The Catalysis of Chemical Processes and its contribution to sustainable chemistry represents the Institute’s most extensive research line. Its main purpose is to develop processes and products that exploit resources more efficiently and minimise waste. It comprises research into all spheres of chemical catalysis: homogeneous, heterogeneous and enantioselective catalysis, the development of new ligands and catalytic processes and the design and simulation of catalytic reactors.

The other line of research at ICIQ focuses on the field of Renewable Energies and Environmental Research, with the aim to contribute to the obtaining of new energy solutions by providing sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Several groups are currently working on the generation of hydrogen from water through sustainable processes, the development of more efficient photovoltaic devices and the CO2 conversion into liquid fuels and feedstock for the chemical industry.


Scientific Core Facilities


Area Manager:
Dr. Gisela Colet

Administrative Support:
Eva Casco.

The Research Support Area provides the scientific instrumentation needed to carry out the research at the ICIQ. The area is organized in different Units, each one comprising one or several related techniques, or, alternatively, comprising a group of techniques used by a particular research discipline.

In 2017, the area comprised the following 11 Units:

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
  • Chemical Reaction Technologies
  • Chromatography, Thermal Analysis and Electrochemistry
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Photophysics
  • Spectroscopy and Kinetics
  • High Throughput Experimentation
  • Glass Blowing Workshop
  • Mechanical Workshop

Specialized technicians ensure the maintenance and correct use of the equipment, develop applications for the techniques available and train the researchers in preparing samples, using the equipment, understanding the applications and processing data.

To provide ICIQ researchers with information about the techniques available in the Area, the Research Support Area also organizes seminars and short courses with invited or in house speakers.

The courses, seminars and workshops organized during 2017 were as follows:

  • H-Cube: continuous hydrogenation device workshop. Ildik√≥ Kov√°cs, from ThalesNano (17th May, 3h)
  • Thermoplastics in 3D Printing. EURECAT (5th july, 8 h).
  • Thermal analysis (DSC, TGA & DMTA) course. Francesc Catal√† (Mettler Toledo) & Jordi Cer√≥n (Crysforma), (18th October, 6h).
  • Fluorescence course. Dr. Fernando Bozogli√°n, Spectroscopy Unit manager (13th November, 2h).
  • Information session about NMR resources in the ICIQ intranet. Dr. Gabriel Gonz√°lez. NMR Unit manager (26th July, 45‚Äô).
  • Periodical seminars to explain the basics of mass spectrometry. Dr. Noem√≠ Cabello, MS Unit Manager.

The Research Support Area also plays a role advising researchers in the purchase of scientific instrumentation and setting up and managing the institute’s scientific infrastructures.

Finally, the Research Support Area also participates in some of the institute’s scientific outreach activities. In 2017 these activities were the following:

  • Talk on analytical techniques (NMR, UV-Vis, MS & IR) to secondary school students from Lestonnac School, Tarragona (Gisela Colet).
  • Participation in the programme ‚ÄúCrazy about Chemistry‚ÄĚ various seminars given by Noem√≠ Cabello, Jordi Benet, Mariona Urtasun, Simona Curreli and Gisela Colet.
  • Talk to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) students from INS Pere Martell (Tarragona) about chemical risk management in the Institute (Xavier Blanch & Gisela Colet).
  • Talk on various analytical techniques (NMR, UV-Vis, MS & IR) to secondary school students from IES Comte de Rius, Tarragona (Gisela Colet).
  • Training sessions for secondary school teachers from IES Comte de Rius (Tarragona): practical sessions in different RSA labs to learn about the following techniques: HPLC, GC, SFC, MS, fluorescence, UV-Vis, FT-IR, MS, TGA, DSC, NMR & High Pressure Systems (Simona Curreli, Fernando Bozoglian, Noem√≠ Cabello, Gabriel Gonz√°lez and Marta Gim√©nez).
  • Research Support Area tour as part of the BIST PhD Day (Gisela Colet).
  • Talk entitled ‚ÄúChocolate Crystals‚ÄĚ within the programme The Science of Chocolate, in¬† Pau Delcl√≤s primary school in Tarragona (Marta Mart√≠nez).


Competitive research projects awarded in 2017

Title Institution PI Import (‚ā¨)
Enabling Technologies and Drug Discovery: Continuous Flow Processes to Discover Novel Antiviral Inhibitors (766058-VIRO-FLOW) REA (CE) Miquel Pericàs 708.919
Late-stage catalytic carboxylation techniques with labelled carbon dioxide: new opportunities for radiolabelling (755251-LABEL-DIOX) ERCEA (CE) Rubén Martín 149.750
Network of Functional Molecular Containers with Controlled Switchable Abilities (765297-NOAH) REA (CE) Pau Ballester 495,745.92
European School on Artificial Leaf : Electrodes Devices (765376-eSCALED) REA (CE) Toni Llobet 151,477.92
Separation membranes for carbon dioxide removal from gas streams (780255-MEMCARB) ERCEA (CE) JR Galán-Mascarós 150.00
Title Institution PI Import (‚ā¨)
Contenedores moleculares y supramoleculares basados en calix[4]pirroles aril-extendidos y super aril-extendidos: estudios fundamentales (CTQ2017-84319-P) MINECO Pau Ballester 161.000
Abordando Reactividad Compleja desde la Quimíca Computacional(CTQ2017-88777-R) MINECO Carles Bo 78.000
Síntesis estereo y enantioselectiva para la valorización de heterociclos funcionales(CTQ2017-88920-P) MINECO Arjan Kleij 108.000
Transferencia monoelectrónica y tratamientos estadísticos en catálisis homogénea computacional(CTQ2017-87792-R) MINECO Feliu Maseras 105.000
Dise√Īo de sistemas de oxidaci√≥n basados en haluros para la formaci√≥n de enlaces C-N(CTQ2017-88496-R) MINECO Kilian Mu√Īiz 213.000
Dise√Īo de herramientas catal√≠ticas enantioselectivas: aplicaci√≥n a la preparaci√≥n de mol√©culas bioactivas y a la valorizaci√≥n de materias(CTQ2017-89814-P) MINECO Anton Vidal 93.000
Activaci√≥n de mol√©culas peque√Īas: de responsables del cambio clim√°tico a materias primas renovables y sostenibles (EUIN2017-87980) MINECO M√≥nica P√©rez-Temprano 3.605
Estudio de vibraciones de baja frecuencia criticas en reacciones cataliticas heterogeneas (EUIN2017-89041) MINECO Atsushi Urakawa 3.600
Encarando los retos que la sociedad tiene planteados mediante investigación colaborativa en catálisis (CTQ2016-81923-REDC) MINECO Miquel Pericàs 41.500
Fortalecimiento del Departamento de Proyectos ICIQ (ECT-2017-0309) MINECO Miquel Pericàs 158.900

Ongoing competitive research projects in 2017

Title Import (‚ā¨) Period PI
Advancing Gold Catalysis (CATGOLD) 2.499.060 2013-18 Antonio Echavarren
Towards a Greener Reduction Chemistry by Using Cobalt Coordination Complexes as Catalysts and Light-driven Water Reduction as a Source of Reductive Equivalents (648304-GREENLIGHT_REDCAT) 1.999.063 2015-20 Julio Lloret-Fillol
Light-Driven Asymmetric Organocatalysis (681840-CATA-LUX) 2.000.000 2016-21 Paolo Melchiorre
Catalytic reductive carboxylation of unactivated olefins with carbon dioxide (713677-OLE-DIOX) 149.500 2016-17 Rubén Martín
A novel platform for user-friendly spectroscopy at very low temperatures and under strong magnetic fields (713539-U-SPEC) 150.000 2016-18 JR Galán-Mascarós
Pilot Plant Production of Controlled doped Nanoporous Carbonaceous Materials for Energy and Catalysis Applications (686163-POROUS4APP) 334.707 2016-20 N√ļria L√≥pez
Entrepreneuring Dynamic Selforganized Interfaces In Photocatalysis: A Multidisciplinary Training Network Converting Light Into Products (PhotoTrain) 463.345,92 2016-20 Paolo Melchiorre
ICIQ International Postdoctoral Mobility Programme (291787-ICIQ-IPMP) 2.028.752 2012-18 Lluís Solà
Critical Raw materials Elimination by a top-down Approach To hydrogen and Electricity generation (721065-CREATE) 350.625 2017-20 JR Galán-Mascarós
An Artificial Leaf: a photo-electro-catalytic cell from earth-abundant materials for sustainable solar production of CO2-based chemicals and fuels (732840-A-LEAF) 879.712,50 2017-20 JR Gal√°n-Mascar√≥s, N√ļria L√≥pez, Julio Lloret-Fillol
Enabling Technologies and Drug Discovery: Continuous Flow Processes to Discover Novel Antiviral Inhibitors (766058-VIRO-FLOW) 708.919 2017-21 Miquel Pericàs
Late-stage catalytic carboxylation techniques with labelled carbon dioxide: new opportunities for radiolabelling (755251-LABEL-DIOX) 149.750 2017-19 Rubén Martín
Title Total amount (‚ā¨) Period PI
Avances en nuevos métodos para la formación directa de los enlaces carbono-carbono, carbono nitrógeno y más allá (CTQ2013-46705-R) 148.830 2014-17 Alex Shafir
Receptores y sensores sintéticos para la detección supramolecular de moléculas de bajo peso molecular relacionadas con la salud (CTQ2014-56295-R) 206.910 2015-17 Pablo Ballester
Nanocápsulas de óxidos metálicos y complejos de metales de transición: abordando los retos de la sociedad desde la nanociencia molecular y la catálisis (CTQ2014-52824-R) 108.900 2015-17 Carles Bo
Desarrollo de nuevas metodologías eficientes para la síntesis de bio-carbonatos (CTQ2014-60419-R) 151.250 2015-17 Arjan Kleij
Catálisis homogénea computacional: fotones, dioxigeno, dióxido de carbono (CTQ2014-57761-R) 156.090 2015-17 Feliu Maseras
Desarrollo de nuevas reacciones de oxidaci√≥n de hidrocarburos basadas en catalizadores de yodo en alto estado de oxidaci√≥n (CTQ2014-56474-R) 250.470 2015-17 Kilian Mu√Īiz
Modularidad y regulación distal en sistemas catalíticos como estrategias eficientes en síntesis estereoselectiva. Aplicación a la síntesis de compuestos con interés biológico (CTQ2014-60256-P) 134.310 2015-17 Anton Vidal
Soluciones desde la Química de Coordinación para el Desafío Energético: Materiales Avanzados para transformación y almacenamiento de Energía (CTQ2015-71287-R) 135.520 2016-18 JR Galán-Mascarós
Simulaciones te√≥ricas en cat√°lisis homog√©nea: bases para una industria circular (CTQ2015-68770-R) 135.520 2016-18 N√ļria L√≥pez
Carboxilación de materia orgánica con dióxido de carbono catalizada por metales de transición (CTQ2015-65496-R) 234.740 2016-18 Rubén Martín
Sistemas Catal√≠ticos Inmovilizados Robustos para la Producci√≥n Sostenible de Productos Qu√≠micos de Alto Valor A√Īadido (CTQ2015-69136-R) 326.700 2016-19 Miquel A. Peric√†s
FLOW4HEALTH Desarrollo de procesos en flujo continuo para la ind√ļstria qu√≠mico farmac√©utica (RTC-2016-5807-1) 441.441 2016-19 Miquel A. Peric√†s
Catalizadores electrofílicos avanzados para la síntesis de sistemas complejos (CTQ2016-75960-P) 440.440 2016-19 Antonio Echavarren
Nuevos Conceptos para la Activaci√≥n Asim√©trica de Peque√Īas Mol√©culas a Trav√©s de Cat√°lisis Fotoredox y Met√°lica (CTQ2016-75311-P) 84.700 2016-19 Marcos Garcia Suero
Catalizadores moleculares para la descomposición del agua por medio de la luz solar (CTQ2016-80058-R) 272.250 2016-19 Antonio Llobet
Reduciones químicas mediadas por la luz. De combustibles a compuestos solares (CTQ2016-80038-R) 84.700 2016-19 Julio Lloret-Fillol
Organocatálisis Fotoquímica Enantioselectiva: Utilizando la Luz para Generar Moléculas Quirales Biológicamente Relevantes (CTQ2016-75520-P) 254.100 2016-19 Paolo Melchiorre
Procesos de transferencia de carga en dispositivos fotovoltaicos híbridos: nanocristal semiconductor/ molécula orgánica semiconductora (CTQ2016-80042-R) 166.980 2016-19 Emilio Palomares
Alternativas a las Tradicionales Reacciones de Acoplamiento Cruzado para Favorecer la Formación de Enlaces CC: Investigación de Sistemas Bimetálicos y Catálisis de Cobalto (CTQ2016-79942-P) 84.700 2016-20 Mónica Pérez-Temprano
Conversión catalítica en continuo de dióxido de carbono en vectores energéticos químicos (CTQ2016-75499-R) 156.090 2016-19 Atsushi Urakawa
Fortalecimiento del Departamento de Proyectos ICIQ (ECT-2017-0309) 158.900 2017-18 Miquel A. Pericàs/Lorena Tomás
Síntesis de amoniaco en condiciones suaves inducida por luz (CTQ2015-73028-EXP) 50.000 2017-19 Antoni Llobet
Encarando los retos que la sociedad tiene planteados mediante investigación colaborativa en catálisis (CTQ2016-81923-REDC) 41.500 2017-19 Miquel A. Pericàs
Activaci√≥n de mol√©culas peque√Īas: de responsables del cambio clim√°tico a materias primas renovables y sostenibles (EUIN2017-87980) 3.605 2017-18 M√≥nica P√©rez-Temprano
Estudio de vibraciones de baja frecuencia criticas en reacciones cataliticas heterogeneas (EUIN2017-89041) 3.600 2017-18 Atsushi Urakawa
Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2013 (SEV-2013-0319) 4.000.000 2014-18 Miquel A. Pericàs
Title Total amount (‚ā¨) Period PI
Química Organometàl·lica en Síntesi Orgànica (2014 SGR 818) 33.600 2014-17 Antonio Echavarren
Galán Mascarós Research Group (2014 SGR 797) 28.800 2014-17 JR Galán-Mascarós
Grup de Catàlisis Redox (RED-CAT ) (2014 SGR 915) 27.000 2014-17 Antoni Llobet
Theoretical Heterogeneous Catalysis Group (T-HeCat) (2014 SGR 145) 30.100 2014-17 N√ļria L√≥pez
Grup d'activació catalítica d'enllaços inerts - CATINERT (2014 SGR 884) 25.800 2014-17 Rubén Martín
Modelatge computacional de la catàlisi homogènia (2014 SGR 409) 18.000 2014-17 Feliu Maseras
Melchiorre Group (2014 SGR 1059) 38.400 2014-17 Paolo Melchiorre
Mu√Īiz's Group (2014 SGR 889) 15.000 2014-17 Kilian Mu√Īiz
Grup de recerca en matèries i dispositius optoelectrònics (2014 SGR 763) 17.200 2014-17 Emilio Palomares
Grup de Recerca en Sistemes Catalítics Modulars (SICAM) (2014 SGR 827) 30.100 2014-17 Miquel A. Pericàs
Urakawa research group (2014 SGR 893) 12.900 2014-17 Atsushi Urakawa
Theoretical Heterogeneous Catalysis Group (2017 SGR 90) 44.480 2017-19 N√ļria L√≥pez
Research Group Kleij (2017 SGR 232) 44.480 2017-19 Arjan Kleij
Grup d'activació catalítica d'enllaços inerts - CATINERT (2017 SGR 938) 44.480 2017-19 Rubén Martin
Palomares Research Group (2017 SGR 978) 44.480 2017-19 Emilio Palomares
Melchiorre Group (2017 SGR 981) 44.480 2017-19 Paolo Melchiorre
Química Supramolecular Interdisciplinar (2017 SGR 1123) 44.480 2017-19 Pablo Ballester
Química Organometàl.lica en Síntesi Orgànica (2017 SGR 1257) 65.896 2017-19 Antonio Echavarren
Galán Mascarós Research Group (2017 SGR 1406) 44.480 2017-19 JR Galán- Mascarós
Grup de Catàlisis Redox (RED-CAT ) (2017 SGR 1631) 44.480 2017-19 Antoni Llobet
Urakawa Research Group (2017 SGR 1633) 36.000 2017-19 Atsushi Urakawa
Lloret-Fillol Research Group (2017 SGR 1647) 22.240 2017-19 Julio Lloret- Fillol

Swiss National Science

Title Total amount (‚ā¨) Period PI
Carbon Dioxide Hydrogenation: New Synthetic Perspectives for Chemical Energy Carriers 252.259 2014-17 Urakawa

Japan Science and Technology Agency

Title Total amount (‚ā¨) Period PI
Oxidative upgrading of light alkanes by unsteady-state operation 355.293 2016-20 Urakawa