Biomass valorization: catalysis, new materials and applications


Pollution, climate change, depletion of traditional feedstocks, and intensification of the world-wide population density, thus increasingly stringent energy and food demands, call for the development of truly sustainable industrial processes and practices.

Biomass valorization is taking a hold of the scientific community as the renewable alternative to fossil resources for the sustainable production of fine and bulk chemicals. In particular, the chemical processing of biomass can open a wide range of possibilities for new platform chemicals and materials, including materials, fuels, and pharmaceuticals.

This is where the HUGS consortium finds inspiration: easily harvested plants and their by-products can find a suitable place in the chemical industry, largely increasing the future’s sustainability. In collaboration with the N.I.C.E. conference 2018, the HUGS consortium will host five sessions on different strategies for a truly sustainable development. The consortium’s efforts are focused on the safe development of new (catalytic) processes for biomass conversion and new bio-based materials for a variety of applications including catalysis, polymers and adsorbents.

Sustainability is a joint global effort, ranging from political to scientific development. Focusing on the science, we hope to inspire, discuss and develop with you a greener and brighter future.


Scope/Topics Covered

1.Sustainable Materials for Catalysis:

This session will be focused on the recent green chemistry advances in the design and application of sustainable catalytic (nano)materials from abundant and harmless resources. A particular focus will be given to bio-derived materials obtained via benign-by-design methodologies.

2.Catalysis for Biomass Conversion

 This session will focus on the different applications of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis for the conversion of biomass derivatives such as humins, lignin and levulinates, towards sustainable platform and high-value chemicals.

3.Carbon based porous materials

In this session, the recent discoveries and future insights from the world of carbonaceous porous materials will be presented, with a close look to materials from sustainable precursors and their future applications.

4.Importance of safety considerations in biorefinery

 This session will focus on the physico-chemical and eco-toxicological safety considerations concerning development and application of bio-based chemicals and (nano)materials. Key areas in identifying the emerging risks to develop inherently safer design of materials and chemical processes will be highlighted.

5.Development of new biobased materials for future applications

This session will focus on the latest research concerning development of new biobased polymers, showing the potential of these materials for common and future applications. A special attention will be given to biobased composites, involving natural fibers, wood-polymer composites, and the latest advances in cellulose composites and nanocomposites.

Download: HUGS Symposium Brochure

Symposium Chair/s and Contact Person/s

Symposium Chairs:

Nathanael Guigo

Ed de Jong

Contact people:

Nathanael Guigo, PhD (

Anna Sangregorio (

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Pr. Rajender S. Varma (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – USA)

Pr. Katalin Barta (University of Groningen – Netherlands)

Pr. Magdalena Titirici (Queen Mary University of London – UK)

Pr. Amar Mohanty (University of Guelph – Canada)

Dr. Wilfried SANCHEZ (CEO of the Rovaltain Scientific Foundation – France)