About Us
About Us

The Center for Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS) is the UAE’s only research center focused on addressing the broad industrial challenges relating to these processes. The center provides a multiscale integrated approach to solve scientific and engineering problems that spans across scales and disciplines through its research themes. With its strong connections to industry and with international collaborators, the center aims to grow steadily, contributing to both fundamental and applied research, while serving the needs of KU and the region and educating new generations.

Research themes
1. Catalysis for Energy and Chemicals 2. Separation and Adsorption Applications 3. Multiscale Modeling
1. Catalysis for Energy and Chemicals
Catalysis for Energy and Chemicals

This theme will seek the development of catalysts and optimized reactions conditions and reactors design for generating green fuels and added-value chemicals from hydrocarbons.  Utilization of contaminants in the reservoir fluids will be part of the theme scope. The theme developed catalysts, processes and reactors will be integrated with the developed separation technologies from Theme 2 and the modeling and optimization from Theme 3 to come up with an intensified integrated technology.  Expected outputs are: 1) nano-engineered catalysts, 2) novel reactor designs and 3) Integrated green processes where less waste production and higher energy efficiency will be achieved through their optimization.

Seed Projects

  • Morphology Preserved Highly Loaded Catalytic Materials (PI: Y.Al Wahedi/Assist. Prof./Chem. Eng.)
  • Agents for combined catalysis and in situ separation (PI:Dr. Georgios Karanikolos/Assoc. Prof./Chem. Eng.)
  • Design of materials for DRM reaction, (PI: Kyriaki Polychronopoulou Assoc. Prof. Mech. Eng.)
  • Catalysts Design for Fuel Cell Rechnologies, (PI: K. Polychronopoulou, Assoc. Prof. Mech.Eng.)
2. Separation and Adsorption Applications
Separation and Adsorption Applications

Theme 2 focuses on developing technologies for separating HCs, related products and contaminants.  The developed technologies will be integrated with the first theme to come up with a unified technology. In addition, the Theme 3 outcomes will guide the development and optimization of highly selective materials/membranes and methods for particular mixtures’ separation. Expected outputs are: 1) nano-engineered highly selective materials/membranes and high affinity solvents for separation technologies and 2) novel designs of separation technologies.

Seed Projects

  • Highly Functionalized Materials for Adsorptive Separations (PI: Dr. Georgios Karanikolos/Assoc. Prof./Chem.)
  • Highly Selective Membranes for Energy Efficient Separations (PI: M. Khaleel/Assist.Prof./Chem. Eng.)
  • 3D-printing of solid Adsorbents, PI: K.Polychronopoulou, G. Karanikolos, N. Alamoudi, i collaboration with ADAM
3. Multiscale Modeling
Multiscale Modeling

This theme supports and retro-feeds the previously mentioned themes in conducting theoretical modelling of related materials and processes in a hierarchal manner. At the bottom of the hierarchy, Density Functional Theory calculations (DFT) will be performed at the atomic scale, to acquire crystallographic and electronic properties of the pertinent “minimum energy – relaxed” nanostructures. At the molecular scale, Molecular simulations will be done to gain molecular insight leading to the prediction of macroscopic properties including adsorption isotherms, selectivities and breakthrough curves, in addition to the molecular configurations. The macroscopic properties will then be used in continuum level models such as computational fluid dynamics to simulate the performance at the equipment scale. At the plant scale, plant-wide modelling to predict plant performance, economics, and develop control strategies for technologies. Finally, Strategic level models will be developed based on the results of the lower levels to devise investment strategies at the corporate or government level.  Expected outputs are: 1) guidance for optimizing the performance of the materials based on their molecular behavior, 2) Economic Assessment of developed technologies and 3) Novel methodologies for corporate/government wide investment planning.

Seed Projects

  • Understanding and optimizing the performance adsorbents and catalysts from molecular modeling. (PI: L. Vega/Joint Chair Prof./Chem. E)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Reduced Order Surrogate (ROS) Modeling for Process Intensification (PI) Development: Fluidized Dry Methane Reforming and Fluidized Adsorption Separations of CO2/H2 (PI: Abdallah S. Berrouk/Assoc.Prof./Mech.)
External Collaborators
Official Partners: 
  • University of Western Macedonia (Kozani, Greece)
  • University of Surrey (Guildford, UK)
  • Demokritos Research Institute (Athens, Greece)
  • University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • KAIST (South Korea)
  • University of Thessaly (Volos, Greece)
  • KAUST (Saudi Arabia)
  • Cairo University (Egypt)
  • University of Zaragosa (Spain)
  • University of Leoben (Austria)
  • University of Cyprus (Cyprus)
  • COMSATS University Islamabad (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, USA)
  • Texas A&M University (Texas, USA)
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)