Research drive, competencies and goals

Our research is at the interphase between chemical engineering, catalysis, surface kinetics, and analytical-physical chemistry. We aim to bridge the fundamental aspects of chemical reactions and catalysis with reactor design and process development.

Our core competencies are:

Our competencies enable us to aim for the following eight research goals, which are transversal and are aligned with Vision 2030 established by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

  1. Wasteomics ⇒ a workflow to analyze complex reaction environments, waste, and realistic feeds conversions
  2. Microkinetic modeling for a rational design of catalytic processes
  3. Catalyst engineering based on stability, deactivation resistance, and viability
  4. Bridging the scales in technical catalyst engineering
  5. Forced dynamic (operando) packed bed reactors for improved kinetics
  6. An experimental-computational framework to (re-)design fluidized bed reactors
  7. Multiphase reactors with electrons, photons, and microorganisms
  8. Multifunctional reactors with membranes, circulating beds, heat transfer enhanced...


The catalytic processes we investigate fall into (1) hydrocarbon sustainability, (2) alternative feedstock and (3) circular carbon economy and waste-valorization, 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.

Below is an overall scheme of processes we investigate and more details about them, who works here, and our publications.


Modeling and scaling processes to generate high-pressure hydrogen (H2) from ammonia

  • AMD

Stable catalyst design for the viable activation of methane to syngas, hydrogen, and chemicals

  • CHA

Towards a feasible and stable thermocatalytic conversion of CO2 to methanol and E-fuels

  • CO2

Reactor design and optimization for converting crude (and refinery wastes) to chemicals in one step through steam-fluidized catalytic cracking

  • C2C
  • FCC

Process development and deployment for the direct reforming of crude oil to hydrogen and carbon materials

  • C2H
  • REF

Catalytic decomposition of H2S for H2 generation

  • S2H

Design and development of unconventional catalytic conversion processes using electrons, photons, and microorganisms

  • EPB

Upgrading renewables, secondary, and waste streams through innovative hydroprocessing catalysts and reaction pathways

  • HPC

Controlling selectivity and stability of zeolite catalysts for methanol to hydrocarbons and ethylene oligomerization

  • O2H
  • OLG