The Reaction Engineering and Catalysis group focuses its research on the upgrading and valorization of waste into new bio-based chemicals and biofuels.
We combine theoretical calculations from DFT with experimental work on catalysis, material science reactor engineering, reactor design, kinetics and modeling. We also work on producing, testing and upscaling our developed technologies. We perform techno economic assessment of the different technological solutions to evaluate their competitivity within the current market.
Our team is growing and our former members are now working for companies and research centers that are well known world wide. Read more below about our projects, our research collaborations, and our members.
The Reaction Engineering and Catalysis group has experience on:
- Material science with foucs on catalysis (development, preparation, characterization)
- Material science with focus on DFT modeling and calculations, DFT uses for development of new catalysts as well as energy storage materials.
- Reaction engineering (testing new reactions, developing new processes, design of new equipment and reactors)
- Kinetics modeling (kinetics mechanism, kinetics rate expresions, heat nad mass trasnfer effects and limitations)
- Techno economic assessments of process with upscaling and sensitivity.
- Analytical tools such as GC, GCMS, titration among others.
- Waste valorization to produce new biobased chemicals and biofuels.
- Development of Cost-Effective Process for Phyco-Remediation of Dairy Wastewater and Valorization of Algal Biomass for Production of Biofuel and Biochemical: A Sustainable Approach towards Bio-Refinery (AlgalBB) (EU HORIZON MSCA IF, 2023-2025)
- HySchool - Norwegian research school on hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels
Time frame (Research Council of Norway, 2023-2030)
- SHAPING - Sustainable and techno-economic digital models of prominent food technologies (EEA Grants, 2023-2024)
- Unrevealing the mechanisms involved when producing biodiesel from waste oil using a combined experimental and theoretical methodology (UNPRECEDENTED) (EU HORIZON MSCA Staff Exchange, 2023-2026)
- Capacity Building in Renewable Energy Research and Education in Ethiopia (NORHED II, 2021-2026)
- Modelling of Carbon Capture in Molten Salts (NMBU and Enestor AS, 2021-2025)
- Biofuel production from fish waste using data mining and data modeling for optimal catalyst selection (NMBU, 2020-2023)
- Development of a New Technology for Biodiesel Production using Waste Raw Material. Experimental and Theoretical design of catalyst (Argentina Ministry of Science and Technology, Raices Program, 2017-2020)
- Research and Capacity Building in Clean and Renewable Bioenergy Production and Utilization in Ethiopia (NORAD/EnPe, 2016-2020)
- Biodiesel Production for aviation (BIOPROAV) (EEA-NILS mobility program, 2014-2015)
- Hydrogen-metal interactions, the future for hydrogen energy? (YGGDRASIL, 2013-2014)
We have a cooperation with Hawassa University in Ethiopia for the valorization of jatropha seeds and jatropha oil and their transformation into biofuel and biochemicals using green chemistry. Our cooperation is with Prof. Tesema, Dr. Gebremariam and M.Sc. Keneni.
We work together in the drying, storage and extraction of oil from different jatropha seeds, form different regions and locations from Ethiopia. Furthermore we studied the transformation of this nonedible oil into biofuel and biochemicals via the use of renewable catalysis. Even more we have carried out techno economic analysis of the process developed and upscale them to see their commerciality and eventually develop proof of concept.
University of Borås
We cooperate with University of Borås in Sweden on the upgrade of fungi based biomass as well as thermochemical transformation of household waste, organic waste and forestry waste for the production of fuel, energy and heat.
We have started with a cooperation for the upgrade of fungi based biomass as well as the the area of Fungai. We have been focusing on the production of fungi-based oil for the production of feed and food purposes as well as fungi-based oil for its transformation into biobased fuels. We have been completing their production work on fungi with our expertise on catalysis, reactor engineering and processing in order to improve the transformation of these raw materials into the desire products.
We are establishing a new cooperation within the Thermochemical transformation of household waste, organic waste and forestry waste for the production of fuel, energy and heat.
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
A cooperation has been established with Professor Aracil and Professor Martinez from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. We have worked together in the transformation of waste and non-edible oils into new biochemicals and biofuels. Our work is based on the preparation, characterization and testing of different catalytic materials as well as reaction engineering design and modeling.
Our cooperation has been linked to the production of new catalytic materials as well as for the testing of different catalysts for the transformation of waste and non-edible oils into new biobased chemical (organic alcohols of C16 or higher) as well as biofuels (biodiesel, biobutanol). We have been working as well on modeling, (DOE, RSM), kinetics modeling as well as upscaling and techno economic assessments. We have been funded by EEA, NILS mobility grants that have allowed us not only for scientific cooperation but also for students’ exchange. Within that project we have worked on the production of aviation fuel from waste oils.
Universidad Nacional del Sur
We have established a long-term cooperation with Professor. Dr. Juan from the IFISur, at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. Our cooperation has been on material science with focus on the use of DFT for study of batteries, fuel cell and chemical interactions. A second cooperation has been established for the study of doped carbon nanotubes and graphene.
We have also a cooperation with Professor Dr. Lopez Corral from the Chemistry Department at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. Our cooperation is on material science with focus on the study of different materials for solar panels as well as on carbon nanotubes for censoring.
The cooperation established with Dr. Juan and his group has been on the area of material science. We have studied different physic- chemical pheromones such as adsorption, reactivity, diffusion, among others, that are taking place at a molecular level over metallic surfaces, oxides as well as alloys. These studies are crucial within the material science, metallurgy, and heterogeneous catalysts. The study of hydrogen and its interaction over different metallic surfaces (for example) is of great relevance for batteries, fuel cell as well as hydrogen-based cars. We have also studied the interactions of alcohols with alloys in order to study the production of hydrogen via reforming. We have also focused our work on the understanding of the reactivity of short organic acids and alcohols over oxides to produce liquid fuel and biobased chemical’s
The cooperation with Dr. Lopez Corral is related to the study of carbon nanotubes with the applications to develop new sensors, the study of different materials for their use in solar cells and solar panels in order to improve efficiency. The work is based on DFT calculations and models.
The group has been working on several topics, and all available publications can be found in Cristin.
Recently published papers:
- A. Bouaid, N. Tardon, O. Hurtado, J.M. Marchetti: "Enzymatic production of sustainable jojoba fatty alcohols. A biorefinery approach". Food and Bioproducts Processing (2023)
- A.J.G. Fá, C.R. Luna, J.M. Marchetti, R. Faccio, I. López-Corral: "Ab-initio study of vacancy-defective aluminium nitride nanosheets as trifluoroacetonitrile gas sensor". Applied Surface Science 612 (2023), 155803.
- I.B. Hvidsten, J.M. Marchetti: "Securing liquid biofuel by upgrading waste fish oil via renewable and sustainable catalytic technology". Fuel 333 (2023), 126272.
- Yadessa Gonfa Keneni (2020): Biodiesel production from Jatropha curcas L. seeds from different agro-climatic zones of Ethiopia: seed processing, oil extraction and optimization of biodiesel production using heterogenous catalysts
- Shemelis Nigatu Gebremariam (2019): Identification of efficient and affordable technologies for sustainable production of biodiesel from various bio-resources
- Mangesh Ramesh Avhad (2016): Heterogeneous catalytic conversion of non-edible lipid biomass to biochemicals
- Ruth Heidi Samuelsen Nygård (2015): The potential of molten salts as heat transfer media in fast pyrolysis of wood
Ongoing PhD theses:
- Iver Bergh Hvidsten: Biofuel Production from Fish Waste Using Data Mining and Data Modeling for Optimal Catalyst Selection
- Getachew Demie Gebre: Valorization of Selected Tropical Fruit Waste and Animal Tallow for Biofuel Production in Ethiopia
Ongoing PhD theses (co-supervision):
- Sondre Grevle Iveland: Prosessmodellering av CO2-fangst med CCMS-metoden
- Aleksander Hykkerud "The use of heterogeneous catalysts in the production of biodiesel" (2014)
- Rune Haukeland "A litterature study in the possibilities of yielding Norwegian birch as feedstock for making biodiesel" (2014)
- Kristian Omberg "Technical Study of different technologies for production of wood synthetic biodiesel" (2014)
- Ola Omberg "Technical Study of different technologies for production of wood synthetic biodiesel" (2014)
- Henrik Huseby "Technical Study of different technologies for production of wood synthetic biodiesel" (2014)
- Magnus Rysstad Nyvold "Production of Biodiesel from Algae" (2015)
- Marius Trebostad "Study of different HTL technology with lignin as raw material" (2015)
- Miriam Velle Osborg "Study of new technologies for biodiesel production from different biomass" (2016)
- Lars Meyer "Production of Biobutanol" (2016)
- Martin Schei "Biodiesel production using eggshells as catalyst" (2017)
- Federico Muscolino "Valorization of glycerol into new bulk chemicals" (2019)
- Anette Tangård "VarmVann2030" (2019)
- Øystein Øvrum “Comparative analysis of the effect of soiling on solar electricity production in utility-scale solar parks" (2019)
- Carl Wilhelm Støren Aschjem "Modelling and optimization of pyrolysis reactors" (2019)
- Iver Bergh Hvidsten "Production of antitumoral analogues from biomass" (2020)
Heidi S. Nygård
Former PhD student
Mangesh Ramesh Avhad
Former PhD student
Shemelis Nigatu Gebremariam
Former PhD student
Yadessa Gonfa Keneni
Former PhD student
Former Postdoctoral Fellow
Former guest researchers:
- Dr. Marcos Sánchez
- Dr. Marta Serrano
- Dr. Valeria Orazi
- Mc.S. Migle Santariate
Eager to join our team? Want to do the master work with us? Interested in carrying out a PhD? Thinking of a post-doctoral fellowship to power up your career?
- For master theses, please contact us here
- For vacancies (PhD, postdoctoral fellowships) within the group, please check nmbu.no/en/about-nmbu/positions, or search for NMBU REC in jobbnorge.no
- Eager to apply for the Marie Curie individual fellowships? Contact us here with your idea and CV.