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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

"One-pot" catalysed processes for obtaining fuel and chemical products from furfural derivates sourced in biomass

Lead Researcher:
Alberto Marinas Aramendía

Research Centre:
Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad de Córdoba.


Alberto Marinas AramendíaOne of the major challenges facing society is the transition from an economy based on fossil fuels as the energy source to one based on renewable energies. Biomass stands out among the latter, and as well as energy it may also provide interesting chemical products.

This project evaluates furfural derivates (platform molecules from biomass) in energy applications (Diesel and hydrogen) and furfurilic alcohol (a chemical compound with multiple applications, including the productions of fibres and resins or use as a solvent). For this purpose, C5 and C6 sugars are used with multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts (with acid/basic centres, metallic and photoactive), in "one-pot" processes which create the desired products. Additionally, the promotion of processes by means of unconventional radiation such as ultrasound and microwaves will be studied.

The use of "one-pot" reactions or in cascade will reduce the processes of separation and thereby help to reduce costs for industrial use. This project responds to one of the main aims of the technological platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) and Horizon 2020: process intensification.

Alberto Marinas Aramendía

He was awarded the Third National Prize for Chemistry Graduation (UCO, 1997) and undertook his European Doctorate (1998-2001) between the University of Córdoba and the Ecole Central in Lyon (France), obtaining the Extraordinary Doctorate Prize. He then made several postdoctoral visits (Laboratorio Arbitral Agroalimentario de Madrid, ITQ de Valencia and ETH in Zúrich, Switzerland), until he rejoined the Organic Chemistry department of the UCO in January 2004, with a Return Contract of the Junta de Andalucía. He has been a Tenured Professor of this University since 2009. He is the co-author of approx. 50 publications in indexed journals, and has made more than 90 communications to national and international congresses. He has taken part in 19 projects or research contracts (4 as the main investigator) and was Vice-Chair of the COSTCM0903 Action on "Utilisation of Biomass for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals" (2009-2013). He has also directed 7 doctoral theses.

He belongs to the FQM-162 group of the PAIDI. His research work has mainly focused on the application of Heterogeneous Catalysis to Sustainable Chemistry (photocatalysis, selective reductions, making use of biomass, etc.) and the quality of olive oil (IV Fundación Caja Rural de Córdoba prize, 2014, for R&D&i Projects in the field of food and agriculture).

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