Energies, Fuels and Chemicals for Sustainability (ECI2D)

Deputy Manager : PUZENAT Eric

See permanent staff list


In the near future, the energy transition will profoundly affect fuels and chemicals production methods.  The ECI2D team is working on three main themes for sustainable development in the field of heterogeneous catalysis:

In these three areas of research, and integrating strong industrial and academic partnerships, the team aims at the improvement and deeper understanding of existing catalytic processes as well as the development of innovative ways of transforming hydrocarbons, alcohols or biomass, and producing solar fuels through the design of dedicated catalysts. The methodology and expertise of the team consists in the preparation of multifunctional catalysts and their detailed physico-chemical characterization, especially using in situ or operando methods. In addition, catalyst properties are evaluated using model or real feeds to improve the understanding of reaction mechanisms and to develop more realistic kinetic modeling. The complexity of the topics and the comprehensive approach, from catalyst design right through to conversion of real feedstocks, is unique in France. In addition, a high level of expertise in hydrotreating on metal sulfide catalysts, mild oxidation and dehydration on oxides, catalysis by metals and (nano)alloys, and photocatalysis for energy imparts an interdisciplinary character to our team, favorable to innovation and international recognition by both academic and industrial actors. Lastly, the team develops specific and original analytic tools dedicated to the above-mentioned scientific topics, in particular advanced product separation techniques (GCxGC-FID/MS) for in-depth understanding of complex feeds, and spectroscopic in situ/operando techniques for characterization of catalyst active sites.




Firstly, the ECI2D team is focused on the catalytic transformation of biomass and bio-chemicals into biofuels and chemicals for the future chemical industry. In order to convert biomass (lignocellulosic or algal), pyrolytic bio-oils or bio-intermediates, our goal is the development of efficient and stable catalysts leading to high yields and selectivities. Analysis of complex product mixtures is performed using advanced analytical techniques, such as GCxGC, which in turn allow us to gain insight into the reaction mechanisms. In addition, dehydration, selective oxidation and oxidative dehydrogenation reactions are carried out over newly developed bifunctional catalysts. Besides, in the context of the use of hydrogen as a future energy carrier, we are interested in hydrogen production and purification processes, such as methane steam reforming and preferential CO oxidation (PROX). The production of clean hydrogen by chemical looping is undertaken as well through the design of efficient redox materials and by studying the kinetics of their reduction by alcohols (reforming reaction) and their re-oxidation by water. CO2 valorization via catalytic reduction into methanol or methane is also under study.


The rarefaction of fossil fuels leads to the development of heavier feeds like LCO, VGO, RSV or RSA, which need specific hydrotreating or hydroconversion processes. For LCO fuel upgrading, we aim at the development of efficient and thioresistant bifunctional catalysts for selective ring opening (SRO) of naphthenes and aromatics into high-cetane-number products. For VGO, hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) and hydrocracking (HCK) processes are studied in order to better understand the reaction mechanisms and catalyst deactivation processes. In addition, the hydroconversion of heavy residues is undertaken on dispersed catalysts. Finally, our research efforts also concern the synthesis and characterization of catalysts for the purification of alkenes and aldehydes through selective hydrogenation.


Hydrogen production from photo-dissociation of water constitutes a major challenge. Furthermore, the discovery of photocatalysts more efficient than TiO2 and working under visible light necessitates clarifying the structure of the co-catalysts needed to reduce protons and oxidize water, and to understand the charge transfer processes to optimize the photocatalytic efficiency. Moreover, CO2 conversion into energy sources is investigated using photocatalytic reduction.





Catalysis by sulfides, Materials chemistry, XAS, TEM

Catalysis by sulfides, Shape-controled nanostructures, Photocatalysis

CGE Dr Christophe GEANTET
Catalysis by sulfides, Hydrotreatments, XAS

Thermochemical biomass conversion, HDO, Catalysis by sulfides

Analytical techniques. Process control and acquisition

Analytical techniques, GC

Catalysis by oxides, Selective oxidation, Acid-base catalysis, Alkanes and biosourced molecules, In situ/operando Raman and IR spectroscopies 

Catalysis by oxides, selective oxidation, valorization of alkanes and biosourced molecules, new processes of production of alkenes, dienes and hydrogen, Mössbauer spectroscopy

Catalysis by metals, Surface science, Nanoparticles and nanoalloys, Single-atom catalysts

Photocatalysis, Water splitting, Solar fuels, Photo-assisted synthesis 

Catalysis by sulfides, ​Refining, Kinetics


Click here for additional information on the team staff


(Page updated on 17 December 2017 by L. Piccolo)