The European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) has named Jesús Esteban Serrano as winner of its 2018 Excellence Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering (CRE). Serrano was cited for his PhD thesis “Green processes for the production of glycerol carbonate and solketal.” The selection committee stated: “This thesis constitutes an exemplary application of CRE methods (phase equilibria, chemical kinetics, model discrimination) to green chemistry processes.” The judges noted his work encompasses experimental work and modelling, spanning from phase equilibrium measurement to reaction kinetics and using an interesting range of techniques. The panel added that the focus on typical “biorefinery type” reactions using glycerol and a reactant under conditions of limited miscibility for production of glycerol carbonate and solketal makes the research highly applicable to anyone with an interest in green chemistry — and that the process, while difficult, also industrially attractive. The judges particularly noted that Serrano proposed new theories to model the observations made during his PhD work.
Serrano, who did the work between 2010 and 2015 at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, and who now is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, will receive a €1,500 (about $1,785) cash award and a travel grant to attend the 25th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering in Florence, Italy, later this month.