The development of highly intensified catalytic technology for biomass conversion to biofuels and biobased chemicals


Prof. H.J. (Erik) Heeres; +31 50 363 4174

University webpage of H.J. (Erik) Heeres

The Heeres group (Heeres, Yue, Deuss) is active in the development of novel catalytic chemistry and reactor concepts (among others microreactors, centrifugal contactor separator devices) for catalytic processes with a strong emphasis on the conversion of (lignocellulosic) biomass to energy, biofuels and biobased (performance) chemicals. The group also performs research in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, with emphasis on the synthesis, characterisation and applications of zeolites, mesoporous materials and mixed oxides.

Prof. Heeres's main research interests concern the development of efficient catalytic technology for acid- and metal-based catalytic biomass conversions, with an emphasis on biofuels (catalytic pyrolysis, pyrolysis oil upgrading) and platform chemicals (levulinic acid, hydroxymethylfurfural).


Novel reactor concepts combined with precision catalysis for highly efficient chemical conversion


Dr. Jun Yue; +31 50 363 6522

University webpage of Jun Yue
Google scholar webpage of Jun Yue

Jun Yue has developed a strong research expertise in the area of reactor engineering, especially in the use of microreactor technology as a novel means of process intensification for efficient chemical conversion. Fundamental knowledge on transport phenomena and reaction chemistry in multiphase microreactors has been developed for a rational design of (catalytic) processes and an optimal performance thereof.

The subgroup of Dr. Jun Yue at the University of Groningen is active in the development of novel reactor concepts (among others, advanced microreactors and centrifugal contactor separator devices) combined with precision catalysis for highly efficient chemical conversion, with a strong emphasis on biobased chemicals and materials synthesis. He is currently supervising 4 PhDs.

His current research interests mainly include:
- Intensified reactor technologies for biobased chemicals and materials synthesis.
- Microreactor technology and flow chemistry
- Centrifugal contactor separator devices for reactive extraction and catalytic reaction
- Process intensification in multiphase reactors


Structure-reactivity correlations in different biomass components and use these to obtain specific chemicals and/or product mixtures


Dr. Peter J. Deuss; +31 50 363 4918
Google scholar webpage

Peter J. Deuss performed his bachelor and masters studies in chemistry at the university of Amsterdam (UvA). This included internships at Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam and the homogeneous catalysis group headed at that time by Prof. P.W.N.M van Leeuwen at the UvA. After completions of his undergraduate studies in 2006 he moved for his PhD studies to the university of St. Andrews, Scotland (still UK) working on the development of artificial metalloenzymes with Prof. P. C. J. Kamer. In 2011, he stayed for two and a half years in Cambridge (UK) to work as a post-doc with Dr. M. J. Gait at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology on the development of conjugation methodology for therapeutics. From the UK Peter moved in 2013to University of Groningen where he worked as post-doctoral research first two years in the group of Dr. K. Barta at the Stratingh institute for chemistry on the valorization of lignin and afterwards one year in the group of Prof. H.J. Heeres at ENTEG working on the reactor design for the production of HMF from sugars. He recently (October 2016) joined the chemical engineering department as tenure track assistant professor green and smart biomass processing. His expertise lies in finding the structure-reactivity correlations in different biomass components and use these to obtain specific chemicals and/or product mixtures. This means structural determinations using methods like multidimensional NMR as well as careful product analyses by combination of analytical techniques suitable for characterization of complex mixtures.
Peter’s research interests are:
- New chemical building blocks from renewable resources;
New platform chemicals that can function as chemical building blocks from biomass resources obtained via novel (bio)catalytic processing.
- Sustainable catalyst and process development;
Towards sustainable processes involving homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts based on earth-abundant metals, including catalyst, reagent and solvent recycling;
- Applications of alternative solvents for biomass processing.

Utilization of scCO2 and other solvent systems in reaction processes for fractionation and depolymerization.