Idoia Hita

Research Scientists (RS)

Research Scientist



Building 3, Level 4, Area 3, Workspace: 4287-WS06


After finishing my BsC (2010) in Chemical Engineering and MsC studies (2011) in Chemical Process Engineering and Sustainable Development at the University of the Basque Country (2011), I was granted a PhD fellowship awarded by the Basque Government, which allowed me to complete my International PhD degree (Cum Laude) in 2015. During this PhD period, in 2012 I was a visiting student at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary (UC) in Canada. In 2016, and after being awarded a postdoctoral grant by the Basque Government, I became a postdoctoral researcher at the Green Chemical Reaction Engineering group of the University of Groningen (RUG) in The Netherlands for a period of 2 years. In 2018, back in the UPV/EHU, I continued my postdoctoral activities and, since May 2019, I am a Research Scientist at the Multiscale Reaction Engineering (MuRE) group led by Prof. Pedro Castano in the KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC) at KAUST. 

Research Interests

My research interests have been focused on engineering sustainable catalytic processes aiming for alternative fuels and chemicals by delving into improving catalyst synthesis and design, chemical reactor development, kinetic modeling of complex reaction schemes and all aspects of catalyst deactivation.  

Selected Publications

  • Enhanced production of phenolics and aromatics from raw bio-oil using HZSM-5 zeolite additives for Pt/C and Ni/C catalysts

    I. Hita, T. Cordero-Lanzac, F.J. Garcia-Mateos, J. Rodriguez-Mirasol, M.J. Azkoiti, T. Cordero, J. Bilbao

    Applied Catalysis B Environmental, 259, In press, (2019)

  • Revealing the pathways of catalyst deactivation by coke during the hydrodeoxygenation of raw bio-oil 
    T. Cordero-Lanzac, R. Palos, I. Hita, J.M. Arandes, J. Rodriguez-Mirasol, T. Cordero, J. Bilbao
    Applied Catalysis B Environmental, 239, 513-524, (2018)
  • Insight into structure-reactivity relationships for the iron-catalyzed hydrotreatment of technical lignins 
    I. Hita, H.J. Heeres, P.J. Deuss
    Bioresource Technology, 267, 93-101, (2018)
  • Opportunities and barriers for producing high quality fuels from the pyrolysis of scrap tires 
    I. Hita, M. Arabiourrutia, M. Olazar, J. Bilbao, J.M. Arandes, P. Castaño
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 56, 745-759, (2016)
  • Upgrading model compounds and Scrap Tires Pyrolysis Oil (STPO) on hydrotreating NiMo catalysts with tailored supports
    I. Hita, A. Gutiérrez, M. Olazar, J. Bilbao, J.M. Arandes, P. Castaño
    Fuel, 145, 158-169, (2015)


  • Ph.D., University of the Basque Country, 2015
  • MSc, University of the Basque Country, 2011
  • BSc, University of the Basque Country, 2010 

Professional Profile

  • 2019 - present: Research Scientist, KAUST (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2018 - 2019: Postdoctoral fellow, University of the Basque Country (Spain)
  • 2016 - 2018: Postdoctoral fellow, University of Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • 2012 (4 months): Visiting PhD researcher, University of Calgary (Canada)
  • 2011 - 2015: Phd researcher, University of the Basque Country (Spain) 

KAUST Affiliations

KAUST Catalysis Center(KCC)

Division of Physical Science and Engineering(PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

CO2 valorization Crude to chemicals Oligomerization Oxygenates to hydrocarbons Waste Upgrading Catalyst deactivation Zeolites High throughput testing