Dr. Jinwen Chen, P. Eng.


Research on hydrocarbon conversion, oil sands upgrading and petroleum processing.

Current research and/or projects


When I started my university life at Tianjin University as a chemical engineering student, my dream was to become an engineer in a chemical plant wearing hard hat, steel-toed boots and plant uniform – it is kind of cool.  As I learned more and more what chemical engineering  is about, I became interested in research and hoped to invent something new in the future, which led me to obtain my Master and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering.  Since then, I have been doing research covering a broad range of subjects on chemical/petrochemical engineering and technology, and on oil sands bitumen upgrading and petroleum refining. As the director of hydrocarbon conversion program at CanmetENERGY Devon of NRCan, I am leading a group of professionals to develop innovative technologies to efficiently convert oil sands bitumen into clean transportation fuels and to minimize the associated environmental impacts. I am also honored to represent NRCan and Canada in a number of international expert panels to advance the research and technology development in my field.  

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Oil sands bitumen upgrading, partial upgrading, petroleum refining technology development.
  • Process modeling, simulation, optimization and life cycle assessment on GHG emissions of oil sands development.
  • Multiphase reactor design and scale-up. Catalysts and catalytic processes development.
  • Biomass conversion and co-processing biocrudes with conventional and unconventional petroleum.
  • Advanced bitumen, heavy oil and petroleum chemistry.

Professional activities / interests

  • Serve in national and international expert panels on energy, transportation fuels, and petroleum.
  • Serve as expert reviewer of national and international research proposals on energy, oil sands bitumen, petroleum refining, GHG emissions, and life cycle assessment.
  • Serve as expert reviewer of manuscripts for publication in many scientific journals.
  • Give presentations and lectures in national and international conferences, workshops, and university seminars and lectures.

Education and awards

B.Sc. (1984), M.Sc. (1987) and Ph.D. (1990) in Chemical Engineering from Tianjin University, China.


International experience and/or work

Associate Professor, Tianjin University, China

Research Associate, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Research Scientist, University of Calgary.

Key publications

  1. Chen, J., De. Crisci, A., Xing, T., “Review on Catalysis Related Research at CanmetENERGY”, Can. J. Chem. Engng., 94, 7-19, 2016.
  2. Alvarez-Majmutov, A. and Chen, J., “Molecular-Level Modeling and Simulation of Vacuum Gas Oil Hydrocracking”, Energy & Fuels, 30, 138-148, 2016.
  3. Pacheco, D., MacLean H. L., Bergerson, J., Chen, J., and Alvarez-Majmutov, A., “Development and Application of a Model to Evaluate Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Oil Sands Upgrading Technologies” to be published in Environ. Sci. & Technol.
  4. Wang, H., Farooqi, H., and Chen, J., “Co-hydrotreating of Light Cycle Oil - Canola Oil Blends”, Frontiers of Chem. Sci. Engng., 9(1), 64-76, 2015.  
  5. Wei, Q., Chen, J., Song, C., and Li, G., “HDS of Dibenzothiophene and Hydrogenation of Tetralin over a SiO2 Supported Ni-Mo-S Catalyst”, Frontiers of Chem. Sci. Engng., 9(3), 336-348, 2015.
  6. Alvarez-Majmutov, A. Gieleciak, R., and Chen, J., “Deriving the Molecular Composition of Vacuum Distillates by Integrating Statistical Modeling and Detailed Hydrocarbon Characterization”, Energy & Fuels, 29, 7931-7940, 2015.
  7. Alvarez-Majmutov, A., Chen, J., Gieleciak R., Hager, D., Heshka, N., and Salmon, S., “Deriving the Molecular Composition of Middle Distillates by Integrating Statistical Modeling with Advanced Hydrocarbon Characterization”, Energy & Fuels, 28 (12), 7385-7393, 2014.  
  8. Alvarez-Majmutov, A. and Chen, J., “Modeling and Simulation of a Multi-Bed Industrial Hydrotreater with Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium”, Ind. Engng. Chem. Research, 53, 10566-10675, 2014.
  9. Alvarez-Majmutov, A. and Chen, J., “Analyzing the Energy Intensity and GHG Emission of Canadian Oil Sands Crude Upgrading through Process Modeling and Simulation”, Frontiers of Chem. Sci. Engng., 8(2), 212-218, 2014.
  10. Chen, J., Farooqi, H., and Fairbridge, C., “Experimental Study on Co-hydroprocessing Canola Oil and Heavy Vacuum Gas Oil Blends” Energy Fuels, 27, 3306−3315, 2013.
  11. Alvarez-Majmutov, A., Chen, J., and Munteanu, M., “Simulation of Bitumen Upgrading Processes”, Petroleum Technology Quarterly (PTQ), Q2, 31-35. 2013.
  12. Hamidipour, M., Chen, J., and Larachi, F., “CFD Study and Experimental Validation of Trickle Bed Hydrodynamics under Gas, Liquid and Gas/Liquid Alternating Cyclic Operations”, Chemical Engineering Science, 89, 158-170, 2013.
  13. Mondal, D., Villemure, G., Li, G., Song, C., Zhang, J., Hui, R., Chen, J., and Fairbridge, C., “Synthesis, Characterization and Evaluation of Unsupported Porous NiS2 Sub-micrometer Spheres as a Potential Hydrodesulfurization Catalyst”, Applied Catalysis A: General, 450, 230-236, 2013.
  14. Wang, Y., Chen, J., and Larachi, F., “Modeling and Simulation of Trickle-Bed Reactors Using Computational Fluid Dynamics: A State-of-the-Art Review”, Can. J. Chem. Engng., 91, 136-180, 2013.
  15. Al-Sabawi§, M., Chen, J., and Ng, S., “Fluid Catalytic Cracking of Biomass-Derived Oils and Their Blends with Petroleum Feedstocks: A Review”, Energy & Fuels, 26, 5355-5372, 2012.
  16. Al-Sabawi§ M. and Chen, J., “Hydroprocessing of Biomass-Derived Oils and Their Blends with Petroleum Feedstocks: A Review”, Energy & Fuels, 26, 5373-5399, 2012.
  17. Shi, Y., Chen, J., Chen, J., Macleod; R. A., and Malac, M., “Preparation and Evaluation of Hydrotreating Catalysts Based on Activated Carbon Derived from Oil Sand Petroleum Coke”, Applied Catalysis A: General, 441-442, 97-107, 2012.
  18. Hamidipour, M., Chen, J., and Larachi, F., “CFD Study on Hydrodynamics in Three-Phase Fluidized Beds – Application of Turbulence Models and Experimental Validation”, Chem. Engng. Sci., 78, 167-180, 2012.
  19. Munteanu, M. and Chen, J., “Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium (VLE)-Based Modeling for the Prediction of Operating Regimes in a Heavy Gas Oil Hydrotreater Energy & Fuels”, 26, 1230−1236, 2012.
  20. Chen, S., Chen, J., Gieleciak, R., and Fairbridge, C., “Reactivity Characteristics of Pt-Encapsulated Zeolite Catalysts for Hydrogenation and Hydrodesulphurization”, Appl. Catal. A: Gen., 415-416, 70-79, 2012.
  21. Yao, S., Song, C., Nan, F., Botton, G. A., Chen, J., Fairbridge, C., Hui, R., and Zhang, J. J., “Synthesis of Hierarchical Structured Porous MoS2/SiO2 Microspheres by Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis”, Can. J. Chem. Engng., 90, 330-335, 2012.
  22. Lam, V., Li, G., Song, C., Chen, J., Fairbridge, C., Zhang, J. J., and, Hui, R., “A Review on Electrochemical Desulphurisation Technologies for Fossil Fuels”, Fuel Proc. Tech., 98, 30-38, 2012.
  23. Chen, J., Mulgundmath, V., and Wang, N., “Accounting for Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium in the Modeling and Simulation of a Commercial Hydrotreating Reactor”, Ind. Engng. Chem. Research, 50, 1571-1579, 2011.
  24. Chen, J., Mclean, N., and Hager, D., “Prediction of Molecular Weight and Its By-Boiling-Point Distribution of Middle Distillates from GC-FIMS”, Energy & Fuels, 25, 719-726, 2011.
  25. Nan, F., Song, C., Zhang, J. J., Hui, R., Chen, J., Fairbridge, C., and Botton, G. A., “STEM HAADF Tomography of Molybdenum Disulfide with Mesoporous Structure”, ChemCatChem, 3 (6), 999-1003, 2011.
  26. Munteanu, M., Chen, J., and Farooqi, H., “Flash Experiment Findings”, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 15 (3), 39-45, 2010.