Welcome to the Multiscale Reaction Engineering (MuRE) group, led by Pedro Castaño, in the KAUST Catalysis Center.
In MuRE, we engineer catalytic reactions by using a systematic multiscale approach, developing advanced reactors and catalysts while modeling the collective process dynamics. We target environmental and waste-valorization processes such as the transformations of small- (carbon dioxide, methane, paraffins, methanol) or big-molecules (refinery residues, crude, biomass, lignin, plastic wastes, used tires) into hydrogen, light olefins, platform chemicals or high-quality fuels.
At the molecular level, our goal is to develop a comprehensive analytical workflow of reacting environments. That encompasses (i) catalytic surfaces where heavy coke molecules are formed and participate in the reaction and deactivation; and (ii) complex mixtures of reactants and products, involving thousands of species.
At the catalyst level, we engineer catalysts with multiple functionalities. We focus on enhancing stability and mass-heat transfer of hierarchical zeolites, supported metal nanoparticles or single-site, perovskites, aerogels and metal organic frameworks (MOFs) based materials.
At the reactor level, we develop multiscale models from the micro- up to macro scale: from microkinetic up to the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models and process simulations. We use these models to design and improve catalysts and reactors. As for rectors, we mainly work with (i) fluidized bed reactors (FBRs), such as circulating, Berty, downer, riser, multizone or two-zone and high pressure FBRs; and (ii) packed bed reactors (PBRs), such as high throughput, membrane, periodic, and operando PBRs.
We are a multidisciplinary research group working at the interphase of fundamental catalysis and reactor engineering, trying to find a compromise by using microkinetic modeling, process simulations and (reactive) computational fluid dynamics. In this website you can read the who, the how, the what and the where. Additionally, you can read the latest news of the group, check a list of available positions or upcoming events.