Pedro Pereira Almao


Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California at Berkeley, 1987-1990

PhD - Heterogeneous Catalysis

L'Universite de Poiters, 1979


L'Universite de Poiters, 1976

Contact information


Office: 403.220.4799

Web presence

Research website


Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology : CCIT 118


Research areas

  • Catalysis
  • Fuel cells
  • Advanced oil recovery
  • Thermal recovery processes
  • In-Situ Combustion


Key aspects of Dr. Pereira’s research group include: evaluation of field and in-situ upgrading paths; synthesis of catalysts from nano to conventional size and development of catalytic processes for upgrading and refining; monitoring of process variables; evaluation of upgrading schemes, and; conceptual engineering to process heavy crude oils.


Dr. Pereira graduated as a Chemist in 1976 and obtained a doctorate in Heterogeneous catalysis, both from L'Universite de Poitiers, France, in 1979. He was a chemical engineering professor at the "Universidad de Los Andes" in Merida-Venezuela for seven years and a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory-University of California, Berkeley during the period Oct.1987-Dec.1990. He has since dedicated his professional and research activities to catalysts and catalytic processes development using both steam and hydrogen for heavy oils and residuals upgrading. He has also published on the Hydrogen generation from coal steam gasification and patented first on a catalyst for methane coupling, to produce Ethylene/ethane. Dr. Pereira is the author of more than 60 published articles and presentations,and more than 10 International Conferences and Seminars. He dedicated 14 years as a Research and Development Leader at a major Petroleum corporation where he co-invented and coordinated the development of the two major competitive upgrading technologies, named Aquaconversion and HDHplus. Dr. Pereira has 7 patents on the areas and processes above mentioned. Between 1999 and 2002, he gained technology business and management experience as well as knowledge in technology strategic planning. His activities nowadays pursue significant improvements to the upgrading of Athabasca bitumen and other Alberta and Canadian heavy oils by combining research in applied catalysis targeting specifically designed catalysts, with research of upgrading processes integrated with the selective separation and conversion of coke precursor molecules from selective deasphalting and gasification. This has the potential to generate technology commercialization that will promote cost-effective conversion of the bitumen and heavy oil reserves in Canada and throughout the world into valuable products.


Selected Publications

P. Pereira-Almao (2012). In situ upgrading of bitumen and heavy oils via nanocatalysis. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. Volume 90, Issue 2, pages 320–329, April 2012.

Hashemi, R., Nassar,N. N., & Pereira Almao, P. (2013). In Situ Upgrading of Athabasca Bitumen Using Multimetallic Ultradispersed Nanocatalysts in an Oil Sands Packed-Bed Column.Energy & Fuels, 28(2), 1338-1350.

Fathi, M. M., & PereiraAlmao, P. (2011). Catalytic Aquaprocessing of Arab Light Vacuum Residue via Short Space Times. Energy & Fuels, 25(11), 4867-4877.




2005 - Departmental Research Excellence

2004 - Fueling Our Energy Future - Hydrogen Power - Advanced Oil-upgrading Technology Could Power Hydrogen World