Javier Bilbao-Elorriaga, Pioneer in Energy Research (PIER) 2021

The Energy & Fuels journal has designated the UPV/EHU professor Bilbao-Elorriaga as PIER 2021

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First publication date: 04/01/2022

Javier Bilbao
Javier Bilbao Elorriaga, Pioneer in Energy Research (PIER). Photo: Jorge Navarro. UPV/EHU.

For his outstanding contribution to the field of biomass and waste conversion, the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country professor Javier Bilbao-Elorriaga has been designated “Pioneer in Energy Research” (PIER) 2021 in the field of bioenergy, biofuels and biorefining by the prestigious journal Energy & Fuels published by the American Chemical Society.

In addition to achieving advances at the frontiers of science, PIERs are characterised as thinking outside the box, collaborating effectively with colleagues and actively mentoring young researchers in the field. They are widely recognised not only as the most influential researchers, but also as role models in this field.

"I have worked for nearly 50 years in the field of catalytic processes and have been able to witness the capacity of catalytic processes to provide solutions to the challenges relating to energy, the environment and sustainable production," said Javier Bilbao-Elorriaga.

When referring to the objectives of the group he leads, he also stresses "the importance of research rooted in the University, with the training of researchers being the first objective. And the importance of international networking and collaboration to improve the scope and quality of research".

The UPV/EHU professor went on to say that he "would highlight originality, constancy, collaboration and coherence as the main attitudes of a young researcher so that a rapid but also lasting impact of the results can be achieved. But originality in research stems from a thorough knowledge of the state of the art, which is necessary to identify challenges at the frontiers of knowledge.”

Javier Bilbao-Elorriaga is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the UPV/EHU and coordinator of the Catalytic Processes and Waste Valorization group. His work on the catalytic conversion of biomass and waste to produce fuels, chemicals and H2 has attracted wide international attention. He has led some 75 projects and participated in more than 150 projects, financed by State and European entities as well as by companies (Total Petrochemical, Eastman, Johnson Matthey, etc.). All these activities have resulted in some 500 research papers, 8 patents and 40 supervised PhD students. He has been awarded the national prize for Chemical Engineering by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (2006) and the award for excellence in R&D&i by the National Association of Chemists and Chemical Engineers of Spain (2019). Throughout his long career he has made pioneering contributions to the development of new thermochemical and catalytic processes in the context of biorefinery and waste refinery platforms. His contributions extend to the fields of kinetic modelling and the design of new catalysers and reactors.

Alongside Javier Bilbao-Elorriaga, the Energy & Fuels journal has also designated the following PIERs 2021: Professor Alan Marshall of Florida State University in the field of fossil fuels for his outstanding contribution to research in the area of petroleum and petrochemicals, and Professor Vivian Yam of the University of Hong Kong in the development of organic light-emitting materials and solar energy conversion.

Energy & Fuels

The scientific journal Energy & Fuels published since 1987 by the American Chemical Society is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2021. As part of the celebrations, Energy & Fuels has set up an annual "Pioneers in Energy Research" (PIERs) award to honour distinguished research personnel who have made fundamental contributions to their respective fields of energy research.