Dr Ignacio V. Melián Cabrera


Ignacio Melian-Cabrera

Phone number:+44 121 204 3046 
Email: i.melian-cabrera@aston.ac.uk
Room Number: MB122 


I joined EBRI-CEAC in Aston University as a Reader in Chemical Engineering in Nov 2015, after specializing in the Netherlands (Assistant professorship and Post-doc) and Spain (PhD) in the fields of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Chemical Engineering.

As Assistant Professor in Groningen (2005-2015, Green Chemical Reaction Engineering group) I have been able to work closely with industrial partners, understand their needs and translate those needs into academic targets. My research focus was directed towards combining material science aspects (texture, morphology, ordering) with catalysis, trying to correlate texture and acidic properties of meso- and micro porous materials/catalysts with catalytic performances such as activity, selectivity and stability.

The main applications were: alternative (chemo)catalytic routes of commodities, such as styrene (oxidative dehydrogenation), caprolactam, C6-sugar derived compounds, polyols (glycerol, 1,6-hexanediol); secondly, the pyrolysis oil upgrading via alcoholysis, hydrotreatment and recovery of valuable compounds. Another area of research is more fundamentally focused on the self-assembly routes to control the morphology at nano-scale and its consequence on the stability of e.g. aluminas. Ample expertise is available in materials synthesis, characterization, as well as catalyst testing.

I have also been extensively engaged in teaching. Of special interest is the development of the track on industrial catalysts including two modules discussing engineering and catalytic aspects.

Output: 52 publications in peer-reviewed Journals (14 submitted or in preparation), 57 conference proceeding papers, 1 WO granted patent, 7 completed PhDs and 24 MSc supervised, total raised research funds > 2 M€.

As a Postdoc at Delft University of Technology (Prof. Kapteijn/Moulijn group), I applied high-throughput parallel flow microreactor technology (HTPF) to the catalyst development for an environmentally related application: the mitigation of N2O emissions from nitric acid plants. HTPF technology allows the screening of a large number of catalytic materials at different conditions (model and industrially relevant conditions) in a short time frame. This resulted in a number of papers in Chemical Communications, Journal of Catalysis as well as two patent applications.

Output:12 publications in peer-reviewed Journals, 16 conference proceeding papers, 2 patent applications, 1 book chapter (in “Novel Concepts In Catalysis And Chemical Reactors”, WILEY-VCH, 2010). Advanced professional courses: Catalysis: An integrated approach (Dutch NIOK) and Advanced Catalysis Engineering (Dutch NIOK).

During my PhD (Madrid), I specialized on catalyst preparation, chemical reaction testing and characterization, through a number of advanced physico-chemical techniques, of heterogeneous catalysts for methanol synthesis using CO2 rich feedstocks.

Output: 12 publications in peer-reviewed Journals.

R&D in bioenergy (thermochemical routes) combining catalysis, materials science and chemical engineering aspects.
  • 2002 - PhD in Chemical Engineering, Spanish National Research Council (Institute of Catalysis and Petroleum Chemistry) and Autónoma University Madrid.
  • 1996 - MEng Industrial Chemistry, La Laguna University, Canary islands, Spain
  • 2015 (Nov) - present: Reader in Chemical Engineering, EBRI-CEAC, Aston University
  • 2005-2015:  Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, Groningen University, the Netherlands
  • 2002-2005: Marie Curie Research Fellow, Catalysis Engineering, Delft university of Technology, The Netherlands
  • CE2112 Catalytic Process Technologies
  • CE4005 MEng Research Project
  • CE3003/CE4503 Advanced Process Design
  • CE2106 Reaction Kinetics and Equilibrium Thermodynamics
  • 2009-2015. CO2 oxidative dehydrogenation for hydrocarbons to olefins and styrene production. STW - Green & Smart Process Technologies. Co-sponsored by CBI Lummus Technology (US) in cooperation with TU-Delft and the Dutch STW.
  • 2009-2015. The catalyst of the future. Strategic studies on porous materials chemistry. NWO VIDI.
  • 2009-2013. Mesoporous materials with special surface and bulk compositions. Advanced methods for porosity control of non-silica and grafted-on-silica (meso)porous materials. Shell Global Solutions.
  • 2009-2013. Catalytic steps in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass via pyrolysis to fuel precursors. Catchbio (Smartmix).
  • 2007-2011. Conversion of C6-sugars to green polymer precursors. NWO-ACTS. Advanced Sustainable Processes by Engaging Catalytic Technologies - Project 053.62.017.
  • 2007-2011. Bulk Chemicals from glycerol; the development of selective oxidation and hydrogenolysis pathways. NWO-ACTS. Advanced Sustainable Processes by Engaging Catalytic Technologies - Project 053.62.020.
  • 2006-2007. Groene methanol experimenteel. Senter-Novem. NEO 026-05-04-04-002.
  • 2006-2007. Upgrading Bio-oil by reactive distillation using solid catalysts. Senter-Novem. NEO 0268-05-04-04-002.

Total raised research funds > 2 M€

2009-2015: VIDI Research Grant. 
  • Award received from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institute of Technology and Management, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

2002-2004: Marie Curie post-doctoral Fellowship.
  • Granted by the European Commission. Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

2002: PhD cum laude.
  • Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

1997: PhD Scholarship.
  • Granted by the Spanish Ministry of Education to carry out the PhD, at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

1996: Best student Award.
  • Faculty of Chemistry, La Laguna University, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

1996: Student Assistantship.
  • Dept. of Chemical Engineering, La Laguna University, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.  
  • Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), application in process
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Dutch KNCV, section Catalysis and Dutch Zeolite Association
  • The Royal Dutch Society of Engineers (KIVI)
  1. Room temperature detemplation of zeolites through H2O2-mediated oxidation, I. Melián-Cabrera, F. Kapteijn, J.A. Moulijn, Chemical Communications (2005) 2744-2746. IF=6.4
  2. Utilizing full-exchange capacity of zeolites by alkaline leaching: Preparation of Fe-ZSM5 and application in N2O decomposition, I. Melián-Cabrera, S. Espinosa, J.C. Groen, B. v/d Linden, F. Kapteijn, J.A. Moulijn, Journal of Catalysis 238 (2006) 250–259. IF=5.8.
  3. Catalyst studies on the hydrotreatment of fast pyrolysis oil. J. Wildschut, I. Melian-Cabrera, H.J I.; Heeres H. J., Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 99 (2010) 298-306. IF=6.0
  4. Insights in the hydrotreatment of fast pyrolysis oil using a ruthenium on carbon catalyst, J. Wildschut, M. Iqbal, M. Farchad, I. Melián-Cabrera, R.H. Venderbosch, H.J. Heeres, Energy & Environmental Science 3 (2010) 962-970. IF=11.7
  5. Caprolactam from Renewable Resources: Catalytic Conversion of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural into Caprolactone. T. Buntara, S. Noel, P. Huat Phua, I. Melian-Cabrera, J.G. de Vries, H.J. Heeres, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 50 (2011) 7083-7087. IF=13.7
  6. Stabilization of Self-Assembled Alumina Mesophases, L. López Pérez, S. Perdriau, G. ten Brink, B.J. Kooi, H.J. Heeres, I. Melián-Cabrera, Chemistry of Materials 25 (2013) 848. IF=8.2
  7. Condensation-Enhanced Self-Assembly as a Route to High Surface Area αAluminas, L. López Pérez, V. Zarubina, H.J. Heeres, I. Melián-Cabrera. Chemistry of Materials, 25 (2013) 3971–3978. IF=8.2
  8. Hydrothermally stable transition alumina by condensation-enhanced self-assembly and pyrolysis crystallization. Application in the steam reforming of methane. L. López Pérez, C. Alvarez-Galván, V. Zarubina, B.O. Figueiredo Fernandes, I. Melián-Cabrera. CrystEngComm, 2014. 10.1039/ c4ce00880d. IF=3.8
  9. On the stability of conventional and nano-structured carbon-based catalysts in the oxidative dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene under industrially relevant conditions, V. Zarubina, H. Talebi, C. Nederlof, F. Kapteijn, M. Makkee, I. Melián-Cabrera. Carbon, 2014. 10.1016j.carbon. 2014.05.036. IF=5.8
  10. Modifying the hierarchical porosity of SBA-15 via mild-detemplation followed by secondary treatments. Z. Zhang, I. Melián-Cabrera. J. Phys. Chem. C, 10.1021/jp5096213. IF=4.8

The complete list of publications can be found at Research Gate.