Welcome to the Multiscale Reaction Engineering (MuRE) group, led by Pedro Castaño (Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering), in the KAUST Catalysis Center.

Our goal is to push the boundaries of reaction engineering, adopting a holistic multiscale strategy to make the catalytic processes more viable and sustainable

The vision of MuRE is to contribute to a chemical industry based on sustainability, circularity, and green chemistry principles. We aspire to help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world transition from an oil-based economy to a circular one following the hierarchy: intensifying the current refinery downstream operations, incorporating alternative and waste feedstock into the production chains, and developing innovative catalytic processes. Given the applied nature of our goals, we cooperate extensively with industry and government stakeholders.

The mission of MuRE is to engineer reactions, catalysts, and reactors at the multiscale for a sustainable chemical industry and a cleaner environment.

We target environmental and waste-valorization processes such as the transformations of small molecules (carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, alkanes, methanol) or bulkier ones in complex mixtures (refinery residues, crude, biomass, lignin, plastic wastes, used tires) into hydrogen, light olefins/alkenes, platform chemicals or high-quality fuels. We investigate these chemistries at different levels/scales: molecular, catalyst, and reactor scale.

Our key competencies are within catalytic reaction engineering:

  • Analytical workflow: Complex reaction networks considering the complete reaction media, including intermediates, activity modifiers (water, poisons…), complex mixtures, and trapped or deactivating species. Realistic feeds. 

  • Catalyst engineering: Heterogeneous catalysts with multiple functionalities, particularly stability. We seek scientific understanding beyond the synthesis-related aspects to control these functionalities from the nano- to the macroscale.

  • Multiscale modeling: Molecular-level microkinetic and macrokinetic models. Computational fluid dynamics and computational particle fluid dynamics. Process simulations.

  • Reactor engineering: Information-driven and multi-functional catalytic reactors with high throughput intrinsic kinetic data and controlled hydrodynamics. These include packed (operando), fluidized beds, and multiphase reactors.

On this website, you can read the who, the how, the what, and the where. Also, you can just read our latest news and check a list of available positions or upcoming events.


News and open positions

Prospective postdocs, research scientists, or students entering our lab


Prospective MSc or PhD students


Covers and infographics