Sébastien LEVENEUR

Welcome!
The research group is located at INSA Rouen Normandie. A part of the research is also done at ÅBO AKADEMI UNIVERSITY in Finland. 
Our aims is to develop safe and intensified processes for the valorization of biomass.

Contact : sebastien.leveneur@insa-rouen.fr

Postdoctoral Research Associate

 

PhD Students

  • Jose Emilio DELGADO LIRIANO “Production of γ-valerolactone, a green platform molecule”   
  • Daniele DI MENNO DI BUCCHIANICO “Safety process for the valorization of Normandy’s biomass”
  • Sindi BACO “MicroflUidics for Structure-reactivity relationships aided by Thermodynamics & kinetics”
  • Alexandre CORDIER “Valorisation de la biomasse par microfluidique : approches théoriques et expérimentales”
  • Wenel Naudy VASQUEZ SALCEDO “Bio Jet Fuels Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass”
  • Yudong MENG “Structure & reactivity: application to biomass valorization”

 

Research engineer

  • Jean-Pierre HEBERT (ANR MUST)

 

Master's thesis

  • Erny Encarnacion MUNOZ “Production of alkyl levulinates”

 

Our aim is to understand the reactivity of complex chemical systems: develop robust and reliable kinetic models in different thermal modes. We are using different calorimeters (RC1, C80, ARSST, etc), process intensification systems (micro-reactor, microwave irradiation) and statistical methods (Bayesian inferences, cross-validation, etc).

We have developed original approaches based on structure-reactivity and non-isothermal mode to develop robust and reliable kinetic models.

The following research activities are investigated:

• Risk assessment for the valorization of biomass processes

•  Kinetic modeling of complex reaction system

• Microwave irradiation for the valorization of vegetable oil

• Microreactor for the valorization of 2nd generation biomass

• Structure-reactivity

In 2004, I got two master theses: Chemical Engineering & Fine Chemistry (INSA Rouen) and Risk management of chemical hazards (University of Rouen). In 2005, I worked for nine months at Åbo Akademi University (Finland) on an industrial project (Kemira company). After this project, I started my doctoral thesis in joint-degree between Åbo Akademi University and INSA Rouen on “Catalytic synthesis and decomposition of peroxycarboxylic acids” under the supervision of Prof. Tapio Salmi. In 2009, I got my Ph.D. degree with honor from both institutes and the European label. From 2009 to 2010, I continued as a junior researcher at Åbo Akademi University and focused my research on kinetic modeling on the continuous reactor.

I was appointed Assistant-Professor at INSA Rouen in 2010 in the department “Risk management.” In 2015, I defended my Habillitation (University of Rouen) and became Associate-Professor. In 2015, I was also appointed Docent in chemical process technology, especially new concepts chemical in reaction engineering, modelling of chemical reactors and safety aspects at Åbo Akademi University. This position was renewed for life in 2020.

My research activities focus on the development of kinetic models for complex chemical systems, use process intensification (microwave & microreactor) and risk analysis. These activities are devoted to biomass valorization.

CV_Leveneur

BOOKS

I. Book “Process Synthesis and Process Intensification: Methodological Approaches”, de Gruyter, 2017, Coordinator: Ben-Guang Rong.
Book chapter: “Aspects on reaction intensification by microwave and ultrasound techniques in some chemical multiphase systems”, Contributors: T. Salmi, A.F. Aguilera, P. Tolvanen and S. Leveneur

PUBLICATIONS

 

2022

84. Elizabeth Antonia Garcia-Hernandez, Moulay Elhassane Elmoukrie, Sébastien Leveneur, Bouchaib Gourich, Lamiae Vernieres-Hassimi, Global sensitivity analysis to identify influential model input on thermal risk parameters: to cottonseed oil epoxidation, Journal of loss prevention in the process industries, Volume 77, July 2022, 104795, DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlp.2022.104795.

83. Nicolas Dietrich, Gaëlle Lebrun, Kalyani Kentheswaran, Mathias Monnot, Patrick Loulergue, Carine Franklin, Florence Teddé-Zambelli, Chafiaa Djouadi, Sébastien Leveneur, Mallorie Tourbin, Yolaine Bessière, Carole Coufort-Saudejaud, Annabelle Couvert, Eric Schaer, Rebalancing the historical female under-representation in education, 

Journal of Chemical Education, 2022, 99, 6, 2298–2309, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c01218

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03666841v1

82. Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico, Jean-Christophe Buvat, Mélanie Mignot, Valeria Casson Moreno and Sébastien Leveneur, Role of solvent the production of butyl levulinate from fructose, Fuel, Volume 318, 15 June 2022, 123703, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2022.123703.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03598350

81. Tapio Salmi, Vincenzo Russo, Adriana Aguilera, Pasi Tolvanen, Johan Wärnå, Martino Di Serio, Riccardo Tesser, Tommaso Cogliano, Sebastien Leveneur, Kari Eränen, A new perspective on vegetable oil epoxidation modeling: reaction and mass transfer in a liquid-liquid-solid system, AICHE Journal, Volume 68, Issue5, May 2022, e17626 doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/aic.17626 .

Open acces https://doi.org/10.22541/au.162603786.65718427/v1

80. Wander Perez-Sena, Kari Eränen, Narendra Kumar, Lionel Estel, Sébastien Leveneur, Tapio Salmi, New insights into the carbonation of epoxidized methyl oleate using single-component heterogeneous catalysts, Journal of CO2 Utilization, Volume 57, March 2022, 101879,

Open access https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcou.2021.101879.

79. Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico, Yanjun Wang, Jean-Christophe Buvat, Yong Pan, Valeria Casson Moreno, Sébastien Leveneur, Production of levulinic acid and alkyl levulinates: A process insight, Green Chemistry, 2022, 24, 614–646. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1GC02457D

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03498103

78. Tapio Salmi, Pasi Tolvanen, Kari Eränen, Johan Wärnå, Sebastien Leveneur, Heikki Haario, Determination of kinetic constants by using transient temperature data from continuous stirred tank reactors, Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 248, Part B, 2 February 2022, 117164,

Open access https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2021.117164 

77. Jose Delgado, Wenel Naudy Vasquez Salcedo, Giulia Bronzetti, Valeria Casson Moreno, Mélanie Mignot, Julien Legros, Christoph Held, Henrik Grénman, Sébastien Leveneur, Synergy effect of dual catalysts for the synthesis of γ-valerolactone from n-butyl levulinate hydrogenation over Ru/C and Amberlite IR-120, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 430, Part 3, 15 February 2022, 133053,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.133053.

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03498093

76. Xiaojia Lu, Paula Junghans, Johan Wärnå, Gerd Hilpmann, Rüdiger Lange, Heather Trajano, Kari Eränen, Lionel Estel, Sebastien Leveneur, Henrik Grenman, Hydrolysis of semi-industrial aqueous extracted xylan from birch (betula pendula) employing commercial catalysts – kinetics and modelling, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, Volume 97, 2022, Issue1, Pages 130-139  

Open access https://doi.org/10.1002/jctb.6918.

2021

75. Xiaojia Lu, Lucas Lagerquist, Kari Eränen, Jarl Hemming, Patrik Eklund, Lionel Estel, Sebastien Leveneur, Henrik Grenman, Reductive catalytic depolymerization of semi-industrial wood-based lignin, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2021, 60, 16827−16838

Open access https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.1c03154

74. Xiaojia Lu, Paula Junghans, Stephanie Weckesser, Johan Wärnå, Gerd Hilpmann, Rüdiger Lange, Heather Trajano, Kari Eränen, Lionel Estel, Sebastien Leveneur, Henrik Grénman, One flow through hydrolysis and hydrogenation of semi-industrial xylan from birch (betula pendula) in a continuous reactor– kinetics and modelling, Chemical Engineering and Processing - Process Intensification, 169 (2021) 108614

Open access https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cep.2021.108614

73. Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico, Wander Y. Perez-Sena, Valeria Casson Moreno, Tapio Salmi and Sébastien Leveneur, Model discrimination for hydrogen peroxide consumption to-wards γ-alumina in homogeneous liquid and heterogeneous liquid-liquid systems, Processes, 2021, 9, 1476.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9081476

72. S. Capecci, Y. Wang, J. Delgado, V. Casson Moreno, M. Mignot, H. Grenman, D. Yu. Murzin, S. Leveneur, Bayesian statistics to elucidate the kinetics of γ-valerolactone from n-butyl levulinate hydrogenation over Ru/C, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2021, 60, 31, 11725–11736. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.1c02107

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03498097

 

71. Xiaoshuang Cai, Pasi Tolvanen, Pasi Virtanen, Kari Eränen, Jani Rahkila, Sébastien Leveneur, Tapio Salmi, Kinetic study of the carbonation of epoxidized fatty acid methyl ester catalyzed over heterogeneous catalyst HBimCl-NbCl5/HCMC, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, 2021, 53, 1203-1219, 10.1002/kin.21526.

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03498076  

70. Yudong Meng, Francesco Taddeo, Adriana Freites, Xiaoshuang Cai, Vincenzo Russo, Pasi Tolvanen, Sébastien Leveneur, The Lord of the Chemical Rings: catalytic synthesis of im-portant industrial epoxide compounds, Catalysts 2021, 11, 765.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11070765

69. D. Lefebvre, S. Leveneur, Editorial Special Issue on “Thermal Safety of Chemical Processes”, Processes, 2021, 9(6), 1054.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9061054

 

68. N. Zora, T. Rigaux, J.-C. Buvat, D. Lefebvre, S. Leveneur, Influence assessment of inlet parameters on thermal risk and productivity: application to the epoxidation of vegetable oils, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 72, September 2021, 104551. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlp.2021.104551

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03498083

67. M. Errico, R. Stateva, S. Leveneur, Novel intensified alternatives for purification of levulinic acid, Processes, 9(3) (2021) 490.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030490  

66. Luping Zhou, Shuqi Dai, Shuai Xu,Yuqi She, Yuliang Li, Sebastien Leveneur, Yanlin Qin, Piezoelectric effect synergistically enhances the performance of Ti32-oxo-cluster/BaTiO3/CuS p-n heterojunction photocatalytic degradation of pollutants, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 291 (2021) 120019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2021.120019

65. S. Capecci, Y. Wang, V. Casson Moreno, C. Held, S. Leveneur, Solvent effect on the kinetics of the hydrogenation of n-butyl levulinate to γ-valerolactone, Chemical Engineering Science, 231 (2021) 116315 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2020.116315

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03144830

64. W. Y. Pérez-Sena, J. Wärnå, K. Eränen, P. Tolvanen, L. Estel, S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, Use of semibatch reactor technology for the investigation of reaction mechanism and kinetics: heterogeneously catalyzed epoxidation of fatty acid esters, Chemical Engineering Science, 230 (2021) 116206

Open access https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2020.116206

2020

63. A. Egedy, A. Kummer, S. Leveneur, T. Varga, T. Chován, CFD modelling of spatial inhomogeneities in a vegetable oil carbonation reactor, Processes, 8 (2020) 1356;

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8111356

62. Xiaojia Lu, Yanjun Wang, Lionel Estel, Narendra Kumar, Henrik Grénman, Sébastien Leveneur, Evolution of specific heat capacity with temperature for typical supports used for heterogeneous catalysts, Processes, 8(8) (2020) 911.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8080911

 

61. Yanjun Wang, Igor Plazl, Lamiae Vernières-Hassimi, Sébastien Leveneur, From calorimetry to thermal risk assessment: γ-valerolactone production from the hydrogenation of alkyl levulinates, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 144 (2020) 32-41 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2020.07.017

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03144825

60. Andrés Felipe Guzmán Agudelo, Wander Y. Pérez-Sena, Nasreddine Kebir, Tapio Salmi, Luis Alberto Ríos, Sébastien Leveneur, Influence of steric effects on the kinetics of cyclic-carbonate vegetable oils aminolysis, Chemical Engineering Science, 228 (2020) 115954 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2020.115954

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03515972

59. Vincenzo Russo, Riccardo Tesser, Carmelina Rossano, Tommaso Cogliano, Rosa Vitiello, Sébastien Leveneur, Martino Di Serio, Kinetic study of Amberlite IR120 catalyzed acid esterification of levulinic acid with ethanol: from batch to continuous operation, Chemical Engineering Journal, 401 (2020) 126126, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.126126

 

58. Adriana Freites Aguilera, Jani Rahkila, Jarl Hemming, Maristiina Nurmi, Gaetan Torres, Théophile Razat, Pasi Tolvanen, Kari Eränen, Sébastien Leveneur, Tapio Salmi, Epoxidation of tall oil catalyzed by an ion exchange resin under conventional heating and microwave irradiation, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 59 (22) (2020) 10397–10406.  

Open access https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.0c01288

57. Houda Ariba, Yanjun Wang, Christine Devouge-Boyer, Roumiana Stateva, Sébastien Leveneur, Physicochemical properties for the reaction systems: levulinic acid, its esters and γ-valerolactone, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 65 (6) (2020) 3008-3020 https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jced.9b00965

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02904648v1

56. W. Y. Pérez-Sena, T. Salmi, L. Estel, S. Leveneur, Thermal risk assessment for the epoxidation of linseed oil by classical Prisleschajew epoxidation and by direct epoxidation by H2O2 on alumina, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 140 (2020) 673–684.
DOI: 10.1007/s10973-019-08894-2.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435565

2019

55. Mohammad Yaghoub Abdollahzadeh Jamalabadi, Rezvan Alamian, Wei-Mon Yan, S. Leveneur, M. Safdari Shadloo, Effects of nanoparticle enhanced lubricant films in thermal design of plain journal bearings at high Reynolds numbers, Symmetry 11(11) (2019) 1353.

Open access https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11111353

54. E. A. Garcia-Hernandez, C. Ribeiro Souza, L. Vernières-Hassimi, S. Leveneur, Kinetic modeling using temperature as an on-line measurement: Application to the hydrolysis of acetic anhydride, a revisited kinetic model, Thermochimica Acta, 682 (2019) 178409.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tca.2019.178409

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435541v1

53. A. Dakkoune, L. Vernieres-Hassimi, S. Leveneur, D. Lefebvre, L. Estel, Analysis of thermal runaway events in French chemical industry, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 62 (2019) 103938. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlp.2019.103938

52. A. Freites Aguilera, P. Tolvanen, Johan Wärnå, S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, Kinetics and reactor modelling of fatty acid epoxidation in the presence of heterogeneous catalyst, Chemical Engineering Journal 375 (2019) 121936. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2019.121936

51. A. Freites Aguilera, P. Tolvanen, A. Oger, K. Eränen, S. Leveneur, J.-P. Mikkola, T. Salmi, Screening of ion exchange resin catalysts for epoxidation of oleic acid under the influence of conventional and microwave heating, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 94(9) (2019) 3020-3031. https://doi.org/10.1002/jctb.6112  

50. Y. Wang, M. Cipolletta, L. Vernières-Hassimi, V. Casson-Moreno S. Leveneur, Application of the concept of Linear Free Energy Relationships to the Hydrogenation of Levulinic acid and its corresponding esters, Chemical Engineering Journal, 374 (2019) 822–831.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2019.05.218

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02151602v1

49. A. Freites Aguilera, P. Tolvanen, K. Eränen, J. Wärnå, S. Leveneur, T. Marchant, T. Salmi, Kinetic modelling of Prileschajew epoxidation of oleic acid under conventional heating and microwave irradiation, Chemical Engineering Science, 199 (2019) 426-438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2019.01.035

48. X. Cai, M. Matos, S. Leveneur, Structure-reactivity: comparison between the carbonation of epoxidized vegetable oils and the corresponding epoxidized fatty acid methyl ester, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 58 (2019) 1548-1560. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.8b05510

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02151604v1  

47. V. Casson-Moreno, A.-L. Garbetti, S. Leveneur, G. Antonioni, A consequences-based approach for the selection of relevant accident scenarios in emerging technologies, Safety Science, 112 (2019) 142–151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2018.10.024

46. B. Belgacem, S. Leveneur, M. Chlendi, L. Estel, M. Bagane, The aid of calorimetry for kinetic and thermal study: application to the dissolution of tunisian natural phosphates, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry,135 (2019) 1891-1898, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-018-7157-3 

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02151606

2018

45. L. Vernieres-Hassimi, V. Casson-Moreno, M.-A. Abdelghani-Idrissi, S. Leveneur, Cooling configuration effect on the thermal risk of tubular reactor, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 67 (2018), DOI: 10.3303/CET1867008.

44. Y. Wang, L. Vernières-Hassimi, V. Casson-Moreno, J.-P. Hébert, S. Leveneur, Thermal risk assessment of levulinic acid hydrogenation to γ-valerolactone, Organic Process Research & Development, 22(9) (2018) 1092-1100. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.oprd.8b00122

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435572

43. S. Leveneur, M. Pinchard, A. Rimbault, M. Safdari Shadloo, T. Meyer, Parameters affecting thermal risk through a kinetic model under adiabatic condition: Application to liquid-liquid reaction system, Thermochimica Acta, (2018) 10–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tca.2018.05.024

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02127857

42. X. Cai, J.-L. Zheng, A. Freites Aguilera, L. Vernières-Hassimi, P. Tolvanen, T. Salmi, S. Leveneur, Influence of ring opening reactions on the kinetics of bio-based cottonseed oil epoxidation, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, 50(10) (2018) 726-741. https://doi.org/10.1002/kin.21208

41. W. Y. Pérez-Sena, X. Cai, N. Kebir, L. Vernières-Hassimi, C. Serra, T. Salmi, S. Leveneur, Aminolysis of cyclic-carbonate vegetable oils as a non-isocyanate route for the synthesis of polyurethane: a kinetic and thermal study, Chemical Engineering Journal, 346 (2018) 271-280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2018.04.028

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02298873
 

40. X. Cai, K. Ait Aissa, L. Estel, S. Leveneur, Investigation of the physicochemical properties for vegetable oils and their epoxidized and carbonated derivatives, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 63(5) (2018) 1524-1533. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jced.7b01075

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435575

39. A. Dakkoune, L. Vernieres-Hassimi, S. Leveneur, D. Lefebvre, L. Estel, Fault detection in the green chemical process: Application to an exothermic reaction, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 67 (2018), DOI: 10.3303/CET1867007.

38. A. Freites Aguilera, P. Tolvanen, S. Heredia, M. González Muñoz, T. Samson, A. Oger, A. Verove, K. Eränen, S. Leveneur, J.-P. Mikkola, T. Salmi, Epoxidation of fatty acids and vegetable oils assisted by microwaves catalysed by a cation exchange resin, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 57(11) (2018) 3876-3886.

37. A. Dakkoune, L. Vernières-Hassimi, S. Leveneur, D. Lefebvre, L. Estel, Risk assessment of french chemical industry, Safety Science, 105 (2018) 77-85.

36. J.-L. Zheng, P. Tolvanen, B. Taouk, K. Eränen, S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, Synthesis of carbonated vegetable oils: investigation of microwave effect in a pressurized continuous-flow recycle batch reactor, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 132 (2018) 9-18.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02138614

35. M.A. Abdelghani-Idrissi, S. Khalfallaoui, D. Seguin, L. Vernières-Hassimi, S. Leveneur. Solar Tracker for Enhancement of the Thermal Efficiency of Solar Water Heating System, Renewable Energy, 119 (2018) 79-94.

2017

34. L. Vernières-Hassimi, A. Dakkoune, L. Abdelouahed, L. Estel, S. Leveneur, Zero-order versus intrinsic kinetics for the determination of TMRad: Application to the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 56 (2017) 13040-13049.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435634

33. O. Jogunola, T. Salmi, S. Leveneur, J.-P. Mikkola, Complexation equilibria studies of alkyl formate hydrolysis in the presence of 1-butylimidazole, Thermochimica Acta, 652 (2017) 62-68.

32. S. Leveneur, Thermal safety assessment through the concept of structure-reactivity: application to vegetable oils valorization, Organic Process Research & Development, 21(4) (2017) 543-550.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03144820

31. L. Abdelouahed, S. Leveneur, L. Vernieres-Hassimi, L. Balland, B. Taouk, Comparative investigation for the determination of kinetic parameters for biomass pyrolysis by thermogravimetric analysis, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 129 (2017) 1201–1213.

30. X. Cai, J.-L. Zheng, J. Wärnå, T. Salmi, B. Taouk, S. Leveneur, Influence of gas-liquid mass transfer on kinetic modeling: Carbonation of epoxidized vegetable oils, Chemical Engineering Journal, 313 (2017) 1168-1183.

2016

29. S. Leveneur, L. Vernières-Hassimi, T. Salmi, Mass & energy balances coupling in chemical reactors for a better understanding of thermal safety, Education for Chemical Engineers, 16 (2016) 17-28.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435639

28. H. Rakotondramaro, J. Wärnå, L. Estel, T. Salmi, S. Leveneur, Cooling and stirring failure for semi-batch reactor: application to exothermic reactions in multiphase reactor, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 43 (2016) 147-157.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435638

27. K. Ait aissa, J.L. Zheng, L. Estel, S. Leveneur, Thermal stability of epoxidized and carbonated vegetable oils, Organic Process Research & Development, 20(5) (2016) 948-953.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435640

26. A. Freites Aguilera, P. Tolvanen, K. Eränen, S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, Epoxidation of oleic acid under conventional heating and microwave radiation, Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 102 (2016) 70–87.

25. F. Asherman, G. Cabot, C. Crua, L. Estel, C. Gagnepain, T. Lecerf, A. Ledoux, S. Leveneur, M. Lucereau, S. Maucorps, M. Ragot, J. Syrykh, M. Vige, Designing and demonstrating a master student project to explore carbon dioxide capture technology, Journal of Chemical Education, 93(4) (2016) 633-638.

Open access https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02328192

24. J.-L. Zheng, J. Wärnå, F. Burel, T. Salmi, B. Taouk, S. Leveneur, Kinetic modeling strategy for an exothermic multiphase reactor system: application to vegetable oils epoxidation by using Prileschajew method, AIChE Journal, 62(3) (2016) 726-741.

2015

23. L. Vernières-Hassimi, S. Leveneur, Alternative method to prevent thermal runaway in case of error on operating conditions in continuous reactor, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 98 (2015) 365-373.

22. J.-L. Zheng, F. Burel, T. Salmi, B. Taouk, S. Leveneur, Carbonation of vegetable oils: influence of mass transfer on reaction kinetics, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 54(43) (2015) 10935-10944.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02138621

21.    S. Leveneur, L. Estel, C. Crua, Thermal risks assessment of vegetable oil epoxidation, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 122 (2015) 795–804.

Open access https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02435644

20. B. Huang, S. Leveneur, T. Zamar, J.-P. Mikkola, B. Taouk, Towards production of γ-valerolactone via hydrogenation of aqueous levulinic acid, International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 13(1) (2015) 119–127.

2014

19. S. Leveneur, A. Ledoux, L. Estel, B. Taouk, T. Salmi, Epoxidation of vegetable oils under microwave irradiation, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 92(8) (2014) 1495–1502.

18. S. Leveneur, F. Delannoy, Y. Levesqueau, J.-P. Hébert, L. Estel, B. Taouk, T. Salmi, The limit of DSC as a Preliminary Tool to Determine the Safety Parameters?, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 36,139-144 DOI: 10.3303/CET1436024

Open access https://www.cetjournal.it/index.php/cet/article/view/CET1436024

17. S. Leveneur, J. Zheng, B. Taouk, F. Burel, J. Wärnå, T. Salmi, Interaction of thermal and kinetic parameters for a liquid liquid reaction system: Application to vegetable oils epoxidation by peroxycarboxylic acid, Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers, 45 (2014) 1449–1458.

2013

16. C. Gu, S. Leveneur, L. Estel, A. Yassine, Industrial Symbiosis Optimization Control Model for the exchanges of the material/energy flows in an industrial production park, IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 46(9) (2013) 1015-1020.

15. C. Gu, S. Leveneur, L. Estel, A. Yassine, Modeling and optimization of material/energy flow exchanges in an industrial park, Energy Procedia, 36 (2013) 243-252.

14. C. Gu, L. Estel, A. Yassine, S. Leveneur, A multiobjective optimization model for designing and optimizing an ecological industrial park, 2013 Ninth International Conference on Natural Computation (ICNC), (2013) 595–600. doi:10.1109/ICNC.2013.6818046.

2012

13. S. Leveneur, M. Thones, J.-P. Hébert, B. Taouk, T. Salmi, From Kinetic study to thermal safety assessment: application to peroxyformic acid synthesis, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51(43) (2012) 13999–14007.

12. S. Leveneur, C. A. de Araujo Filho, L. Estel, T. Salmi, Modeling of a liquid-liquid-solid heterogeneous reaction system: application to the synthesis of peroxy fatty acids, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51(1) (2012) 189–201.

2011

11. P. Tolvanen, A. Sorokin, P. Mäki-Arvela, S. Leveneur, D. Yu. Murzin, T. Salmi, Batch and semi-batch partial oxidation of starch by hydrogen peroxide in the presence of iron tetrasulfophthalocyanine catalyst: the effect of ultrasound and catalyst addition policy, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 50 (2) (2011) 749-757. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie100868k

10. S. Leveneur, J. Wärnå, K. Eränen, T. Salmi, Green process technology for peroxycarboxylic acids: estimation of kinetic and dispersion parameters aided by RTD measurements: green synthesis of peroxycarboxylic acids, Chemical Engineering Science, 66 (2011) 1038–1050. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2010.12.005  

9. O. Jogunola, T. Salmi, J. Warna, S. Leveneur, J.P. Mikkola, Modelling of Simultaneous Reaction and Diffusion in Chemical Reactors with Particle Size Distributions: Application of Ion-exchange Resins in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 24 (2011) 139-144

Open access https://folk.ntnu.no/skoge/prost/proceedings/pres2011-and-icheap10/ICheaP10/7Jogunola.pdf

2010

8. H. Koskinen, S. Leveneur, A. Sundquist, N. Musakka, T.Salmi, I. Renvall Functionality of Poly(α-hydroxyacrylic acid) as H2O2 stabilizing agent, Oxidation Communication, Book 2 (2010) 258-274.

7. S. Leveneur, N. Kumar, D. Yu. Murzin, T. Salmi, Stability of hydrogen peroxide during perhydrolysis of carboxylic acids on acidic heterogeneous catalysts, Research on Chemical Intermediates, 36(4) (2010) 389-401. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11164-010-0149-y

6. S. Leveneur, J. Wärnå, T. Salmi, D. Yu. Murzin, A review: Catalytic synthesis and decomposition of peroxycarboxylic acids, Trends in chemical engineering, 13 (2010) 17-52.

2009

5. S. Leveneur, J. Wärnå, T. Salmi, D. Yu. Murzin, L. Estel, Interaction of Intrinsic Kinetics and Internal Mass Transfer in Porous Ion-Exchange Catalysts: Green Synthesis of Peroxycarboxylic Acids, Chemical Engineering Science, 64(19) (2009) 4104-4114. 

4. S. Leveneur, D. Yu. Murzin, T. Salmi, J.-P. Mikkola, N. Kumar, K. Eränen, L. Estel, Synthesis of Peroxypropionic Acid from Propionic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide using heterogenous Catalysts, Chemical Engineering Journal, 147 (2009) 323-329.

3. S. Leveneur, D. Yu. Murzin, T. Salmi, Application of Linear Free-Energy Relations to Perhydrolysis of Different Carboxylic Acids over Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysts, Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 303 (2009) 148-155.

2008

2. S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, D. Yu. Murzin, L. Estel, J. Wärnå, N. Musakka, Kinetic Study and Modeling of Peroxypropionic Acid Synthesis from Propionic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide using Homogeneous Catalysts, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 47(3) (2008) 656-664.

2007

1. S. Leveneur, T. Salmi, N. Musakka, J. Wärnå, Kinetic Study of Decomposition of Peroxypropionic acid in Liquid-Phase through Direct Analysis of Decomposition Products in Gas Phase, Chemical Engineering Science, 62 (18-20) (2007) 5007-5012. 

  • INSA Rouen Normandie
  • Åbo Akademi University
  • Région Normandie
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Interreg
  • ANR-DFG
  • Academy of Finland
  • Industry (KEMIRA, ARKEMA,…)
  • Campus France

Sponsor

Postdoctoral Research Associate

  • Keltouama AIT AÏSSA (2015)
  • Pasi TOLVANEN (2014)
  • Botao HUANG (2013)

 

PhD Students

  • Xiaojia LU (2017-2021) "Reductive catalytic depolymerization of industrial lignin and hemicellulose – process development and intensification" 
    Open access https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/181798?locale=lfi    
  • Wander Yamil PEREZ SENA (2017-2021) "Monomers from vegetable oil feedstock : kinetics, catalysis and thermal risk"
    Open access https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/181513  
  • Elizabeth GARCIA-HERNANDEZ (2017-2020) "Global sensitivity analysis applied to thermal risk evaluation"
    Open access http://www.theses.fr/en/2020NORMIR10  
  • Yanjun WANG (2017-2020) "Production of γ-valerolactone from the hydrogenation of levulinic acid or alkyl levulinates : calorimetry and kinetic study"
    Open access http://www.theses.fr/en/2020NORMIR02  
  • Adriana FREITES AGUILLERA (2016-2020) "Epoxidation of vegetable oils : process intensification for biomass conversion"
    Open access https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/175243  
  • Xiaoshuang CAI (2016-2019) "Production of carbonated vegetable oils from a kinetic modeling to a structure-reactivity approach"
    Open access http://www.theses.fr/2019NORMIR05  
  • Suttiya CHIEWUDOMRAT (2015-2018) "Optical characterization of gradient in droplets : application to CO2 capture by MEA spray"
  • Jun Liu ZHENG (2013-2016) "Development of a process for the epoxidation and carbonation vegetable oils : application to cottonseed oil"
    Open access http://www.theses.fr/en/2016ISAM0006  
  • Chao GU (2011-2014) "Creating an inductive model of growing industrial clusters with optimized flows, to reduce their impact on the environment"

     

Visiting researchers

  • Viktoria Flora CSENDES (University of Pannonia, Hungary, 2021)
  • Daniel Datch MEFOUET ABESSOLO (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Libreville, Gabon, 2020)
  • Andrés Felipe GUZMÁN AGUDELO (University of Antioquia, Colombia, 2019)
  • Valeria CASSON MORENO (University of Bologna, Italy, 2017)
  • Balsam BELGACEM (University of Gabès, Tunisia, 2014)

 

Master Students

  • Antonella CIPOLLA (2021)
  • Rashid Ismail BEDAWI ZAKARIA (2021)
  • Wenel Naudy VASQUEZ SALCEDO (2021)
  • Sindi BACCO (2020)
  • Giulia BRONZETTI (2020)
  • Daniele DI MENNO DI BUCCHIANICO (2019)
  • Sarah CAPECCI (2019)
  • Houda ARIBA (2019)
  • Mariasole CIPOLLETTA (2018)
  • Masoud KHALILPOURSHIRAZ (2018)
  • Anna Laura GAREBETTI (2017)
  • Wander Y. PÉREZ-SENA (2017)
  • Helisoa RAKOTONDRAMARO (2014)
  • Adriana FREITES AGUILLERA (2014)
  • Tamara ZAMAR (2012)
  • Federico SAFATLE (2012)
  • Claire LEBLAY (2012)
  • P. G. MENDONÇA MILEO (2011)
  • Jun Liu ZHENG (2011)
  • C. A. DE ARAUJO FILHO (2010)

February 2022-February 2025: Rouen’s project PROMETEE (Processes to valoRize nOrman bioMass from renEwable energies: ciTizen sciencE and process safEty)

Consortium: Aoues’s team (INSA Rouen) for the mechanical and civil engineering part, Liano’s team (Rouen university) for the citizen science part and Leveneur’s team for process safety.  

Total budget : 120 k€.

Climate emergency and citizen distrust push us to re-think (re-design) the different models of environmental transition. Nowadays, interdisciplinary collaboration between engineering and social sciences is mandatory to find alternative and acceptable solutions.

Valorization of lignocellulosic biomass by renewable energy such as green hydrogen will sustain our chemical industries and contribute to the mix energy. Such processes could lead to new industrial risks that must be identified and evaluated by new methods. 

Researchers from Rouen University and INSA Rouen Normandy concluded that industrial projects involving these processes must be evaluated on the innovative tetraptic Society-Industrial Risk-Environmental impact-Cost evaluation. 

Lignocellulosic biomass from agricultural waste can be valorized into different chemicals, fuels and materials. These different options can affect the cost evaluation, environment or industrial risk assessment differently. Citizens will also evaluate these options by using/testing/developing different protocols.

Principal investigators: Sébastien Leveneur (INSA Rouen Normandie) & Michalis Lianos (Rouen University).

PROMETEE

 

SCIENTIFIC RESULTS

CONFERENCES

1. Wenel Naudy Vasquez Salcedo, Bruno Renou, Sebastien Leveneur, Gamma-valerolactone production from butyl levulinate: advance kinetic modeling and thermal risk assessment.

Oral presentation at Calorimetry and Thermal analysis JCAT52, June 15-17, 2022, Colmar, France

 

wenel

 

January 2022-November 2022: French embassy project with Indonesia POTION (Production sûr de biOcarburant aviatTION : une approche expérimentale et théorique Safe production of aviation biofuel: experimental and theoretical approaches).

 

Principal investigator of POTION, which is in collaboration with Dr. Mohammad Kemal Agusta CMD-QE Bandung Institute of Technology for DFT calculation. The objective of this project is to have a better understanding of the production of aviation fuel from lignocellulosic biomass. 

February 2021-April 2024: ANR-DFG project MUST: MicroflUidics for Structure-reactivity relationships aided by Thermodynamics & kinetics.

 

Researchers: Sébastien Leveneur (Coordinator, INSA Rouen Normandie), Julien Legros (COBRA, Université de Rouen) and Christoph Held (Dortmund TU, Germany).

Ph.D. students: Sindi Baco, Alexandre Cordier and Marcel Klinksiek

Total budget: 600k€ including 3 Ph.D. salaries.

ANR-20-CE92-0002 & Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Project number 446436621

Graphical abstract

The relationships between the structure of chemicals (reactants or products) and their reactivity (kinetics and thermodynamics) is a research area that crosslinks thermodynamics, kinetics, organic chemistry and chemical engineering. This project will investigate this research area by German and French specialists. The concept of Linear Free Energy Relationships (LFER), including the Taft equation, is a powerful structure-reactivity tool that accounts for steric, polar and resonance effects on a series of chemical reactions. Taft equation shows that there is a relationship between the structure of reactants (i.e., the substituent near to the reaction center) and their reactivities within a reaction series. It is state-of-the-art to apply this to chemical reactions (e.g. esterification), and it is claimed that the developed parameters are valid independent of the reaction conditions. However, mainly esterification and hydrolysis reactions were used in one kind of solvent, which in principle limits the general validity of the relationships. Thus, generalizing LFER concepts to vast number of solvents or solvent mixtures and even to multiphase reaction systems requires intrinsic kinetic profiles in the absence of concentration and temperature gradients, expressed in terms of thermodynamic activities. This will be developed in this project.
The redeveloped Taft-based method will be mainly applied to three chemical reaction systems that involve lignocellulosic-derived platform molecules: 1) glucose solvolysis to levulinate ester using different alcohol solvents, 2) esterification-hydrolysis of levulinic acid-levulinate ester and
3) hydrogenation of levulinic acid or levulinate ester to gamma-valerolactone by H2 and solid catalyst. We will vary the reactants for these systems, i.e., different alcohols for 1) and 2), and different levulinate esters for 3). System 2) will prove the validity of the LFER concept to enzyme catalysis. The goal is to use the redeveloped method to study and predict the -R substituent effect in the reactant and the solvent effect on kinetic profiles.


Reaching the goal requires different research expertise. The use of microfluidic technologies will allow performing kinetic experiments avoiding transport limitations. Activities of the reactants and products will be predicted based on the experimental kinetic profiles and the equation of state ‘ePC-SAFT’. This will ultimately allow predicting reaction properties (standard enthalpies, standard Gibbs energies) as well as intrinsic activity-based reaction kinetic constants. Furthermore, ePC SAFT will be used to predict the required phase behavior of the reaction systems (e.g. H2 solubility in reaction medium); all predictions (phase behavior and reaction characteristics) will be validated by experiments.
The association of both methods –LFER & ePC-SAFT– will mean a significant new understanding and a new dimension in designing chemical syntheses.

 

SCIENTIFIC RESULTS

 

Jose Delgado, Wenel Naudy Vasquez Salcedo, Giulia Bronzetti, Valeria Casson Moreno, Mélanie Mignot, Julien Legros, Christoph Held, Henrik Grénman, Sébastien Leveneur, Synergy effect of dual catalysts for the synthesis of γ-valerolactone from n-butyl levulinate hydrogenation over Ru/C and Amberlite IR-120, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 430, Part 3, 15 February 2022, 133053,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.133053. 

 

CONFERENCES

 

1. Oral communication for The International Symposium on Green Chemistry (ISGC2022), May 16TH - 20TH, 2022, La Rochelle, France.

Jose Delgado, Wenel Naudy Vasquez Salcedo, Christoph Held, Henrik Grénman, Sébastien Leveneur, Adiabatic hydrogenation of Alkyl Levulinates to Gamma-valerolactone.

 

jOSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Oral communication for The International Symposium on Green Chemistry (ISGC2022), May 16TH - 20TH, 2022, La Rochelle, France.

Alexandre Cordier, Christoph Held, Julien Legros, Sebastien Leveneur, Enzymatic catalysis of butyl levulinate synthesis in continuous microfluidic system: kinetic model assessment.

 

aLEX

December 2021-December 2024: Normandy’s region project ARBRE (Risk Analysis to processes valorizing 2nd generation biomass and using Renewable energies.

Consortium: Aoues’s team (INSA Rouen) for the mechanical and civil engineering part, Diarrassouba’s team (Le Havre university) for the logistic study (biomass transportation), Lefebvre’s team (Le Havre university) for the prognostic and detection study, Maugé’s team (CNRS Caen) for the catalyst development, Aubert’s team (Rouen university) for the ecology impact and Leveneur’s team for chemical process.

Coordinator: S Leveneur. 

Total budget: 574 k€

 

Scientific presentation

The ARBRE project aims to develop a process for the valorization of Normandy's lignocellulosic biomass (e.g. dedicated cultivation such as beech or agricultural waste such as flax shives) by using green hydrogen obtained from wind energy. The chemical process studied will be the Reductive Catalytic Fractionation (RCF) process of lignocellulosic biomass.
This project ultimately aims to make an economic and risk assessment of this industry. Indeed, such chemical plants can present new risks.
RISK -Evaluate the risks of dust explosion (lignocellulosic biomass) and thermal runaway -Establish a method for assessing technological and natural risks based on a probabilistic approach -Establish safety barriers and integrate these risks during the design phase (early-conception approach).
SAFETY -Develop decision-making tools for prevention by detection and early diagnosis -Use artificial intelligence approaches for fault diagnosis
LOGISTICS -Mathematical model (s) to optimize flow exchanges between biomass (production, harvest, transport and considering the seasonality of biomass), hydrogen ("seasonality" of wind power production) and RCF process.
ECOLOGICAL Evaluate the impact of dedicated crops on soils
PROCESS ENGINEERING & CATALYSIS -Develop kinetic and thermodynamic models -Synthesize and characterize heterogeneous catalysts for the RCF process -Develop a Process Flow Diagram associated with lignocellulosic biomass valuation processes -Perform an economic evaluation in strong interaction with the logistics objectives (including security barriers)

 

ARBRE

 

SCIENTIFIC RESULTS

1.Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico, Yanjun Wang, Jean-Christophe Buvat, Yong Pan, Valeria Casson Moreno, Sébastien Leveneur, Production of levulinic acid and alkyl levulinates: A process insight, Green Chemistry, 2022, 24, 614–646. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1GC02457D

2.Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico, Jean-Christophe Buvat, Mélanie Mignot, Valeria Casson Moreno and Sébastien Leveneur, Role of solvent the production of butyl levulinate from fructose, Fuel, Volume 318, 15 June 2022, 123703, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2022.123703.

 

CONFERENCES

 

1.Oral communication for The International Symposium on Green Chemistry (ISGC2022), May 16TH - 20TH, 2022, La Rochelle, France.

 

D. Di Menno Di Bucchianico, J.C. Buvat, V. Casson Moreno, S. Leveneur, Inside the mechanism for transforming cellulose into biofuels: kinetic and calorimetry investigation of 5-hmf alcoholysis to n-butyl levulinate over solid catalyst.

 

Daniele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020-2022: PHC Balaton ”Numerical methods for the optimization and safe production of non-isocyanate polymers”

Collaboration between INSA Rouen Normandie (France) & with the Institute of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Pannonia (Hungary).

Principal investigators: Sébastien Leveneur (INSA Rouen Normandie) & Attila Egedy (University of Pannonia).

Total budget: 10k€ 

 

Scientific presentation

Fossil raw materials are the most used feedstock in the energy sector and in the chemical industry. For instance, 90% of organic chemicals are synthesized from petroleum or natural gas. Public authorities, industries and academies put a considerable effort into developing green and sustainable processes.

The use of vegetable oils, as renewable feedstock, for the production of chemicals or biofuels is a good illustration of this effort. The worldwide production of vegetable oil is increasing since 1975. The part of production for industrial use also increases and not only for biodiesel. Vegetable oils can be considered as platform molecules.

Epoxidation of vegetable oils is one of the most important ways of functionalization. Epoxidized vegetable oils can be used as starting materials for the production of NIPU (Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes) or as biolubricants, stabilizers or stabilizers for polymers. Worldwide production of polyurethane has increased these last years, making it among the 6 polymers the most produced, due to its versatile properties. 

Production of NIPU from vegetable requires three different reaction steps: epoxidation of vegetable oils; carbonation of epoxidized vegetable oils by the reaction between epoxidized group and carbon dioxide and production of NIPU by aminolysis reaction, i.e., reaction between carbonated group and a diamine. The difficulties in putting this process at the industrial scale are the lack of knowledge in kinetics, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.

Graphical abstract

Despite all the different research, one can notice that some important data are still missing to promote the industrial scale and the safety of this process. One of the first points is to propose a complete kinetic model for the production of epoxidized vegetable oils by taking into account the evolution of the viscosity. This first stage is essential to optimize the production of this intermediate and to prevent the thermal runaway risk. The second step is to develop an advanced kinetic model for the 2 other steps: carbonation and aminolysis.

With the detailed modelling of the unknown reaction system based on assumed reaction mechanism and kinetic expressions, a lot of new information can be collected to support the design of the reactor unit. The dynamical behaviour of the unknown reaction system can be predicted with the identified reaction rate expressions, which can consider the temperature dependencies next to the concentration. If we use both the kinetic and the hydrodynamic information obtained from the different models, then a detailed model can be developed which can be used to predict the behaviour of a device after validated against measurements.

The hydrodynamic behavior of the device can be so complex, that a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model is necessary to be developed to reach the desired level of model accuracy. In process engineering practice CFD models can support the process optimization tasks. With the up-to-date computers the momentum, heat and component mass balances can be solved together in time and in multiple geometric dimensions, due to the available significant computation capacity.

 

Current results

-Our collaboration leads to the following article (open acces) CFD Modeling of Spatial Inhomogeneities in a Vegetable Oil Carbonation Reactor, https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8111356

 

-Scientific visit in September 2021, including the oral presentations of

Daniele Di Menno Di Bucchianico: Solvent effect for the alcoholysis of fructose

Jose Delgado: Production of Gamma-valerolactone, calorimetry and kinetic study

 

-Scientific visit of Hungarian colleagues at INSA Rouen in June 2022

 

meeting

 

 

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2019-2020: PHC Proteus ”Process intensification in the production of 2nd generation platform molecules”

Collaboration between INSA Rouen Normandie (France) & with the Microprocess Engineering Research Group, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

Principal investigators: Sébastien Leveneur (INSA Rouen Normandie) & Igor Plazl (University of Ljubljana).

Total budget: 10k€

 

Scientific presentation

For the valorization of biomass, the tendency is to work on the production of platform molecules. Furthermore, lignocellulosic biomass should be privileged because of its non-competition with food. There are different potential platform molecules issued from lignocellulosic biomass like sorbitol, furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), levulinic acid, lignin monomer, ethanol, butanol or lactic acid. Levulinic acid is of particular interest, and has been identified as one of the twelve promising building blocks by the US department of energy.

The design and scale-up of new processes and technologies using biomass feedstock might involve emerging risks according to the International Risk Governance Council:  issues that are perceived to be potentially significant, but they may not be fully understood and assessed and therefore correctly managed, e.g. bio-hazards, thermal risk and dust explosion.

On one hand, processes using biomass are usually perceived as thermally and/or toxicology safer or even completely harmless with respect to other conventional chemical processes. On the other hand, using biomass as a raw material entails hazardous materials and severe process conditions such as acid hydrolysis, high pressures, and temperatures and a risk assessment should be performed. Society could accept such processes based on biomass, i.e., biorefinery, because it can promote new jobs, consume local biomass feedstock and waste, diminish the dependency towards fossil feedstock and use ecofriendly raw materials. Thus, to preserve the development of such sustainable industries, and its image towards public opinion, a risk assessment should be carried out [1].

To summarize, one needs to use harsh operation conditions (high temperature and pressure) to fractionate the lignocellulosic biomass and to depolymerize cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin to platform molecules. During these different steps, there are some exothermic reactions, which could lead to thermal runaway in case of temperature loss. The use of microreactor could be beneficial to perform such processes.  

The microscale reactor is a device whose operation depends on precisely controlled design features with characteristic dimensions from submillimeter to submicrometer. The fundamental advantages of microstructured over the conventional reactors can be classified due to the decrease in physical size and increase in number of units [2]. Small reactor size (at least one dimension below 1 mm, typically in the range 50–500 mm) and high surface-tovolume ratio (typically 10.000–50.000 m2/m3) together with a continuous operation mode resulting in, for example, improved mixing and energy efficiency, heat management, scalability, and safety and lower waste production, are strategic advantages of microfluidic systems over large-scale reactors [3].

The intensification and optimization of existing chemical processes with better selectivity, highly efficient heat and mass transport, products quality, process safety, as well as the development of new and environmentally friendly technologies are feasible with the microreactor technology. Increasing research efforts and the growing industrial interest in using microscale technology for continuous-flow organic synthesis and for various continuous-flow separations shed new light on basic process development and sets a new paradigm for chemical production. Point-of-use generation of toxic, explosive, and hazardous chemicals in situ within integrated microfluidic systems improves safety, health, and environment issues and allows multiple reactions and separations [3].

There is a need to develop intensified process units for the valorization of 2nd generation biomass, which could ensure the thermal stability of the system. Such work is complex and a single research group could not do it. For this reason, LSPC (Normandie Université INSA-Université Rouen) with the Process Engineering Research Group (University of Ljubljana) have decided to join their efforts.

For this project, the use of microreactor for the hydrolysis of cellulose and the production of γ-valerolactone from the hydrogenation of levulinic acid will be studied. Indeed, these two systems are exothermic and require high reaction temperature and pressure. 

At LSPC, we are working on the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass (doctoral thesis of Xiaoshia LU), on the safe production of γ-valerolactone from the hydrogenation of levulinic acid (doctoral thesis of Yanjun WANG), on the production of monomers from biomass and CO2 (doctoral thesis of Wander Perez) and on the thermal stability of continuous reactor (doctoral thesis of Elizabeth Garcia Hernandez).

 

[1] S. Leveneur, Thermal safety assessment through the concept of structure-reactivity: application to vegetable oils valorization. Organic Process Research & Development, 2017, 21(4), 543-550.

[2] P. Žnidaršič Plazl, I. Plazl. Microbiorectors. In: M. Moo-Young (Ed.-in Chief), Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Ed., Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011, pp. 289-301

[3] R. Wohlgemuth, I. Plazl, P. Žnidaršič Plazl, K. V. Gernaey, J. M. Woodley. Microscale technology and biocatalytic processes: opportunities and challenges for synthesis. Trends Biotechnol., 2015, 33: 302-314

Current results

Our collaboration leads to the following article 

Yanjun Wang, Igor Plazl, Lamiae Vernières-Hassimi, Sébastien Leveneur, From calorimetry to thermal risk assessment: γ-valerolactone production from the hydrogenation of alkyl levulinates, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 144 (2020) 32-41 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2020.07.017

-Scientific visit in June and August 2019

photo

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2016-2017: PHC Galileo ”Emergency response in second generation biomass valorization processes”

 

Collaboration between INSA Rouen Normandy (France) and the laboratory of Industrial Safety and Environmental Sustainability, Bologna University (Italy).

Principal investigators: Sébastien Leveneur (INSA Rouen Normandie) & Valeria Casson Moreno (Bologna University).

 

Total budget: 15k€

 

Scientific presentation

Due to fossil depletion, environmental issues, global warming and energy dependence from some fossil-energy-exporting countries, the development of process based on biomass raw materials tends to increase.

The increase in the number and potentiality of bioenergy facilities associated to the scale-up to industrial production, as well as to the industrial implementation of innovative processes and technologies, is generating a ‘major accident’ hazard. According to Seveso Directive, a major accident is defined as an occurrence such as a major emission, fire, or explosion resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of the operation leading to serious danger to human health and/or the environment, immediate or delayed, inside or outside the establishment, and involving one or more dangerous substances.

The scale-up of such processes could entails an “emerging risk” (according to the definition of the International Risk Governance Council), i.e. issues are perceived to be potentially significant but they may not be fully understood and assessed, thus not allowing risk management options to be developed with confidence.

Processes using biomass raw materials are usually perceived as safer or even completely harmless than the ones using petroleum-derived products. However, these raw materials require several treatments (acid hydrolysis, high pressure and temperature). In fact, in the last decade, there have been several accidents involving bioenergy production and feedstock supply chain that raised concern on the safety of such technologies. A recent analysis of major accidents in bioenergy industry showed that their number is growing faster than bioenergy production. A comparison with the number of accidents in oil refining activities shows that the increasing trend is specific of bioenergy. In particular, many of the accident analysed entailed considerable environmental losses, which poses the question of the management of response time during such emergencies. In fact, in the perspective of a safe and sustainable exploitation of renewable resources, this is to be considered an early warning and suggest the importance of risk awareness and safety culture in bioenergy production. It is worth noticing that limited safety requirements exist in EU, since most of the production plants are medium to small scale and thus are not included in the application of Seveso Directives. 

In this perspective, risk assessment is a fundamental step (according to ISO 31000:2009) in emergency response, in order to (1) contain or mitigate the effects of the event, and (2) restore order and re-establishing normality in the immediate aftermath of the event. Emergency response cannot be random, but has to be prepared in advance, so that, when an unexpected event occurs, it will be carried out in a well-timed, coordinate and effective manner. The phases of the preparedness are:

•           plan, i.e. establishing a-priori how to respond in the best way to an unexpected event;

•           organize / equip, that is providing human and financial resources, and technical equipment necessary for responding to an emergency;

•           train, that is giving them confidence in the emergency procedures, improving the ability of each person to carry them out his role successfully in the procedure;

•           exercise, i.e. simulating an emergency situation, with the purpose of testing procedures and of giving people practice in carrying out them, in order to validate the emergency plan;

•           evaluate / improve, that means objectively reviewing the exercise looking for gaps and shortfalls in the emergency plan, so to identify opportunities for improvement.

In order to carry out emergency response planning, the first necessary step is the definition of emergency scenarios resulting from the risk assessment of the system. This means that, as stated by the ISO 31000:2009 standard, the risk of each event has to be expressed in terms of a combination of its consequences and the associated likelihood of occurrence.

In this framework, the present proposal answers to the societal challenges “Secure, clean and efficient energy” defined by the European program H2020, because society could accept bioenergy production processes as they can promote new jobs, consume local biomass feedstocks and waste, diminish the dependency towards fossil feedstocks and use ecofriendly raw materials. Thus, to improve the development of this sustainable industrial sector, research is needed.

Several groups are working on issues related to biomass valorization such as the choice of the biomass to be used in order to reduce the environmental impact on the soil or process simulations aimed at economic analysis of the systems and at improving energy integration. Literature concerning these issues is quite vast. However, safety aspects are rarely studied.

Thus, the main goal of the present proposal is to assess the risk of second-generation biomass valorization processes in order to provide better inputs to emergency planning, which in turn will improve response time in the case of emergencies that could lead to human and environmental losses. In particular, a process based on second-generation biomass (that produced from lignocellulose biomass, e.g. forest residues, crops residues or herbaceous and woody energy crops) will be considered. The development of processes using lignocellulosic biomass materials (LCBM) is increasing because of its non-competition with food crops. Several pilot or pre-industrial units have been built and more will be operating soon.

More in details, the process of interest will be the production of levulinic acid (LA). It is worth mentioning that LA has been identified as one of the 12 top promising building blocks by the US Department of Energy, and it can be seen as a platform molecule for the production of bio-chemicals/-fuels.

Different processes have been developed so far for the production of LA from LCBM. In particular, we will focus our analysis on the Biofine Process, that could allow a further upgrading of LA to gamma-valerolactone (GVL) via hydrogenation (hydrogen is produced in situ from the decomposition of formic acid). GVL is, in turn, a key platform molecule for the production of bio-chemicals/-fuels. To the best of our knowledge, this process is still at the pilot scale up. Our scope is to assess the risk of this existing industrial process; furthermore a unit for the production of GVL from the hydrogenation of LA will be included in the analysis.

Risk assessment and its quantification (necessary for the definition of emergency response time) of such a complex processes cannot be performed by a single research group but by a consortium. For this reason, LSPC (Normandie Université INSA-Université Rouen) with the support GSCP (EFL, Switzerland), and DICAM (University of Bologna, Italy) have decided to work together on this topic.

Recent studies showed that potential consequences on different environmental media due to the release of substances environmental hazardous may be greatly reduced if the emergency response scheduling is prompt and effective. This is especially true when dealing with liquid spills into the soil, which may eventually reach also the capillary fringe and then the water table.

This is mainly due to different dynamics and characteristic times for the release and the for the fate and transport phenomena of the spilled chemical; being the first relatively fast and the latter quite slow, if compared with typical release rates.

Thus, beyond a quick intervention for stopping the release is clearly extremely important, it can be very important as well also the first intervention time (i.e. the elapsed time from the beginning of the release to the first on-site emergency intervention). Moreover, a second intervention is often necessary in order to finally remediate the polluted soil and/or groundwater and also this second step if promptly carried on becomes cheaper and more effective.

The scheduling of these actions depends on several factors. First an estimation of potential environmental consequences is required on the basis of a risk analysis for the facility that can cause the environmental damage. From the analysis both expected consequences and frequencies of Loss of Containment events may be derived, thus properly addressing resources to most relevant/most frequent scenarios. Another important factor that affects emergency response to environmental hazards is the selection of proper remediation action/technology both for the first emergency intervention and for the final remediation action. A proper selection should be based at least on the following items:

•           Transport properties of the substance through the soil and into groundwater

•           Terrain morphology and soil texture

•           Availability (or distance) of emergency intervention units and/or of off-site remediation plants

An environmental emergency response that is planned on the aforementioned elements could largely mitigate consequences for the environment due to accidental spills of chemicals, thus reducing also the indirectly induced health risk for individuals.

Graphical abstract

Communication

A.-L. Garbetti, V. Casson Moreno, S. Leveneur, L. Vernières-Hassimi, G. Antonioni, L. Abdelouahed, A. Tugnoli, Y. Wang, E. Salzano, L. Estel, V. Cozzani, “Risk assessment of levulinic acid production process from lignocellulosic biomass and upgrading to gamma-valerolactone”

Oral presentation for the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, 1st-5th October 2017, Barcelona, Spain

Y. Wang, L. Vernières-Hassimi, J. Wärnå, V. Casson-moreno, T. Salmi, S. Leveneur, “ Intrinsic kinetic constants versus safety parameters: hydrogenation of levulinic acid to γ-valerolactone.”

Poster presentation for the 25th International Conference on Chemical Reaction Engineering, 20th-23rd May 2018, Florence, Italy.

Y. Wang, L. Vernières-Hassimi, V. Casson-Moreno, J.-P. Hébert, S. Leveneur, Thermal risk assessment of levulinic acid hydrogenation to γ-valerolactone, Organic Process Research & Development, 22(9) (2018) 1092-1100. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.oprd.8b00122

V. Casson-Moreno, A.-L. Garbetti, S. Leveneur, G. Antonioni, A consequences-based approach for the selection of relevant accident scenarios in emerging technologies, Safety Science, 112 (2019) 142–151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2018.10.024