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Dr. Diana Catalina Palacio Lozano

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Dr. Diana Catalina Palacio Lozano
Research Fellow
MSc, PhD. Natural Science, Physics
orcid ORCID

Ion Cyclotron Resonance Laboratory
University of Warwick


Research Summary

My expertise is based in the characterization of the molecular constituents of petroleum-related samples by using ultra high-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron (FTICR) mass spectrometry. My expertise also includes the analysis of petroleum-related samples by conventional analytical techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance and true boiling point curves. In collaboration with industry and academia, vacuum residues and their fractions, waste-water from oil fields and liquid bio-oils have been analysed with petroleomics approaches.


Research Image Award for The international Symposium on Energy7

Title: “Petroleomics: Petroleum and its molecular fingerprints


Descripcion: Petroleomics is the characterization of petroleum-related samples using mass spectrometry, typically ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry. The many thousands of components within these complex mixtures can be assigned molecular formulae and, in doing so, "profiles" or "fingerprints" of samples can be established. The profiles are unique to individual samples and can be used to facilitate useful comparisons, such as crude oils of different origins, outputs from differing refining processes, or petroleum samples exposed to environmental influences, amongst other examples. Thus, ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry is the state-of the-art for characterization of petroleum-related samples, particularly for the heavier fractions where other analytical techniques may not be viable. One of the methods for representing the data is to create a plot of double bond equivalents (DBE) and carbon number for a single heteroatom class (compound class). The image shows an abstract warping of a DBE plot on to an image of an oil surface. A selection of molecular formulae are superimposed on to the image, reminding the viewer that complex molecular compositions form the basis of all petroleum samples.


Arenas-Diaz, J. P., Palacio, D. C., Ramirez, C. X., Cabanzo, R., Guzmón, A., & Mejía-Ospino, E. (2017). Chemical characterization of polar species in Colombian vacuum residue and its supercritical fluid extraction subfractions using electrospray ionization FT-ICR mass spectrometry. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 57

Palacio Lozano, D. C., Orrego-Ruiz, J. A., Barrow, M. P., Cabanzo Hernandez, R., & Mejía-Ospino, E. (2016). Analysis of the molecular weight distribution of vacuum residues and their molecular distillation fractions by laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Fuel, 171, 247–252.

Palacio Lozano, D. C., Orrego-Ruiz, J. A., Cabanzo Hernández, R., Guerrero, J. E., & Mejía-Ospino, E. (2017). APPI(+)-FTICR mass spectrometry coupled to partial least squares with genetic algorithm variable selection for prediction of API gravity and CCR of crude oil and vacuum residues. Fuel, 193, 39–44.

Palacio Lozano, D.C. , Chacón-Patiñ, M. L., Gomez Escudero, A., and Barrow, M.P., Mass Spectrometry in the Petroleum Industry. Book Chapter, ASTM-Books, ASTM international. In printing.

Ramírez, C. X., Torres, J. E., Catalina, D., Lozano, P., Arenas-Diaz, J. P., Mejia-ospino, E., … Guzmán, A. (2017). Molecular Representation of Molecular Distillation Cuts of Vacuum Residue by Spectrometry Ultra-High Resolution and Conventional Analytic. Chemical Engineerinf Transaction, 57, 1069–1074.

Ramírez, C. X., Torres, J. E., Palacio Lozano, D. C., Arenas-Diaz, J. P., Mejia-Ospino, E., Kafarov, V., … Ancheyta, J. (2017). Molecular Representation of Petroleum Residues Using Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry and Conventional Analysis. Energy & Fuels, acs.energyfuels.7b02507.