Luis Rafael López De León (El Salvador, 1987) is a Chemical Engineer (UAB,2011) and MSc in Environmental Studies (UAB,2012) and PhD in Environmental Science and Technology. From 2012 he started his doctoral thesis in Environmental Science and Technology entitled “Modelling biotrickling filters (BTF) towards control strategies development in order to minimize elemental sulfur accumulation during biogas desulfurization under aerobic conditions”. The topic of his research was to gain experimental understanding of the different manipulable variables of a biotrickling filter for biogas desulfurization in order to optimize oxygen mass transfer. Also a mathematical dynamic model describing biological removal of high loads of H2S from biogas streams through a BTF has been calibrated and validated. Development, calibration and validation of the BTF model have been achieved thanks to a strong collaboration between UAB and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC Manresa, Spain) under the supervision of the PhD Antonio Dorado. During 2015 he did a short stage from early May to late October in the Department of Biosystems Engineering (Gent Universiteit, Belgium) under the supervision of the Dr. Eveline Volcke. During his stay he coupled control strategies to the BTF model in order to improve BTF performance.
Besides his research work, he has been assisting teaching labours in different subjects related to the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, such as:
• Basic engineering operations for the degree of Science and food technology, Faculty of Veterinary, UAB 2012-2014.
• Chemical Engineering practical sessions for the degree of Chemical Eng, School of Engineering UAB, 2012-2015
• Separation Operations, School of Engineering, UAB, 2014-2015.
Luis's current research interests are:
• Treatment and optimization of the biological processes involved in different pollution treatment technologies, specifically desulfurization in biofilters or biotrickling filters
• Development of models for biotrickling filters for biogas desulfurization
• Implementation of control strategies for an efficient operation of biological systems as biotrickling filters for biogas desulfurization.
As a result of his research, he has participated in different projects. He has participated also in publications in different international journals (Water Research, Chemical Engineering Journal and Journal of Hazardous Materials), contributed to a presentation in an international congress (5th IWA Specialized conference on Odours and Air Emissions Jointly with 10th Conference on Biofiltration for Air Pollution Control) and assisted to (5th and 6th Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy, on 2013 and 2015 respectively).
Nowadays, after finishing his PhD thesis defense (May 2016), he is starting to work as a postdoctoral researcher in GENOCOV.
Luis R. López, A.D. Dorado, M. Mora, X. Gamisans, J. Lafuente and D. Gabriel. Modeling an aerobic biotrickling filter for biogas desulfurization through a multi-step oxidation mechanism (2016). Journal of Chemical Engineering Journal. 294, 447-457.
Luis R. López, T. Bezerra, M. Mora, J. Lafuente and D. Gabriel. Influence of trickling liquid velocity and flow pattern in the improvement of oxygen transport in aerobic biotrickling filters for biogas desulfurization (2016). Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. 91,1031-1039.
Mora, M., López, L.R., Lafuente, J., Pérez, J., Kleerebezem, R., Loosdrecht, M. Van, Gamisans, X., Gabriel, D (2016). Respirometric characterization of aerobic sulfide, thiosulfate and elemental sulfur oxidation by S-oxidizing biomass. Water Research. 89, 282-292.
Andrea M. Montebello, Mabel Mora, Luis R. López, Tercia Bezerra, Xavier Gamisans, Javier Lafuente, Mireia Baeza, David Gabriel (2014). Aerobic desulfurization of biogas by acidic biotrickling filtration in a randomly packed reactor: Journal of Hazardous Materials 280, 200-208.
Mabel Mora, Luis R. López, Xavier Gamisans, David Gabriel (2014). Coupling respirometry and titrimetry for the characterization of the biological activity of a SO-NR consortium: Chemical Engineering Journal 251, 111-115.