Richard Ahorsu

Catalysis 2021
Richard Ahorsu, Speaker at 
Speaker for Catalysis Conference- Richard Ahorsu
Rovira I Virgili University, Spain
Title : Production of liquid fuel from furan derivatives through microwave aided process in bi mixtures with monophasic configuration


Concern over global climate change has spurred the development of new pathways for using biomass waste as a raw source for biofuels and commercial chemicals. The utilization of furfural and ketones as feedstocks for aldol condensation and dehydration/hydrogenation to synthesize diesel or jet fuel range alkanes over a solid base or homogenous catalyst was proposed to address dwindling petroleum sources, greenhouse impact, and environmental damage. The use of aqueous NaOH solution as a homogeneous catalyst in aldol condensation reactions causes issues such as catalyst recovery and reaction vessel corrosion. Aqueous phase heterogeneously catalyzed aldol condensation poses unique challenges such as altered reaction processes, increased catalyst leaching, and insoluble products. Performing the process in the presence of green organic solvents could help overcome these issues. In this study, we use bio-based green solvents (ethanol and water: solvent phase reaction) and reactants to produce 2,5-bis(2-furylmethylidene) cyclopentanone (F2Cp) and 2-(2-furylmethylidene) cyclopentanone (FCp). In order to minimize reaction time and boost product yield, microwave (MW) aided procedures coupled with Mg-Zr mixed oxide was used. We achieved a global yield of ca. 34 % in 60 min of reaction and a considerable FCp and F2Cp global yield after 4 runs of recovered catalyst.


Richard Ahorsu is a PhD candidate in Nanoscience, Materials and Chemical Engineering at Rovira I Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain. He also holds a master’s degree in Nanoscience, Materials, and Chemical Technology from the same university. He joined Dr Roberto Rinaldi’s Tomorrow’s Chemical Technologies Lab at Imperial College London as a visiting doctoral student in 2019. He specializes in green chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, and fermentation (bio-catalysis). He has published in peer-reviewed journals.