ChBE Spring 2024 Seminar Series: ‘Scaling Up Innovation: GTI Energy’s Path to Sustainable Solutions’

The Chemical and Biological Engineering Department presents their spring 2024 seminar series featuring guest speaker Hafsa Karroum, principal engineer at GTI Energy, who will give a presentation on “Scaling Up Innovation: GTI Energy’s Path to Sustainable Solutions, Featuring IH2® Technology.” This seminar will take place on Wednesday, March 20, from 3:15–4:30 p.m. in room 108 of Perlstein Hall.


GTI Energy, a pioneering research center specializing in scaling up innovative technologies, has been at the forefront of addressing crucial energy challenges since 1941. Committed to transforming raw technology into practical solutions, GTI Energy follows a rigorous sequence of methodology—from proof of concept to demonstration—to ensure the successful commercialization of groundbreaking innovations.

Hafsa Karroum will present GTI Energy’s IH2® process, a revolutionary technology designed to produce alternative transportation fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), from renewable resources. The IH2® process, a catalytic thermo-chemical conversion technology, efficiently converts non-food biomass feedstocks—such as wood, agricultural residues, algae, aquatic plants, and municipal waste—into high- quality transportation fuels, including SAF, gasoline, and diesel, with a remarkable reduction of more than 60 percent in greenhouse gas emissions.

With an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Shell C&T, GTI Energy has pioneered, tested, and patented the fully integrated IH2® technology. The technology’s development was accelerated by funding from the United States Department of Energy, facilitating rapid progress from proof-of-principle experiments to continuous testing in GTI Energy’s 50 kg/day pilot plant, accumulating over 15,000 hours of operation. This extensive testing has provided the foundation for engineering the design of commercial-scale plants.


Hafsa Karroum is a senior engineer at GTI Energy specializing in catalysis for green energy research. Karroum earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in industrial science from Institut Meurice in Brussels, Belgium, in 2013 and 2015, respectively. She pursued her Ph.D. in Catalysis at Washington State University under the supervision of Norbert Kruse, defending her dissertation in 2020. Her doctoral research focused on developing catalysts for synthesizing functionalized hydrocarbons, including nitrogenates, oxygenates, and olefins, from Fischer-Tropsch reaction.

After completing her Ph.D., Karroum joined Nitto Denko, a private chemical company in San Diego, where she contributed to the development of catalysts for electrode to convert CO2 to valuable molecules within the Carbon Capture Utilization department. In 2021 Karroum joined GTI Energy, located in Chicago, where she continues to conduct research in catalysis to advance green energy technologies.