Heterogeneous Catalysis for the Energy Transition (CATREN)

The CATREN team is dedicated to heterogeneous catalysis for the energy transition

Research areas

  • Heterogeneous catalysis for C1 conversion
  • Power-to-chemicals
  • Conversion of bio and fossil resources

Through those axes, while conventional catalysis dedicated to the refining of fossil resources is declining, we develop new applications of heterogeneous catalysis to energetic issues. We are interested in the catalytic valorization of biomass and related platform-molecules to produce biofuels and intermediates such as olefins and aromatic coumpounds. We also focus on dihydrogen production and CO2 reduction through thermocatalytic, photocatalytic and electrocatalytic routes.



Permanent staff

Bastien Lunardelli: reactor engineering, automation

Chantal Lorentz: analytical methods, gas chromatography, GCXGC

Christophe Geantet: refining, (bio)fuels, characterization methods, products analysis

Dorothée Laurenti: catalytic hydroconversion, biomass catalytic conversion, metal sulfide catalysts, lignin, micro-algae, conversion of catalytic vapors, complex mixture characterization

Eric Puzenat: photocatalysis, solar fuels, artificial photosynthesis, UV-vis spectroscopy, oxide synthesis, kinetics

Jean-Marc Millet: oxidation catalysis, platform molecules, process intensification, Mossbauer spectroscopy

Laurent Piccolo: metals and alloys, nanoalloys, surface science, nanocatalysis, single-atom catalysis, selective hydrogenation, CO oxidation, CO2 hydrogenation, operando methods

Luis Cardenas: Electronic structure of catalysts, Ultra-violet Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Near Ambient XPS

Mathieu Prévot: (photo)electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, solar fuels, water splitting, CO2 reduction, oxide and chalcogenide thin films

Pavel Afanasiev: catalyst synthesis, sulfide catalysts, characterization methods, theoretical modeling, X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Ruben Checa: analytical methods, separation techniques, mass spectrometry, automation

Stéphane Loridant: catalysis by oxides, redox and acidic properties, structural dynamics, nanoscale intimacy, IR and Raman spectroscopies

Research projects

International ERANET-ACT3 NEXTCCUS project (partner) 2021-2024
Next generation electrochemical system for sustainable direct CO2 capture and utilization/storage as clean solar fuel

European HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2 unLOHCked project (participant) 2023-2026
Unlocking the potential of LOHCs through the development of key sustainable and efficient systems for dehydrogenation

PEPR SPLEEN (Decarbonation of the industry) – Target project PowerCO2, Task PorousGDL (partner) 2023-2027
Molecularly engineered hybrid porous gas diffusion electrodes for tandem CO2 reduction
PEPR B-BEST (Biomass, biotechnologies, green chemistry and renewable energy technologies)
Target project FURFUN, Task 2 (participant) 2023-2027, New catalytic pathways for the selective oxidation of HMF and Furfural
Target project OPTISFUEL, WP2 (participant) 2023-2027, New Proofs of concept to Optimize Sustainable Fuel production

National ANR-PRCE project NACELL (coordinator) 2022-2026
Development of a membrane-cell for in situ NAP-XPS characterization

National ANR-PRC project OXZEO (coordinator) 2023-2026
OXide-ZEOtype bifunctional catalysts efficient for the conversion of CO and CO2 to light olefins

National ANR-PRC project ISAC (coordinator) 2023-2027
Rational design of innovative single-atom catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions

National ANR-PRCE project Biopoliol (coordinator) 2022-2026
Bio-based polymers from lignin oligomers

National ANR-PRCE project POP (partner) 2022-2026
Post-Oil Pavement

National ANR-PRC project MEGOPE (partner) 2022-2026
Mass spectrometry for the green electrocatalytic production of biomass-derived molecules

National ANR-PRC project DuCaCO2 (partner) 2021-2025
Development of dual functional catalytic materials for integrated CO2 capture and conversion

National ANR-PRC project SAFHYR (participant) 2022-2026
New catalysts for the safe restitution and use of hydrogen

National ANR-PRC project MOOSE (participant) 2022-2026
Molybdenum OxySulfides tribology and Environment

Regional Inter-Labex iMUST-MANUTECH PHOTONIL project (coordinator) 2022-2024
Micro-nanopatterned films prepared by NIL sol-gel method for photocatalytic solar fuel generation

Regional LabEx iMUST project PinCell (coordinator) 2022-2024
Développement d’une cellule multi-pinhole pour la caractérisation XPS in situ


Main international collaborations

  • INTE Barcelona (Spain)
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
  • National Nanotechnology Center (Nanotec), Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago (Chile)


Main industrial partners


Research networks

GDR ThermoBio (coordinator) 2018-2027

GFSV (board member) since 2012

FR SPE (board member) since 2020

Experimental and instrumental capabilities

The team relies on complementary skills covering most aspects of heterogeneous catalysis, from the conception of multifunctional catalysts to the conversion of real feedstocks. Via a fundamental approach of practical problems, we develop and utilize spectroscopic techniques (Raman, DRIFTS, XAS, Mössbauer) allowing for in situ or operando characterization,  and advanced analytical methods such as GCxGC-FID/MS for understanding complex mixtures. Our multidisciplinary expertise covers hydrotreating (sulfide catalysts, thioresistant bifunctional catalysts), selective oxidation and dehydration (oxide catalysts), selective hydrogenation (nano- and single-atom catalysts) and photo/electro-catalysis for energy applications.


  • Researchers and University professors

    • Pavel Afanasiev
    • Luis Cardenas
    • Christophe Geantet
    • Dorothee Laurenti
    • Stephane Loridant
    • Jean-Marc Millet
    • Laurent Piccolo
    • Mathieu Prevot
    • Eric Puzenat
  • Personnels techniques (en)

    • Ruben Checa
    • Chantal Lorentz
    • Bastien Lunardelli
  • Postdoctoral fellows

    • Antonio Madureira
    • Daria Ryaboshapka
  • PhD students

    • Marina Benmansour
    • Lou Bossert
    • Nolwenn Daridon
    • Cyril Hachemi
    • Antoine Le Ray
    • Hugo Lilti
    • Margot Marseglia
    • Camille Pellegrin
    • Lucie Riviere
    • Antoine Salichon
    • Clement Spadetto
    • Yilong Yan
  • Interns

    • Tata Ahiamble
    • Manel Lardjane
    • Antoine Pernod
    • Aurelie Pierrieau
    • Dino Semenzato
    • Camille Tabaries
    • Amelie Tropres


All recent publications