Catalysis Research

The proposed research program aims at developing efficient catalytic chemical conversion processes of the biomass feedstock compounds into renewable chemicals and biofuel/fuel blending chemicals. This will be achieved based on the design of active catalysts using the concept of porous hybrid nano-structured and tailored, carbon dispersed metal/metal oxide composites coupled to sustainable and green chemical synthetic protocols. The goal is to produce downstream-processing valuable intermediate chemicals from the competitive and renewable upstream biomass-derived feedstock materials. In particular, it involves the development of efficient catalytic chemical transformations (i.e., selective oxidation, hydrogenation, acetalisation, hydrodeoxygenation, etherification and esterification) processes of biomass-model chemicals (i.e., glycerol, furfural, levulinic acid, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and bio-turpentines as priority compounds) in the liquid- and gas-phase reactions to value-added chemical intermediates ready for use in the formulation of various chemical related consumer-oriented enduser products, such as biofuel blending, biopolymer plastic monomers, pharmaceutical intermediates, food additives, flavour and fragrance ingredients