Nicollette Laroco


Nicollette Laroco (California, U.S.A., 1993) received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Her Masters practicum in India and internship at The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado) led to her interest in the sustainable energy recovery from wastewater treatment systems. As a second-year PhD student from CU Boulder, her PhD research is focused on the recovery of renewable natural gas (RNG) from biogas generated from landfills, anerobic digesters, and wastewater treatment plants, under the advisement of Dr. Mark Hernandez. Specifically, through the use of an industrial byproduct from the steel making industry, conventionally called “steel slag,” she aspires to develop a novel, low-cost approach to biogas scrubbing. With support from the Fulbright Scholarship Program, at UAB, she will be working with Dr. David Gabriel Buguña to enhance this unique scrubbing system with biological approaches; by leveraging the metabolism of sulfur-oxidizing and iron-reducing bacteria in a novel application to energy recovery.

Nicollette’s current research interests are:
• The shift of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to resource recovery facilities (RRF)
• Biogas upgrading/purification to renewable natural gas (RNG)
• Alternative H2S removal techniques to conventional approaches
• Combining sulfur and iron bio-chemical cycles for gaseous contaminant removal

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