reaction end-products with the goal of elemental sulfur recovery.
Welcome to UAB Nicollette!