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Energy and Environment Directorate

Juan Lopez-Ruiz

Juan Lopez-Ruiz

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 375-9756


Dr. Lopez-Ruiz joined PNNL in 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher in the Chemical and Biological Process Development group working with Karl O. Albrecht. He was promoted in 2017 to Engineer for Catalysis Science & Application in the Hydrocarbon Processing group working with Jamie Holladay. He has a double major in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Engineering from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, obtained Masters in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, and received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, where he worked with Robert J. Davis

Research Interests

  • Thermal and electro catalytic transformation of biomass- and waste-derived molecules into fuels and chemicals.
  • Synthesis and characterization of hydrothermally stable heterogeneous catalysts.
  • Rational catalyst design by combining kinetic, characterization, and computational studies.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, 2014
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, 2009
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, University Rovira I Virgili, Spain, 2007
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University Rovira I Virgili, Spain, 2007
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, University Rovira I Virgili, Spain, 2005

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Organizer and session chair for ACS National Meeting (2016-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Topic in Catalysis (2015-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Applied Catalysis (2015-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2016-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Fuel (2016-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Energy Fuel (2016-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Catalysis Today (2017-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2017-present)
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2017-present)

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2017 Best post-doctorate oral presentation PNNL Post Graduate Research Symposium
  • 2016 Organic Reactions Catalysis Society (ORCS) NACS Award.
  • 2014 Leadership Award. International Studies Office. University of Virginia.
  • 2013 Kokes Award. 23rd North American Catalysis Society Meeting 2013.
  • 2013 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.

PNNL Publications


  • Jiang J., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, A. Leininger, L. Du, Y. Yan, H.D. May, and Z. Ren. 2023. "Molecular Transformation and Metabolic Insights of Microbial Electrolysis Treatment and Valorization of Post-hydrothermal Liquefaction Wastewater." Green Chemistry 25, no. 22:9115-9125. PNNL-SA-186927. doi:10.1039/D3GC02252H
  • Jiang J., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, Y. Bian, D. Sun, Y. Yan, X. Chen, and J. Zhu, et al. 2023. "Scale-Up and Techno-Economic Analysis of Microbial Electrolysis Cells for Hydrogen Production from Wastewater." Water Research 241. PNNL-SA-179942. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2023.120139
  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., N.W. Riedel, B. Boruah, S. Bhatwadekar, L.E. Strange, and S. Li. 2023. Low-temperature electrochemical wastewater oxidation. PNNL-35535. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Low-temperature electrochemical wastewater oxidation


  • Jiang C., I. Wang, X. Bai, S. Balyan, B. Robinson, J. Hu, and W. Li, et al. 2022. "Methane catalytic pyrolysis by microwave and thermal heating over carbon nanotube-supported catalysts: productivity, kinetics, and energy efficiency." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 61, no. 15:5080-5092. PNNL-SA-171877. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.1c05082


  • Sanyal U., S.F. Yuk, K. Koh, M. Lee, K. Stoerzinger, D. Zhang, and L. Meyer, et al. 2021. "Hydrogen bonding enhances the electrochemical hydrogenation of benzaldehyde in the aqueous phase." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 60, no. 1:290-296. PNNL-SA-155228. doi:10.1002/anie.202008178
  • Thiam A., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, D. Barpaga, and S. Garcia-Segura. 2021. "The Surge of Metal-Organic-Framework (MOFs)-Based Electrodes as Key Elements in Electrochemically Driven Processes for the Environment." Molecules 26, no. 18:5713. PNNL-SA-166714. doi:10.3390/molecules26185713
  • Wang I., R.A. Dagle, T.S. Khan, J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, L. Kovarik, Y. Jiang, and M. Xu, et al. 2021. "Catalytic decomposition of methane into hydrogen and high-value carbons: combined experimental and DFT computational study." Catalysis Science & Technology 11, no. 14:4911-4921. PNNL-SA-163856. doi:10.1039/D1CY00287B
  • Xu M., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, L. Kovarik, M.E. Bowden, S.D. Davidson, R.S. Weber, and I. Wang, et al. 2021. "Structure sensitivity and its effect on methane turnover and carbon co-product selectivity in thermocatalytic decomposition of methane over supported Ni catalysts." Applied Catalysis A: General 611. PNNL-SA-158733. doi:10.1016/j.apcata.2020.117967


  • Akhade S.A., N. Singh, O.Y. Gutierrez-Tinoco, J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, H. Wang, J.D. Holladay, and Y. Liu, et al. 2020. "Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Biomass-Derived Organics: A review." Chemical Reviews 120, no. 20:11370-11419. PNNL-SA-155470. doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.0c00158
  • Andrews E.M., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, J.D. Egbert, K. Koh, U. Sanyal, M. Song, and D. Li, et al. 2020. "Performance of base and noble metals for electrocatalytic hydrogenation of bio-oil-derived oxygenated compounds." ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 8, no. 11:4407-4418. PNNL-SA-149793. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b07041
  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., Y. Qiu, E.M. Andrews, O.Y. Gutierrez-Tinoco, and J.D. Holladay. 2020. "Electrocatalytic Valorization into H2 and Hydrocarbons of an Aqueous Stream Derived from Hydrothermal Liquefaction." Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 51, no. 1:107-118. PNNL-SA-152138. doi:10.1007/s10800-020-01452-x
  • Qiu Y., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, U. Sanyal, E.M. Andrews, O.Y. Gutierrez-Tinoco, and J.D. Holladay. 2020. "Anodic electrocatalytic conversion of carboxylic acids on thin films of RuO2, IrO2, and Pt." Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 277. PNNL-SA-153956. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2020.119277


  • Davidson S.D., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, M.D. Flake, A.R. Cooper, Y. Elkasabi, M. Tomasi Morgano, and V. Dagle, et al. 2019. "Cleanup and Conversion of Biomass Liquefaction Aqueous Phase to C3-C5 Olefins over ZnxZryOz Catalyst." Catalysts 9, no. 11:923. PNNL-SA-148421. doi:10.3390/catal9110923
  • Davidson S.D., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, Y. Zhu, A.R. Cooper, K.O. Albrecht, and R.A. Dagle. 2019. "Strategies to Valorize the Hydrothermal Liquefaction-Derived Aqueous Phase into Fuels and Chemicals." ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7, no. 24:19889-19901. PNNL-SA-135076. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b05308
  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., E.M. Andrews, S.A. Akhade, M. Lee, K. Koh, U. Sanyal, and S.F. Yuk, et al. 2019. "Understanding the role of metal and molecular structure on the electrocatalytic hydrogenation of oxygenated organic compounds." ACS Catalysis 9, no. 11:9964-9972. PNNL-SA-145115. doi:10.1021/acscatal.9b02921


  • Cai Q., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, A.R. Cooper, J. Wang, K.O. Albrecht, and D. Mei. 2018. "Aqueous-Phase Acetic Acid Ketonization over Monoclinic Zirconia." ACS Catalysis 8, no. 1:488-502. PNNL-SA-112607. doi:10.1021/acscatal.7b03298
  • Egbert J.D., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, S. Prodinger, J.D. Holladay, D.M. Mans, C.E. Wade, and R.S. Weber. 2018. "Counting Surface Redox Sites in Carbon-supported Electrocatalyst by Cathodic Stripping of O deposited by N2O." Journal of Catalysis 365. PNNL-SA-134666. doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2018.07.026
  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., U. Sanyal, J.D. Egbert, O.Y. Gutierrez-Tinoco, and J.D. Holladay. 2018. "Kinetic Investigation of the Sustainable Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Benzaldehyde on Pd/C. Effect of Electrolyte Composition and Half-cell Potentials." ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 6, no. 12:16073-16085. PNNL-SA-131189. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b02637
  • Sanyal U., J.A. Lopez-Ruiz, A.B. Padmaperuma, J.D. Holladay, and O.Y. Gutierrez-Tinoco. 2018. "Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Oxygenated Compounds in Aqueous Phase." Organic Process Research & Development 22, no. 12:1590-1598. PNNL-SA-137711. doi:10.1021/acs.oprd.8b00236


  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., A.R. Cooper, G. Li, and K.O. Albrecht. 2017. "Enhanced Hydrothermal Stability and Catalytic Activity of LaxZryOz Mixed Oxides for the Ketonization of Acetic Acid in the Aqueous Condensed Phase." ACS Catalysis 7, no. 10:6400-6412. PNNL-SA-123248. doi:10.1021/acscatal.7b01071
  • Lopez-Ruiz J.A., A.R. Cooper, G. Li, and K.O. Albrecht. 2017. "Enhanced Hydrothermal Stability and Catalytic Activity of LaxZryOz Mixed Oxides for the Ketonization of Acetic Acid in the Aqueous Condensed Phase." ACS Catalysis 7, no. 10:6400-6412. PNNL-SA-125061. doi:10.1021/acscatal.7b01071

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas