News Feed

Our recent article on Process Intensification (PI) education has been highlighted by the University of Twente. In this article, we present how PI can accelerate the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals in the short to medium term and strategies to implement it in our BSc and MSc educational programs. 

You can find more here.

Our collaboration research on biomass to chemicals is published on Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 

We are really excited to see that our research collaboration with Daniel Resasco on Synthesis of α,β‐ and β‐Unsaturated Acids and Hydroxy Acids by Tandem Oxidation, Epoxidation, and Hydrolysis/Hydrogenation of Bioethanol Derivatives is finally published! Open Access! 

As it is shown in the figure, we provide for the first time a catalytic route for the conversion of low-value bioethanol into added-value specialty chemicals and building blocks, such as (i) crotonic acid, (ii) 3-hydroxybutanoic acid, and (iii) 2,3-dihydroxybutanoic acid. We achieve yields of 62, 29, and 21 mol. % (in C.) when starting from bio-ethanol. The products can serve as basis for the production of numerous high-value


You can read the article here.

We are happy to announce that our workshop on RESILIENT-Islands was total success!

On March 11th-13th we were fortunate enough to have a very nice and active workshop at the University of Curaçao on RESILIENT-Islands with over 40 attendees from academia, industry, government agencies, and NGOs.

Building resilience in our food, energy and water systems is a fundamental challenge under changing and uncertain climate conditions, particularly in extremely vulnerable regions, such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The RESILIENT-Island workshop will cover the following topics:

- Water desalination
- Water electrolysis
- Ammonia as energy carrier
- Capitalising energy transition

- Life-cycle analysis
- Caribbean socio-economics


In this event, we discussed the different strategies for sustainable production of fresh water, storable energy (hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol), and food. You can find the booklet, all the presentations, TV-interview, recordings of the talks and discussions in the link below:

You can view our TV interview here:

We did it again! Last fall we had a blast in our symposium in the ACS Annual Meeting  (San Diego - 16-08-2019)

Our symposium on Catalytic Conversion of Biomass-Derived Oxygenates was a total success. We had more than 60 speakers from the US, Europe, and Asia. This was possible thanks to our great co-organiser Prof. Xinli Zhu from Tiajin University and Prof. Steven Crossley from University of Oklahoma.

This symposium was focused on the understanding of reaction mechanisms involved in the conversion of oxygenates in vapor and liquid phases.

Topics include but are not limited to:

1) Conversion of biomass-derived oxygenates (vapor and liquid)

3) Experimental, theoretical, and spectroscopic studies of reaction mechanisms

4) New catalytic process and catalyst design

"Artificial Photosynthesis Engineering: Designing solar-driven electrochemical reactors for the production of clean fuels and high-value materials"


Prof. M. Modestino, NY University

The need to decouple industrial processes from fossil energy sources only grows more urgent with the fast increase in global energy demand and the multiple global initiatives to mitigate climate change. Chemical manufacturing, already responsible for 26% of the world energy demand, is highly energy-intensive as it requires large amounts of heat derived from fossil sources to drive thermochemical processes. On the other hand, emerging electrochemical processes which require electricity rather than heat, have continued to gain traction as an avenue towards the integration of renewable energy sources in the chemical industry. Electrochemical processes allow to directly interconvert clean electricity, from solar or wind, into chemical energy and high-value products. This presentation will present opportunities in clean chemical manufacturing of fuels and polymer precursors through the design and optimization of solar-driven electrochemical reactors. 

Through a combination of technoeconomic modeling, device demonstrations and advanced electrochemical reactor designs he showed how electrochemical engineering principles can be applied to fabricate high-efficiency and cost-effective solar-hydrogen generators. He  then discussed how designing efficient organic electrochemical systems may result into more sustainable production of high-value polymeric materials.

Specifically, he discussed the development of a solar-driven electro-hydrodimerization process for production of adiponitrile (ADN), a precursor to Nylon 6,6. Although this model reaction is the largest and most successful organic electrosynthesis implemented in industry, it faces many challenges owing to its limited energy conversion and selectivity. Through a combination of experimental electroanalytical characterization, we elucidate guidelines for the optimal design and operation of ADN electro-synthetic reactors. His results provided insights into mass transport limitations that affect the selectivity of ADN electrosynthesis and on how to control electrode processes to mitigate them.

Our paper on Reforming of Methanol has been selected for as supplementary cover of the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research!

I am really happy to see that our recent publication on the "Interplay of Support Chemistry and Reaction Conditions on Copper Catalyzed Methanol Steam Reforming" has been accepted it as supplementary cover!


This invited article has been the result of the selection of my talk in the ACS Annual Meeting this year in New Orleans as the "Best Contribution of the Session on Biomass Conversion". You can find more about this Open Access publication in the Volume 57, Issue 45 of the ACS Journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research!


This was a great team effort between Manuel Antonio Díaz Pérez, Javier Moya Sánchez-Camacho, and Juan Carlos Serrano-Ruiz.


I was really honoured for the invitation from Prof. Erik Heeres at University of Groningen (The Netherlands) to give a seminar and visit their labs. 

I wanted to thank also, Assistant Professors Peter Deuss and Jun Yue for making this visit possible and arranging the agenda for the day. I really enjoyed the scientific discussion and I look forward to the next collaborations.

Thank you very much!!!

Visit to the Research Group of Prof. Erik Heeres at University of Groningen (Groningen 23-11-2018)
International Symposium of Catalysis in honor of Prof. F. Kapteijn (Delft - 28-09-2018)

We had a great time in the farewell international symposium in the honor of Prof. Freek Kapteijn in Delft.


He had an inspiring and extremely productive academic trajectory that now continues in the legacy of his PhD students around the world.


Our Symposium in the ACS Annual Meeting was a total success!!! (Boston - 19-08-2018)

Our symposium on Water (The Greenest Solvent): Catalysis in Aqueous and Bi-phase Systems was a total success. We had more than 20 speakers from the US, Europe, and Asia. This was possible thanks to our great co-organiser Prof. Fernanda Neira DeAngelo from Eindhoven University of Technology.

This symposium highlighted the role water and organic liquid reactions environments on surface reaction chemistry, kinetics, catalyst stability, molecular transport in porous systems filled with liquids, and convective diffusion processes multi-phasic media for green-chemistry applications.

The topics that included:

  • Novel catalyst designs for stable conversion in harsh reaction environments

  • In-situ characterization of working catalyst in liquid environments

  • Reaction kinetics of heterogeneous catalysts in aqueous and organic solvents

  • Theoretical and computational multi-scale studies of multiphase catalytic systems

  • Innovative (structured) catalytic reactor designs for improved mass transport in aqueous and bi-phase systems

  • Novel catalytic reaction and separation processes in multiphase media

Student trip to Argentina with our Chemical Engineering Students (BSc. and MSc.)... What a great experience...!!!

This Summer we went in the study trip of our Chemical Engineering Student to Argentina! In two weeks we visited companies, Universities, and leading research institutes in the cities of Cordoba, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, and La Plata! 

We had a blast doing sightseeing in combination with the incredible visits to the Nuclear Plant of Atucha, University of Buenos Aires (UBA) with more than 500K students! The best part of it was the interaction with our students and the faculty in a mix of set-ups of formal visits and beautiful visits to touristic places in Argentina.

We are really grateful with the students of our program in Chemical Engineering and the Student Association of Chemical Engineering "Alembic" for the opportunity to participate in this activity. Great organisation and impecable logistics made the entire trip an incredible experience.


A series of Cu catalysts supported on SiO2, Al2O3–SiO2, TiO2 rutile, and Cu/TiO2 anatase metal oxides has been studied for methanol reforming in the vapor phase. The highest activity was obtained on Cu/SiO2 catalysts (5493 μmol H2 min–1·gcat–1) followed by Cu/TiO2 rutile, Cu/Al2O3–SiO2, and anatase. XRD and HRTEM characterization after reaction revealed that on Cu/SiO2 significant sintering occurred during reaction. In contrast, the particle size growth on Cu/TiO2 rutile and anatase was less pro

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