Robert M Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering and Director, Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage

+44 (0) 131 451 8028
Room 1.24
James Nasmyth Building
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS
United Kingdom
Mercedes Maroto-Valer
Roles and responsibilities

Robert M Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering

Director, Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage


Prof Maroto-Valer’s research at the interface of engineering and science is strongly linked to leading international collaborators and has resulted in notable outputs. She has established an international research reputation at the interface between energy and the environment. Her team is developing novel chemical and engineering solutions to meet the worldwide strive for cost-effective and environmentally-friendly energy, with particular emphasis on clean energy technologies, including carbon dioxide capture, transport, storage and utilization.

  1. Experimental and modelling studies on the mineralogical changes and fluid chemistry derived from the injection of CO2 and co-injection of gas mixtures (e.g. CO2-SO2).
  2. Geological sequestration of CO2 in saline aquifers, brines and unmineable coal seams.
  3. Integration of CCS and CO2 utilisation for the oil and gas sectors, e.g. enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR).
  4. Monitoring, measuring and verification of potential effects on aquatic and terrestrial environments of potential seepage from CO2 storage sites or pipelines.
  5. Decentralised options for CCS, including mineral carbonation of industrial wastes and silicate rocks.
  6. Development of novel, low-cost sorbents for low- and high-temperature CO2 capture for power (pre- and post-combustion) and industrial sectors.
  7. Development of systems (nanostructures and reactors) for CO2 photoreduction and other processes for CO2 utilisation.
  8. Gas clean-up, including trace metals (mercury etc), NOx/SOx, by-products for combustion and gasification.
  9. Public acceptability and regulatory issues related to CCS.

Prof Maroto-Valer is the first Robert Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Heriot Watt University. This is a joint appointment between the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and[P1]  the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. She is also Director of the EPSRC funded Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS).

She obtained a BSc with Honours (First Class) in Applied Chemistry in 1993 and then a PhD in 1997 at the University of Strathclyde. Following a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Applied Energy Research (CAER) at the University of Kentucky in US, she moved to the Pennsylvania State University in US, where she worked as Research Fellow and from 2001 as Assistant Professor and became Program Coordinator for Sustainable Energy. 

She joined the University of Nottingham as Reader in 2005 and within 3 years she was promoted to Professor in Energy Technologies. During her time at Nottingham she was the Head of the Energy and Sustainability Research Division at the Faculty of Engineering.  She has over 288 publications, including editor of 3 books, 82 refereed publications in journals and book chapters and 203 contributions to other journals and conference proceedings. She holds leading positions in professional societies and  editorial boards, including FRSC, Chair of the RSC Energy Sector, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the RCUK Energy Programme and of the UKERC Research Committee and Editor-in-Chief of Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology.

Her outstanding contributions, publication record and service to the chemical sciences and engineering have been recognised with numerous international prizes and awards, including 2011 RSC Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Award, 2009 Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2005 US Department of Energy Award for Innovative Development, 1997 Ritchie Prize, 1996 Glenn Award- Fuel Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society and the 1993 ICI Chemical & Polymers Group Andersonian Centenary Prize.