About Us
About Us

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Scientific impact societal educational impact
  1. AlWahedi, K.Polychronopoulou, X. Lu, Selective Hydrogenation of Sulphur containing gases to H2S over Metal Phosphides Nanoparticles embedded in Mesoporous Silica, Invention disclosure 2020-006
  2. Yasser Al Wahedi, Shaima Al Yafei, Georgia Basina,  Vasileios Tzitzios, YOLK-SHELL NANOPARTICLES FOR THE REMOVAL OF H2S FROM GAS STREAMS, PCT/IB2019/058169
  3. Yasser Al Wahedi, Georgia Basina, Omer ElMutasim, Safa Gaber, Dina Gaber, Selective Oxidation of H2S to Sulphur over Heavy Loaded Nanoparticles Embedded in Mesoporous Matrix, Application No.:62895639
  4. Karanikolos, E. Favvas, N. Heliopoulos, S. K. Papageorgiou, Membrane Gas Separation under Magnetic Field, WO/2019/012317. Published on 17-1-2019
  1. Effects of fuel-bound methyl groups and fuel flow rate in the diffusion flames of aromatic fuels on the formation of volatile PAHs, Combustion and FlameVolume198, December 2018, Pages 412-427Peña, G.D.J.G., Pillai, V., Raj, A.,Brito, J.L.c
  2. Tuning the activity of Cu-containing rare earth oxide catalysts for CO oxidation reaction: Cooling while heating paradigm in microwave-assisted synthesis, Materials Research BulletinVolume108, December 2018, Pages 142-150AlKetbiaPolychronopouloua,bEmail Author
, Zedan, A.F., Sebastián, V., Baker, M.A., AlKhoori, A., Jaoude, M.A., Alnuaimi, O., Hinder, S.S., Tharalekshmy, A., AlJaber, A.S.
  3. Cu-Ce-O catalyst revisited for exceptional activity at low temperature CO oxidation reaction, Surface and Coatings TechnologyVolume354, 25 November 2018, Pages 313-323Zedan, a,bEmail Author
, PolychronopoulouK.c,c,dEmail Author, Asif, A., AlQaradawi, S.Y., AlJaber, A.S.
  4. Hierarchical AlPO4-5 and SAPO-5 microporous molecular sieves with mesoporous connectivity for water sorption applications, Surface and Coatings TechnologyVolume353, 15 November 2018, Pages 378-386Basina, aEmail Author
, AlShamiaPolychronopoulouK.b,cTzitziosV.aBalasubramanian, V.dDawaymehF.aKaranikolosG.N.a,cAl WahediY.a,cEmail Author

  5. Carbon footprint reduction of acid gas enrichment units in hot climates: A techno-economic simulation study,Journal of Cleaner ProductionVolume 201, 10 November 2018, Pages 974-987Dara, aAlHammadiA.aBerroukA.S.a,b,eAl KhasawnehF.cAl ShaibaA.dAlWahediY.F.a,
  6. The potential of glycerol and phenol towards H2 production using steam reforming reaction: A review, Surface and Coatings TechnologyVolume352, 25 October 2018, Pages 92-111, Charisiou, N.D., Polychronopoulou, K., Asif, A.,  Goula, M.A.
  7. Cu- and Zr-based metal organic frameworks and their composites with graphene oxide for capture of acid gases at ambient temperature,Journal of Solid State ChemistryVolume 266, October 2018, Pages 233-243Pokhrel, aBhoriaaWu, C.aReddy, K.S.K.aMargetis, H., Anastasiou, S., George, G., Mittal, V.aRomanosG.dKaronis, D., Karanikolos, G.N.
  8. Nano-architectural advancement of CeO2-driven catalysis via electrospinning, Surface and Coatings TechnologyVolume 350, 25 September 2018, Pages 245-280, Polychronopoulou, K.Jaoudé, M.A
CeCaS fulfilling its Educational Mission: A National MSc student received training on state-of-the-art X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) at the University of Surrey (UK)

Sara Alkhoori is a full-time MSc student in mechanical engineering under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou. Her MSc thesis is focused on improving metal oxide catalysts for biogas dry reforming reaction by coupling mechanochemical synthesis with enhanced microwave chemistry. Earlier this June, she was invited to visit university of Surrey in England during the period 15th to 30th of June for an organized study program on surface analysis training using the state-of-art x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

This technique is used to analyze the surface chemistry of a material by identifying the elements on the surface and quantifying their elemental compositions and chemical environment. Therefore, the use of it in catalysis is expected to deepen the overall understanding of the chemical behavior of a catalytic surface. Sara had a great opportunity to visit the Surface Analysis Laboratory at Surrey and engage with the experts in surface science, Dr. Mark Baker (Reader) and Dr Steve Hinder (Research scientist). Being trained on XPS will further her academic studies as a postgraduate research student at Khalifa university and enrich her knowledge in surface sciences.

CeCaS first PhD student delivers two talks in an International Conference in Spain

Ayesha Abdulla Alkhoori is a PhD student in Prof. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou’s group. She works as a full-time student under the Center of Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS). Alkhoori is majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. Her PhD thesis is focused on developing materials for hydrocarbon

transformations coupling catalysis and separation. Ayesha gave two oral presentations in the 3rd ANQUE-ICCE International Congress of Chemical Engineering, which took place in Santander (Spain) from June 19th to 21st, 2019. The first talk titled “Improving Metal Oxide Catalysts for Biogas Dry Reforming: Coupling of Mechanochemical Modification with Enhanced Microwave Chemistry”. This research investigated the microstructure tailoring of ceria-based catalysts for dry reforming of methane reaction. Where the second presentation shed light on copper-ceria nanomaterials as catalysts for low temperature hydrogen purification and carbon monoxide capturing in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).

This international congress is a reference for researchers in the field of chemical engineering and chemistry applied to the industry. Alkhoori had the opportunity to exchange up-to-date information and connect with researchers and experts from different universities and countries.

Mrs. Margarida Ferreira, was a visiting student of the Center of Catalysis and Separations (CeCaS)

Mrs. Margarida Ferreira, was a visiting student of the Center of Catalysis and Separations (CeCaS) supporting the modeling work we are doing in CeCaS under Theme 3 ‘Multi-scale Modeling’, and embracing the existing collaboration between the research group she belongs to in Lisbon (Portugal) and our KU research group. Mrs. Margarita Ferreira, presented the joined work in the International Conference on Properties and Phase Equilibria for Product and Process Design, PPEPPD, held in Vancouver, CANADA, on May 12-16, 2019. [Photo: Mrs. Ferreira explaining her poster to Prof. Joan Brennecke, the editor in chief of the Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data (American Chemical Society)]

Catalysis Research Shared at International Conference

Two PhD students under the supervision of Dr. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the KU Center for Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS), presented papers at the Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit & Exhibition (SIPS), which took place in Cyprus in October, demonstrating KU’s strong research capabilities in the field of catalysis.

Ayesha Alkhoori presented a paper titled “H2 Production from Glycerol Steam Reforming.” Her paper describes how she has developed an improved catalyst capable of producing high yields of hydrogen by steam reforming glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel production, at a low temperature.

A recent spike in the production of biodiesel in the UAE – brought about by local efforts to reduce the country’s carbon footprint through greener fuels – has led to an increase in the production of crude glycerol. “For every one ton of biodiesel, 100 kg of crude glycerol is generated as the main byproduct,” Alkhoori explained.

While glycerol is an important feedstock for the manufacture of value-added chemicals and clean fuels, including hydrogen, most of this surplus crude glycerol gets incinerated. This is because current methods for turning glycerol into useful chemicals – which is done through a catalytic process called glycerol steam reforming – requires very high operating temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius, and high costs.

Currently, when glycerol is steam reformed using a nickel-based catalyst, carbonaceous chunks of waste called ‘coke’ build up on the surface of the catalyst, blocking the reaction sites and reducing efficiency. To overcome this issue, Alkhoori designed a catalyst made of copper and cerium to be highly reducible, which means that it provides the key ingredient of oxygen to the reaction sites, to convert the glycerol into hydrogen gas more efficiently. The activated oxygen carries out the chemical reactions at lower temperatures and lower cost, without sacrificing the hydrogen yield.

The research began last year at CeCaS under the supervision of Dr. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and involves collaborators from the University of Western Macedonia. This work was published in early 2019 in the Sustainable Energy & Fuels, journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).

A second PhD student, Aseel Hussein, presented a paper titled “Improving Metal Oxide Catalysts for Biogas Dry Reforming: Coupling of Mechanochemical Modification with Enhanced Microwave Chemistry.” Her paper, which was done in collaboration with MSc student Sara AlKhoori, describes a ‘smart’ design for a catalyst used to convert methane, a greenhouse gas, into a combination of carbon monoxide and hydrogen known as syngas, which can be used to produce ethanol, methanol, or other clean liquid fuels.

Methane is converted into syngas through a process known as “dry reforming of methane.” The process is typically carried out with noble metal elements, which are known for their high activity and stability. But noble metal elements are very costly, making the process too expensive to perform at an industrial scale.

Hussein proposes using catalysts made from much lower cost nickel and cobalt. The challenge with these type of transition-based catalysts, however, is that they are prone to coking, which blocks the reaction sites and ultimately stops the catalytic activity.

To get around this issue, Hussein designed her nickel-based catalysts with increased oxygen storage capacity. By increasing its oxygen storage capacity, the catalyst can leverage the carbon buildup for more efficient gasification, which is process needed to convert the methane into syngas.

Hussein’s research started in 2017 and is being sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Department of Educational and Knowledge (ADEK) through the Research Excellence Award (AARE) 2017. She is also being supervised by Dr. Polychronopoulou. She is collaborating with research teams from University of Western Macedonia in Greece, the University of Surrey in the UK, and University of Zaragosa in Spain. She plans to continue testing the best catalytic system in terms of selectivity and stability to better control the coking.