Pedro Merino Serna

Pedro Serna Merino#



Dr. Pedro Serna received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2008 at the Instituto de Technología Química (ITQ). In 2009, he moved to the University of California-Davis as a postdoc, granted with a Marie Curie fellowship. In 2012, he joined ITQ and got a Ramon y Cajal research contract from the Spanish government. Dr. Serna has released over 35 publications in top-ranked scientific journals such as Science, Nature Protocols, Journal of the American Chemical Society or Angewandte Chemie, and is the co-author of 4 patents. His main areas of expertise are catalysis, nanotechnology and spectroscopy. These works have been cited over 1200 times in less than 10 years. Several organizations have recognized the impact of these investigations: Spanish Catalysis Society (Best Thesis 2008), by the company Lilly (V Lilly Awards) and by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Best Thesis 2008).


Dr. Pedro Serna has made landmark advances in selective catalysis. He and Prof. Corma discovered how gold can be transformed from the least reactive of all metals to a nanomaterial, so highly dispersed as nanoparticles, that it selectively catalyzes the conversion of compounds that incorporate nitro groups into a number of valuable products. These catalysts avoid the use of toxic reagents to accomplished the desired targets and generate water as the only residue, exemplifying a green chemistry approach. This new technology, for example, opens the door to a novel, industrially attractive route to the production of cyclohexanone oxime, a 5 million metric tons/year product used in the manufacture of Nylon 6. Another remarkable discovery refers to the preparation of very specific active sites (consisting of two rhodium atoms fixes on a solid matrix) for the selective removal of butadiene from butenes in refinery processes, preventing the detrimental effect of the butadiene in causing poisoning of catalysts used to make polymers and other valuable compounds.


A. Corma, P. Serna, “Chemoselective hydrogenation of nitro compounds with supported gold catalysts”, Science, 313, 2006, 332. CITATIONS: > 500. IMPACT FACTOR: 30.03

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