Research areas

In general the Laboratory's research activities fall into the following areas


  • Production of reformulated fuels from conventional refinery processes (fluid catalytic cracking-FCC, Hydrocracking-HDC, Hydrodesulfurization-HDS, Isomerization, Alkylation, Reforming)
  • Future of Catalytic Cracking
  • Olefins production and maximization
  • Refining catalyst poisoning and deactivation
  • In-situ reduction of S in FCC gasoline
  • Slurry technologies for heavy fuels upgrading
  • Modeling of refining processes
  • Mechanistic studies on fluid catalytic cracking using ZSM-5 catalysts
  • Fuel aging studies


Major accomplishments:

  • Construction and operation of unique infrastructure (from micro- to pilot scale) for all refining processes.
  • Technology development for deactivation and evaluation of FCC catalysts and FCC catalytic additives.
  • Development of new catalysts for hydroisomerization of high molecular weight hydrocarbons (C6-C16).
  • Development of a breakthrough technology (GASOLFINTM) for propylene production from naphtha streams in partnership with InovaCat company.
  • Development of a FCC process model for optimization of commercial FCC units.
  • Development of a new continuous slurry reactor technology for resid hydrocracking.
  • Technology for co-processing fuels and biofuels in conventional refinery units.
  • Development of advanced characterization techniques of heavy petroleum fractions (2DGC-TOFMS).

R&D on renewable fuels and chemicals

  • Technology development for biomass flash thermal and catalytic pyrolysis in Fluid bed and Circulating Fluid Bed reactors (for both insitu and exsitu nodes)
  • Valorization of lignin, plastics and other waste streams via catalytic pyrolysis
  • Catalytic upgrading of low quality bio-based liquids (biooils, HtL oils, F-T waxes, vegetable oils) using refinery processes (Hydrotreating, Hydrocracking, FCC, Isomerization)
  • Hydrodeoxygenation of vegetable oils and used cooking oild for green diesel production
  • Production of high added value biochemicals (5-HMF, Diols, Isoprene, Glucaric acid, Phenols, aromatics etc.) from platform chemicals via chemocatalytic reactions
  • Slow pyrolysis/torrefaction for production of activated carbon
  • Development of analytical methods based on 2DGC-TOFMS for the advanced characterization of bio-based liquids
  • New biomass pretreatment technologies (organosolv, steam explosion, combination of organosolv/explosion)
  • CO2/CO catalytic hydrogenation to renewable fuels and chemicals via novel process concepts
  • Chemical looping combustion for clean energy applications
  • Biofuel aging studies


Major accomplishments:

  • Development of a circulated fluid bed pilot plant reactor for catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) of biomass to liquids of improved quality
  • Production of bio-oil with less than 18wt% O2 at 23wt% organics yield using a new two stage pilot scale cascade process for biomass catalytic pyrolysis
  • Co-processing of vegetable oils with gas oil on a pilot scale hydrotreating unit
  • Successful co-processing of bio-oils in the FCC process on pilot scale
  • Development of high performance Cu-based catalysts for CO hydrogenation to higher alcohols
  • Continuous catalytic process of isomerization of glucose to fructose with novel catalyst

R&D on renewable fuels and chemicals

  • NOx Removal from O2-Rich Streams in stationary and mobile applications – SCR with hydrocarbons (HC-SCR)
  • Advanced DeSOx and DeNOx technologies for marine engines
  • N2O abatement from stationary flue gases (O2-Rich Streams): N2O decomposition or SCR with hydrocarbons
  • Catalytic abatement of CO and CH4 from incomplete combustion processes
  • Simultaneous NOx reduction & CO oxidation in the flue gases of the FCC regenerator
  • DeSOx catalytic systems for full and partial burn FCC regenerators




Major accomplishments:

  • Synthesis, production and commercial application of a new additive which significantly reduces the NOx from FCCU regenerator
  • New noble metal (Rh or Pt) catalyst which exhibits significant NO reduction in the presence of SO2 for the HC-SCR NOx reduction from effluent gases of industrial plants
  • Noble metal (Pt, Pd, Ir)/g-Al2O3 catalysts for the H2-assisted HC-SCR of NOx
  • Fundamental understanding of the nature of active sites and mechanism of HC-SCR of N2O/NOx

R&D on New Catalytic Materials

  • Novel synthesis routes for the preparation of advanced nanostructured catalytic materials

    - Controlled templated sol-gel methods to tailor porosity and morphology

    - Controlled deposition of active metals/oxides by applying advanced liquid chemistry and thermal processing for better dispersion and stability

    - Advanced Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP) technology (in collaboration with University of Ioannina)

  • Synthesis of mesoporous zeolites with varying pore shape and size with acid and base posttreatment.
  • Synthesis of mesoporous aluminosilicates from zeolite seeds
  • Utilization of natural Greek minerals for the production of nanosized catalysts via chemical and physical transformations
  • Development of advanced FT-IR methods for quantification of Bronstend and Lewis acidity


Major accomplishments:

  • Highly selective Pt- and Ni-based isomerization catalysts supported on hybrid zeolitic and silicalite structures with fine-tuned metal/acid sites ratio
  • Carbide and phosphide-based Mo and Ni catalysts for HDO and CO2 valorization routes
  • A new reusable MgO catalyst derived from minerals for the isomerization of glucose to fructose
  • FTIR/pyridine adsorption technique for in depth characterization of catalyst acidic properties


Contact Info

  • Dr Angelos Lappas
  •   6 km Harilaou - Thermis Thessaloniki, Greece, 57001
  •   +30-310-498305
  •   +30-310-498300
  •   +30-2310- 498380

About LEFH

It is a catalytic reaction engineering lab that carries out applied research in the area of refining technologies, new conventional fuels, biofuels, new catalytic materials and in environmental catalytic processes like DeSOx, DeNOx from flue gases.


Refining Process optimization
FCC catalyst and additives evaluation
Fuel quality control
Solids and catalysts characterization

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