Jesus Ma Requies: Unconventional Biofuel

Jesus Ma Requies


Production of unconventional furanic biofuel from biomass


Bilbao, Spain: Universidad del Pais Vasco


Jesus Ma Requies


Environmental Engineering


Ion Agirre-Arisketa holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from 2005. He is a member of SUPREN Group (Sustainable Process Engineering) and has participated in projects in the fields of biorefinery, hydrogen production, and catalytic combustion, energy store in iron sponges separation processes or in biomass upgrading to produce syngas. He held a postdoc position in the KTH University (Sweden) and the Paul Scherrer Institut (Switzerland) in 2006-2007. Since July 2012 he has been an associative professor in the engineering faculty of Bilbao.

Project Overview

The work is connected with unconventional biofuel, such as 2,5-dimethylfurane (DMF), production from different compounds such as 5 hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) that can be obtained directly from biomass. The motivation of this work is the reduction of the dependency on oil and to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources. Among the transportation fuels, furanic biobuels, such as 2,5-dimethylfurane (DMF) have good performance for direct injection spark ignition type engines without important modifications to the engine. The transformation of biomass into furanic biofuel compounds takes place via 5 hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). DMF and is considered as a high-quality fuel, as ethanol, an ideal renewable and sustainable substitute or additive of conventional gasoline. For this project, different catalyst based on Ni-Cu supported on different supports will be tested. The student will manage a fix-bed fully-automated lab-scale reactor in order to produce 2,5DMF, plant checking the effect of different process conditions (temperature & pressure) and also different space velocities. All of the catalysts will be characterized by different characterization techniques to relate their physical properties and their activities. At the best operation conditions, a stability test will also be studied. The student will learn to:1) Deal with automatic pilot plants; 2) Use different gas analyzers; 3) Use techniques for solids characterization.