Serra Alfaro, José Manuel



Dr. José M. Serra (1976) did his Ph.D. work at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) directed by Prof. A. Corma in collaboration with the Institute Français du Petrole. The thesis involved the development of new tools for combinatorial catalysis and its application in the discovery and optimization of industrial catalysts. After that, he conducted a 2-year postdoctoral stage at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, working on the development of nanostructured SOFC cathodes as well as ion conducting membranes.

In 2006 he joined again ITQ and leads the Energy Conversion and Storage Group, the Fuel Cells and Ionic Membranes research line. The current activities are principally focused on the application of catalysis and materials science in: (a) the development of solid oxide fuel cells components, paying special attention to the design and characterization of new electrocatalysts (principally, cathode materials); and (b) development of mixed ionic-electronic conducting membranes for oxygen and hydrogen separation and catalytic membrane reactor applications. As a result, several works have been published and different patents have been recently filed. He is co-author of more than 165 scientific articles, 15 book chapters, and 25 patents in the field of catalysis and energy (16 of them licensed to industry).

He was involved in three FP7 EU projects dealing with ionic membranes and proton-conducting fuel cells: EFFIPRO, NASA-OTM, and DEMOYS, and actually he is the coordinator researcher in charge of the European projects GAMER, iCAREPLAST, and eCOCO2 from the Horizon 2020 programme. The main research lines are ordered as follows: Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), lithium batteries and electrochemical reactors: electrocatalysis Ionic membranes, solid state electrochemical devices and catalytic membrane reactors Combinatorial science and catalysis: design and development of processes and equipment for high-throughput screening of materials libraries Heterogeneous catalysis: acid-base, red-ox and multifunctional catalysts Synthesis and characterization of ceramic materials, including mesoporous materials Chemical reactor engineering and process engineering: design and setting-up of chemical reactors and other facilities at bench and pilot scale.

Prof. Serra is the CSIC representative for the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA): Basic Science for Energy Joint Programme (AMPEA), Deputy Coordinator of the subprogram Materials Science in AMPEA. For his contribution to the field, he has received the ExxonMobil Chemical European Science and Engineering Award 2005, the Spanish Catalysis Society Ph.D. Award 2004, the Christian Friedrich Schönbein Medal 2009, European Ceramic Society Young Scientist Award 2015, Medal of the Royal Spanish Engineering Academy 2016 and Air Liquide Scientific Prize 2018. He is the founder of KERIONICS, the Spin-off which develops ceramic membrane systems for the generation of O2.

Atienzar, Pedro

Pedro Atienzar was born in Valencia, Spain in 1977. He obtained his B.Sc, in Chemical Engineering at the University of Politécnica de Valencia (2002) and did his PhD (2007) at the Instituto de Tecnología Química (UPV-CSIC) under the supervision of Prof. Hermenegildo García. Afterwards he joined the group of Prof. Jenny Nelson in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, where he worked as post-doctoral fellow (2007-2009) in the field of hybrid and polymeric photovoltaics devices. In 2009 he joined the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ), with several postdoctoral grants JaeDoc (CSIC), Juan de la Cierva and Ramón y Cajal (Spanish Ministry). Since 2016, hi is Tenured Scientific of CSIC (Spanish National Research Council).

During his research collaborate with several companies such as FMC FORET or ABENGOA RENOVABLES; also, he was consultor of SOLARPRESS that is a UK company on the field of polymeric solar cells.

He has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers in high impact international scientific journals and is co-inventor of 6 national and international patents, one of them as individual inventor. He has also attended several international conferences.


Main research lines:

His major research interests are the synthesis and processing of new nanomaterials applied in the fields of photonics, optoelectronics and renewable energy. Combining synthesis of materials, photophysical and electronic studies and their implementation in electrodes and devices.

Blasco Lanzuela, Teresa

Dr. Teresa Blasco studied Chemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid. She carried out her PhD studies at the Catalysis and Petroleochemistry Institute in Madrid (CSIC) under the supervision of Prof. J. Soria, and gained her PhD in Chemistry in 1988 (Complutense University of Madrid). During her doctorate she investigated the strong metal-support interactions on supported metal catalysts, using EPR as the main technique Subsequently, she joined the research group of Prof. Michel Che during two years, from 1988 to 1990 at the Laboratoire the Reactivité de Surface et Structure at the Université P. et M. Curie in Paris as a Post Doctoral Fellow. During her post-doctoral stay she became a user of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy techniques using Synchrotron Radiation facilities. She returned to Spain at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) in Valencia in 1990 as responsible researcher of the new solid state NMR spectrometer, and got a permanent position as Tenured Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in 1991. During this period she made a short stays of three months with the research group of Prof. J. Klinowsky at the University of Cambrigde, and of Prof. J. Sanz at the Material Science Institute of Madrid (CSIC). She was promoted to Scientific Researcher in 2006. The main research activity of Dr. Teresa Blasco is mostly focused on the characterization of solid catalysts and the investigation of reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysts using in situ techniques, principally solid state NMR spectroscopy. Dr. Teresa Blasco is co-author of about 70 papers in high impact scientific journals and numerous communications in national and international conferences and has supervised four PhD works. She has recently published a tutorial review: “Insights into reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis revealed by in situ NMR spectroscopy” T. Blasco, Chemical Society Reviews (2010), 39(12), 4685-4702.

Boronat Zaragoza, Mercedes

Degree in Chemistry (1987-1992) and PhD in Chemistry (1999) from the University of Valencia. After a post-doctoral stay at the Institute of Chemical Technology (1999-2001) and another one as a Junior Researcher at the CEAM Foundation (2001-2003), she joined the ITQ in 2004, and is currently a Scientific Researcher of CSIC in this center.

Her research line is the theoretical study of heterogeneous catalyzed reaction mechanisms. This includes modeling, by means of quantum-chemical methods, the electronic and structural properties of solid catalysts (zeolites, metal oxides, surfaces, nanoparticles and metal clusters isolated or supported in organic and inorganic materials), the interactions between catalysts and molecules involved in the reaction, including simulation of spectroscopic properties, identification and characterization of active centers participating in each elementary step, and the calculation of the activation energies that determine the kinetics of the reactions, with the aim of developing more efficient catalysts.

Co-author of 125 articles in prestigious international journals (Science, Nature Catalysis, Nature Chemistry, Nature Materials, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chemie, ACS Catalysis, etc.) with high impact index, and two book chapters. She has participated in several projects funded by public entities, being principal investigator in six of them, as well as in research works developed in collaboration with companies such as BP, Repsol-YPF and Solvay. Co-author of four patents and supervisor of five doctoral theses, one of them in progress.

Member of CURES (Committee of Users of the Spanish Supercomputing Network) since September 2019. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of JACS Au journal since January 2021.


Boscá Mayans, Francisco

Francisco Boscá, native from Oliva (Spain), completed his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Valencia in 1992. After postdoctoral periods at the University of Illinois (1994) and at the University of Wales (1995), he joined the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ), joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) as postdoctoral researcher. He is currently a Research Scientist (since 1999) at ITQ as member of the CSIC.

His research focus is in the study of photophysical and photochemical properties of different types of photosensitisers looking for possible applications in the development of solar cells and phototherapeutic agents, and in the design of new nanomaterials for synthetic applications.

Botella, Pablo

Dr. Pablo Botella (male): graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Valencia in 1988, received his PhD from the same university in 1993, and was awarded with honors in 1994. In 2003 he was selected as a Ramon y Cajal Researcher under the supervision of Prof. Avelino Corma at the ITQ, and in 2007 he was appointed as a CSIC Research Scientist at the ITQ.

He has been a Visiting Professor of the University of Vermont (VT, USA) in 2013. He coordinates the Nanomedicine Group at the ITQ, addressing medical nanoscale-structured material and devices for targeted delivery and controlled release of drugs and other biologically active agents. Special interest is dedicated to the development of organic-inorganic nanohybrid-based stimuli-responsive systems, as well as stable radioactive nanoparticles for enhancing diagnostic imaging. Also important in his research is the study of the immune reaction and protein corona formation after nanoparticle systemic administration, as well as its application to new cancer biomarker detection.

He has written more than 70 articles in high impact Scientific Journals and numerous presentations in congresses, with an “h-index” of 32 and is co-inventor of 10 patents, three of them related to a more environmentally benign industrial process currently used in a demonstration plant.

Cantín Sanz, Ángel

Angel Cantin Sanz was born in Valencia in 1971. He obtained the Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry in 1994 at the Valencia University. After, he made a Master’s Degree at the Organic Chemistry Department of the same University supervised by Prof. Antonio Abad. In 1995, he joined the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ), inside of the Agricultural Chemical Ecology group, where he carried out his Doctorate in Chemistry supervised by Professors Eduardo Primo-Yúfera and Miguel Angel Miranda. In this work different natural products previously isolated from Penicillium brevicompactum were synthesized as well as several analogs. All of them showed important biological activities against plagues. The Doctorate was finished in 1998 and he moved to Pisa University where he worked with Prof. Gianfranco Denti in supramolecular chemistry. In 2000, he went back to Primo-Yufera’s group during a two years period. Then, he moved to the Avelino Corma’s group inside of the same institution, where he got a permanent position as a technician in 2008. From 2017 he belongs to the scientific staff of ITQ as a Tenured Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

At present, his main research lines includes synthesis and characterization of new organic structure directing agents which provide new porous materials; as well as their utility in different catalytic process.

He has participated in several research projects financed by public institutions as well as private companies. He is co-autor of more tan 35 papers in high impact scientific journals and numerous presentations in congresses. Among his most relevant publications, papers published in Nature (2009) and Science (2010 and 2017) can be mentioned. Also, he is co-inventor of 12 patents related to the synthesis of new microporous materials and their application in different industrial processes. Some of these patents have been licensed to industries.

Chica Lara, Antonio

Antonio Chica Lara native from Fuensanta (Jaén), studied Chemistry at University of Granada (1987-1992) and received the Ph. D. “with honours” at the Chemical Department at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in 2008. From September 2002 to September 2004 he was working in U.C. Berkeley as Fulbright Fellowship Postdoc under the supervision of Prof. Enrique Iglesia. The development of new catalysts and processes for clean fuels production was the focus of his postdoctoral research. Recently he has got a permanent position in the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) as Tenured Scientific of CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), where he is working on different projects related to hydrogen production from biomass derived compounds.

He has been involved in the study for novel catalyst isomerization of light and long paraffin and the details modeling of kinetic and transports processes in this reaction. He has also studied catalytic reforming, alkylation and cracking reactions. His last works include combinatorial catalysis, neuronal network and genetic algorithm applied to chemical reactions. He has collaborated with enterprises like UOP, EXXON-Mobil, IFP, ENI, BP-Amoco, Johnson Matthey PLC and CEPSA, and he has contributed with more than a thirty publications in international journals. He is also co-author of 17 world patents, two of them in industrial exploitation. He is member of SECAT (Spanish Catalysis Society), ACS (American Chemical Society), HeA (Hydrogen Spanish Society) and PEHPC (Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Spanish Platform).

Main research areas:
Hydrogen production from biomass derived compounds. Revalorization of industrial wastes. Sulfur removal from liquid fuels and natural gas. Development of catalytic materials and their application in reactions of industrial interest (isomerization, steam reforming, autothermal reforming, liquid phase reforming, water gas shift, methanation, desulfurization, etc)

He has been awarded with the Extraordinary UPV Thesis Award 2002 and the First Valencia Idea Award 2009 (Energy and Environment)

Climent Olmedo, Maria José

Maria José Climent Olmedo was born in Alginet (Spain).  Currently she is Full Professor at the Chemistry Department of the Technical University of Valencia (ETSII). She obtained her Ph. D. in 1991 at the University of Valencia working on the application of heterogeneous catalysts in organic synthesis. She teaches Chemistry at the Technical School of Industrial Engineers, and in the Master of Sustainable Chemistry and in the Master of Chemical Engineers in the subjects of Fine Chemistry and Biorefineries respectively. She is member of the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) (UPV-CSIC) at the Technical University of Valencia since 1993, working in the group of Prof. Avelino Corma. Her research focuses on green chemistry, as well as the application of heterogeneous catalysts to the synthesis of fine chemicals and biomass transformation. In this area, she is author of more than 90 publications including articles, patents, conference proceedings and book chapters

Concepción Heydorn, Patricia

Patricia Concepción Heydorn, did her PhD work under the supervision of Prof. Jose Manuel López Nieto on the synthesis, characterization and catalytic properties of vanadium containing aluminophosphate catalysts (1992-1996) at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ). Between 1997-1998 she has worked as a postdoc in the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max Planck Geselschaft Berlin under the supervision of Prof.Karge, and between 1998-1999 in the Institut für Physikalische Chemie, LMU, München under the supervision of Prof. Knözinger. In 1999 she returned to the ITQ, Valencia, Spain, achieving a permanent position as Tenured Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in 2002.

Her research area is focused on catalyst characterization under reaction conditions in order to develop structure-activity relationships. Systems of interest are supported metal nanoparticles, metal oxide catalyst and zeolites. The main spectroscopic tools used are infrared spectroscopy (IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy.

She is author of more than 40 publications and 3 patents on different aspects of inorganic, organic and material chemistry.