Meet María Anderez – PhD student on CO2 reduction project

María Anderez

María Andérez has joined to the High Pressure Process Group (HPPG) at the University of Valladolid as a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. María Dolores Bermejo Roda and Dr. Ángel Martín Martínez. She obtained her diploma in Chemical Engineering from the University of Valladolid in 2015, after she developed her master thesis in the field of hemicelluloses HTW extraction and hydrolysis at Åbo Akademi (Turku, Finland) through Eramus+ scholarship.

She comes from Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, LIKAT (Rostock, Germany), where she focused on the homogeneous catalytic dehydrogenation of hydrogen carriers. During her thesis, she will study the CO2 reduction using lignocellulosic derivatives as reductans.

CO2 reduction in hydrothermal environment using biomass as reductant

In the last decades, CO2 has attracted more attention for its use as C1 building block for fuels and chemicals due to its abundance, non toxicity and possibility to transform it to different valuable chemicals such as formic acid, methane and methanol.

Fig 1. Reaction scheme for CO2 reduction

Hydrothermal process is one of the most promising alternatives to reduce CO2 using biomass (mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) as reductant in high-temperature water (HTW). HTW features different properties from those of ambient liquid water and it can play different roles in the reaction medium as solvent, reactant or catalyst.

This approach would have a positive impact in the reduction of emissions of greenhouses gases due to the recycling of the emitted CO2 from industries. Furthermore, CO2 could be transformed into potential hydrogen carriers such as formic acid, which could also reduce the dependence on fossil fuels as formic acid could be used as raw material for hydrogen production.

The aim of this work is to study the reaction variables on the CO2 reduction using organic compounds from cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, and the implementation of the process in a continuous system.

This project has been funded by MINECO through program ENE2014-53459-R.

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