Prof. Atsushi Urakawa


Group Leader:

Atsushi Urakawa (until March)

Administrative Support:

Aurora Càceres

Postdoctoral Researchers:

Atul Bansode (until April) / Jordi Ampurdanès (until April) / Marta Borges (until April) 

PhD Students:

Juan José Corral (until April) / Lingjun Hu / Nat Phongprueksathat (until April) / Sorin Bunea (until April) / Donato Pinto (until April)



The Urakawa group is focused in the rational improvement and design of heterogeneous catalytic processes based on solid comprehension of the elementary reaction steps and the transformation mechanisms in order to minimize risks and damages of chemical processes on environment while achieving high efficiencies in conversion, selectivity, and energy usage. This ambitious goal is pursued by an interdisciplinary experimental-theoretical approach; in situ spectroscopy and theoretical modeling for solid understanding of the processes as well as reaction engineering to maximize the efficiencies. Among others, one of the major reactions they currently takle is heterogeneous catalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels and useful chemicals at high efficiency, so that the carbon-cycle, which has generally an open end due to burning of fossil fuels and their release as CO2 into atmosphere, can be closed for a sustainable development.


‘CO2 Hydrogenation on Cu/Al2O3: Role of Metal/Support Interface in Driving Activity and Selectivity of a Bifunctional Catalyst’
Lam, E.; Corral‐Pérez, J. J.; Larmier, K.; Noh, G.; Wolf, P.; Comas‐Vives, A.; Urakawa, A.; Copéret, C.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58 (39), 13989-13996

‘Continuous Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide to Formic Acid and Methyl Formate by a Molecular Iridium Complex Stably Heterogenized on a Covalent Triazine Framework’
Corral‐Pérez, J. J.; Billings, A.; Stoian, D.; Urakawa, A.
ChemCatChem 2019, 11 (19), 4725-4730

‘Lewis acidic supports promote the selective hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methyl formate in the presence of methanol over Ag catalysts’
Corral-Pérez, J.J.; Copéret, C.; Urakawa, A.
J. Catal. 2019, 380, 153-160


‘The Active Surface Species Ruling Product Selectivity in Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction Over Pt- or Co-Promoted TiO2’
Borges Ordoño, M.; Urakawa, A.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2019, 123 (7), 4140–4147

‘Cobalt oxide-based materials as non-PGM catalyst for HER in PEM electrolysis and in situ XAS characterization of its functional state’
Ampurdanés, J.; Chourashiya, M.; Urakawa, A.
Catal. Today, 2019, 336, 161-168

‘Deciphering key intermediates in the transformation of carbon dioxide into heterocyclic products’
Huang, R.; Rintjema, J.; González-Fabra, J.; Martín, E.; Escudero-Adán, E. C.; Bo, C.; Urakawa, A.; Kleij, A. W.
Nat. Catal. 2019, 2, 62-70


Urakawa Research Group
AGAUR | Ref: 2017 SGR 1633
Call identifier: SGR 2017-2019

Continuous Catalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Chemical Energy Carriers
Ministerio | Ref: CTQ2016-75499-R

Oxidative upgrading of light alkanes by unsteady-state operation

Understanding low frequency vibrations critical in heterogeneous catalytic reactions
Ministerio | Ref: EUIN2017-89041
Call identifier: MINECO


Theses Supervised

Juan José Corral
July11th, 2019
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
 “Continuous Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide to Formates and Formic Acid Over Heterogeneous Catalysts”



Face to face with Atsushi Urakawa