Jose L. G. Fierro



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Position: Professor
Telephone: +34 915854769
FAX +34 915854760
E-mail: jlgfierro

Postal Address


c/ Marie Curie, 2


28049 Madrid


His research activities include three large branches: energy, environment and clean technologies. In the energy branch the main objective consisted in the assembly of small molecules containing one C-atom (C1-chemistry) by means of catalytic processes. He contributed with many papers to specialized journals (J. Catalysis, J. Physical Chemistry, Applied Catalysis A: General, Applied Catalysis B: Environ.). Partial oxidation of methane for CO/H2 and H2 production was studied in detail, and most achievements are compiled in a book chapter (Supported metals, Chap. 7, ICP, 2004, London, p. 229-282) and US5.817.903 and US5.817.904 patents. Hydrogen production from other sources like methanol, bioethanol, glycerol and diesel were recently investigated and most of the results have been recently summarized in a long review (Chem. Rev. 107 (2007) 3951-3992) and another two patents (WO 01/98202, P200700993). To this work on H2 production he contributed with novel catalytic materials and concepts that are widely used as guidance in the development and deployment of relevant technologies in this area. An important breakthrough was achieved in the production of C1 oxygenates from partial oxidation of methane in a single catalytic step by combining both homogeneous and heterogeneous oxidation reactions by adding radical generators to the gas-phase. Relevant results in this area are compiled in Catal. Rev.-Sci. Eng. 44 (2002) 1-52, and in Chem. Commun. (2002) 1184-1185. 

In the middle of 80’s he begun the catalytic production of liquid fuels from syngas, i.e. the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process. Within this area he supervised four PhD students and then had configured a strong research team. The works concerning the actual nature of rhodium, iron and cobalt-based FT catalysts and their evolution/reconstruction during the FT reaction are relevant scientific contributions. Most of these results have been published in prestigious specialized journals within the area of knowledge such as J. Physical Chem. B, J. Catalysis, Chemistry of Materials, Green Chemistry and Langmuir. Recently, this research line has been expanded to the production of low molecular weight olefins under contract with Saudi Basic Industries.

Environmental catalysis applied to exhaust treatment (tail gases and car engines) is the second branch investigated. He has conducted many studies to understand the chemical structures responsible for the activity in de-NOx reaction and in three-way-catalysts (TWCs) and how they deactivate during on-stream operation. Methodologies to regenerate deactivated catalysts were developed. Many works have been published in this area and they appear spread in top specialized journals (J. Catalysis, Applied Catalysis B. Environ., Environ. Science Technol., Analytical Chemistry). Another important achievement in this area was the development of an important patent (WO 03068390; EP 1475149 A1; US 2005/0090393;  AU 2003206981 A1) in which a catalytic system for de-NOx reactions at low temperature for both stationary and mobile applications is disclosed. Due to its relevance, it has been recently licensed to Linde AG (Germany).

The third branch of activities is related to sustainable chemical processes. This area was initiated at the end of 90’s in connection with the industrial sector. Safer, efficient epoxidation reactions in liquid phase at the semi-pilot plant scale have been successfully addressed. New catalysts and processes have been developed and patented. A breakthrough has been achieved in the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide which has been first patented and then documented in a review (Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed. 45 (2006) 6962-6984). Many other papers have been generated in this area and published in top journals (J. Catalysis, Topics Catalysis, Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed., Adv. Syn. Catal.). 

Another activity along his scientific career -albeit latently- is the chemistry of materials and its application to the design of catalytic systems. One of the first successes in this area was his discovery of the unusual redox properties of cerium oxide, which was advanced in Solid State Chem. 66 (1987) 154. While these studies progressed for more than one decade in the field of mixed oxides, the achievements until 1989 were compiled in a review in Adv. Catal. 36 (1989) 237, and then in the book “Properties and Applications of Perovskite-Type Oxides” (1993) in which he was the editor. More recently he did an in-depth revision of the chemistry and performance of these materials [Chem. Rev. 101 (2001) 1981].

In summary, J.L.G. Fierro is author of 880 publications spread in renowned specialist journals devoted to heterogeneous catalysis, chemical engineering, materials science and surface chemistry. His current research activities mainly focus on heterogeneous catalysis, chemistry, solid-state chemistry, chemical technology, environmental catalysis and chemistry of materials. He has edited a total of 8 books published by Elsevier Science Publishers (6), Marcel Dekker and CRC Press. He has been plenary speaker at many congresses, seminars and scientific events held in national and international Universities, research centres and companies. Moreover, He contributed to international congresses and symposia with more than 180 presentations. He holds 32 patents, four of them dealing with epoxidation of light olefins are under exploitation by Repsol-YPF (Spain), another one related with room temperature hydrogen oxidation is exploited by Marine Instruments (Spain), and the last one related to the low temperature de-NOx reaction is being exploited by Linde AG (Germany).

He has been involved in many projects supported by international/national/regional agencies and also from companies. An account of these projects, won in open calls, is summarized as follows. He participated in several research projects supported by EU. The largest ones (ENTERES along 2000-2003; REGENCATS, along 2001-2004 and LTCPO-GTL along 2003-2005) aimed to develop new catalytic materials for processes related to environment and clean energy production. Along the last 10-year period he was awarded with a project supported by the Research Institute for Technologies of the Earth (RITE, Japan) developed along 1999-2002, and a second one from the Research Promotion Foundation University (Cyprus) extended for the period 2003-2006. In 2008 he was recipient of another big project supported by the Kind Saud University of Saudi Arabia. Other R+D projects in which he was the IP were supported by national agencies. These include three projects supported by CICyT (MAT2001-2215-CO3-01 along 2001-2003, HIVELIO along 2003-2006 and HIREUS along 2007-2010). Another three projects still active include CENITCO2” supported by CDTI-ENDESA, 2004 8 OE 254 supported by CSIC, and CAM (S-505/ENE-404 and S2009ENE-1743) supported by the Autonomous Government of Madrid.

Along last ten-year period he participated either in scientific committees or as organizer of several scientific events. He also contributed with a few invited chapters to specialized books. These are: "Applications of microgravimetry in catalysis", en the Handbook of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (P.K. Gallagher, Ed.), 2004, pp. 1-58; “Supported metals in the production of hydrogen”, Chap. 7 (Ed. J.A. Anderson), 2004, Imperial College Press, London, pp. 229-282; “Methane Oxidation on Metal Oxides”, in Metal Oxides: Chemistry and Applications (J.L.G. Fierro, Ed.), Chap. 14, Taylor & Francis, New York, 2005, pp. 463-490; “Metathesis of Olefins on Metal Oxides”, in Metal Oxides: Chemistry and Applications (J.L.G. Fierro, Ed.), Chap. 16, Taylor & Francis, New York, 2005, pp. 517-541; “Hydrogenation of Carbon Oxides on Metal Oxides” in Metal Oxides: Chemistry and Applications (J.L.G. Fierro, Ed.), Chap. 18, Taylor & Francis), New York, 2005, pp. 569-594. In addition to these contributed chapters, he was the Editor of the book.


  •   Member of the Spanish Catalysis Society in the International Council of Catalysis (1995-2008).

  •   Chair of the panel "Strengths and Weaknesses of Chemistry in Europe", EUROHORCs (1997).

  •   Member of the International Technology Advisory Board of RepsolYPF (1994-1999)

  •   Chair of Science and Chemical Technology of the National Council of Scientific Research (1996-   2002)

  •   Member of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the National Council of Scientific Research (1996-2002).

  •   Member of the “Prestige” Advisory Board (2002-2003).

  •   President of AENOR Committee CTN181 on Hydrogen Technologies (2005-present)

 Awards, honours, distinctions

  •  Memberships:

Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, Spanish Association of Vacuum, Association of Hydrogen, Petroleum Division of the American Chemical Society, Elect Member of the Spanish Society of Catalysis in the International Council of Catalysis (1995-2007).

  •  Member of the Editorial Board:

Chemistry of Materials, J. Chilean Chemical Society, The Open Materials Science Journal, The Open Natural Products Journal, The Open Catalysis Journal, Energetica XXI, Ingeniería y Competividad.

  • Editor-in-Chief

The Open Magnetic Resonance Journal

  • Panels

 Member of the D5 action on Surface Chemistry of the COST Programme (EU) (1992-1996).

 Chair of the Chemistry Panel, EROHORCs (1996-97).

 Member of the Panel “Prestige” (2002-2003).

 Organizer and host of USA scientific agencies and WTEC Panel on Nanocatalysis, 2007.

 Expert Panel on 6th World Congress on Oxidation Catalysis, Lille (France), 2009

  • Scientific Committees

Member of the Scientific Committee of the 13th and 14th Iberoamerican Symposia on Catalysis (1992 and 1994) and of the 2nd World Congress on Oxidation Catalysis (1994); Member of the International Program Commettee of the 10th International Conference on Thin Films, Salamanca, Spain (1996); Member of the Scientific Committee of the 6th International Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Heterogeneous Catalysis, Tarragona, Spain (1996); Member of the Scientific Committee and Editorial Responsible of the 12th International Congress on Catalysis, Granada (2000); President of the Scientific Committee of the 2nd European Hydrogen Energy Conference, Zaragoza, 2005; 12th International Ceramics Congress, Italy, 2010

  • Advisory

Member of the International Technological Consultive Board of Repsol-YPF (1994-1999); Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Centro Nancional y Celdas de Combustible (2009-).

Chair of Chemistry and Chemical Technology and member of the Scientific Committee Board of the National Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) (1996-2002).

  • Editorial tasks

Editor of the book, Properties and Applications of Perovskite Oxides, Marcel Dekker, 1990, Editor of the book “Metal Oxides: Chemistry and Applications”, Taylor & Francis, 2006

  • President

         AENOR Standardization Committee on Hydrogen Technologies (2005-).

  • Awards

Chemistry Degree Award, University of Oviedo, January 1974.

Award on Hydrogen production from Renewable Energies, 2004.

Medal award of the 25 years service to CSIC, 2005.

Award to the patent on new catalyst system for NOx removal by hydrogen, CAM, 2007.

Senior Research Award of the Iberoamerican Federation of Catalysis Societies (FISOCAT), 2008.

Medal of the King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2008.

Senior Research Award “Miguel Catalan”, Madrid, 2008.

Honoris Causa Doctorate from the University of Patras, Greece, 2009

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