Professor Pedro Pereira-Almao is accelerating change in the energy sector
Meet our CTO
Professor Pedro Pereira-Almao is accelerating change in the energy sector through the commercialization of nanocatalyst technology
"Chemistry simply doesn't exist without catalysis," says Pedro Pereira-Almao, NanosTech’s CTO. "Catalysts permeate every activity in which you want to be energy efficient."
Pereira-Almao’s fascination with catalyst technology culminated with the formation of NanosTech, a cutting-edge energy transition company that applies catalysts to advance the path to Net Zero. The company is currently best known for its In Situ Upgrading Technology (ISUT) and Nova upgrading/refining technology, which have carved Canada out as a leader in the clean energy transition.
After receiving his Ph.D. from the Université de Poitiers in France in the late 1970s, Pereira-Almao leveraged the opportunity to study and work globally at such prestigious institutions as Berkeley. He returned to his homeland of Venezuela to take a professorship in chemical engineering. Catalysts – molecular compounds that can help increase the speed and efficiency of naturally occurring chemical reactions – were always his primary focus. The further he got into his education, the more his eyes were opened to the broad applicability of catalytic technology.
Seeing the parallels between the Venezuelan energy sector and the Alberta market, he eventually settled in Calgary with the goal of turning the region into Canada's primary catalyst production centre. He established the foundation for his research by establishing a lab at the University of Calgary where graduate students, engineers, and postdoctoral fellows can unlock new ways to apply catalyst-based technologies.
"We have created a unique triangle of knowledge here in Calgary centred on analytic chemistry, catalysis synthesis, and engineering. It's unlike anything found elsewhere in Canada."
With two novel platforms - ISUT and Nova - ready to roll out to market, there is no doubt that Pereira-Almao is catalyzing change within what was once a very traditional sector for Alberta. Through a partnership with Vorsana (NanosTech's parent company), Pereira-Almao's catalytic technology has gained significant traction, including dominating Alberta Innovates’ cleantech-focused pitch session in Fall 2021.
"Many companies don't even realize where they could be applying our technology," Pereira-Almao remarks. "They are stuck in the mindset of jumping to end-products. Companies will come to you and say they want to work in sulphur reduction or hydrogen production. Well, we can help them get there by applying catalyst-based technologies."