Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Catalysis Research Group

The Catalysis group, lead by Prof. Puurunen, develops new types of solid heterogeneous catalysts and evaluates their performance, aiming for fundamental understanding and structure-activity relationships.
Catalysis Group picture

Focus areas:

  1. Sustainable catalytic processes from renewable resources

  2. Preparation of solid heterogeneous catalysts e.g. by atomic layer deposition

  3. Characterization of solid heterogeneous catalysts


Catalysts are at the core of chemical industry and are expected to enable a sustainable biobased economy of the future. Catalysts are made self by conventional methods such as impregnation and also by advanced methods such as atomic layer deposition (ALD). Catalysts are characterized for example by adsorption methods (chemisorption, physisorption, temperature-programmed methods), in situ spectroscopy with probe molecules (IR) and activity measurements, also in high-pressure reactors.

The Catalysis group, lead by Prof. Puurunen and founded in 2017, develops new types of solid heterogeneous catalysts and evaluates their performance, aiming for fundamental understanding and structure-activity relationships.

As of May 2020, the group’s project base is formed by the HDN cat project (Neste) for catalytic hydrodenitrogenation and the COOLCAT project for carbon dioxide activation to valuable chemicals (Academy of Finland).


Catalysis group, lab work

Our research group:

The CHEM-E1130 Catalysis course is among our core teaching responsibilities.

The group aims for a healthy, constructively critical research environment that supports the personal development & well-being of all members. The group strives towards more openness in science and teaching.

  • Master's thesis positions: Prof. Riikka Puurunen is frequently getting inquiries from outside Aalto University for whether there are master's thesis students available with knowledge on the area of catalysis. Interested candidates, please contact R.L.P. to know more.

  • Doctoral students: No open positions at the moment. Candidates with their own funding should feel free to contact R. L. P. at any time

  • Postdoctoral fellows: Candidates with their own funding should feel free to contact R. L. P. at any time.

Research group members:

Reetta Karinen

Vanhempi yliopistonlehtori
Chemical and Metallurgical Eng

Riikka Puurunen

Professori (Associate professor)
Chemical and Metallurgical Eng

To learn more of the activities of the group and life at Aalto University, please have a look at our Twitter and Instagram accounts, the recent publications, and the group leader’s blog Catalysis Professor’s Open. Evolving group presentation can be found in this link

For questions, please contact Riikka Puurunen ([email protected]).  

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Latest publications:

Deactivation of Ni spinel derived catalyst during the oxidative steam reforming of raw bio-oil

Aitor Arandia, Aingeru Remiro, Beatriz Valle, Javier Bilbao, Ana G. Gayubo 2020 Fuel

Evidence for low-energy ions influencing plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of SiO2: Impact on the growth per cycle and wet etch rate

Karsten Arts, J. H. Deijkers, T. Faraz, Riikka Puurunen, Wilhelmus M.M. (Erwin) Kessels, Harm C. M. Knoops 2020 Applied Physics Letters

Hydrodeoxygenation Model Compounds γ-Heptalactone and γ-Nonalactone

José Luis González Escobedo, Petri Uusi-Kyyny, Riikka L. Puurunen, Ville Alopaeus 2020 Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data

Hydrodeoxygenation of Propylphenols on a Niobia-Supported Platinum Catalyst

José Luis González Escobedo, Eveliina Mäkelä, Jouni Neuvonen, Petri Uusi-Kyyny, Marina Lindblad, Reetta Karinen, Riikka L. Puurunen 2020 Advanced Sustainable Systems

Hydrodeoxygenation of levulinic acid dimers on a zirconia-supported ruthenium catalyst

Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Marina Lindblad, Mats Käldström, Heidi Meriö-Talvio, Hua Jiang, Riikka L. Puurunen, Reetta Karinen 2020 CATALYSTS

Liquid-phase Hydrodeoxygenation of 4-Propylphenol to Propylbenzene : Reducible Supports for Pt Catalysts

Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Jouni Neuvonen, Jouko Lahtinen, Marina Lindblad, Ulla Lassi, Reetta Karinen, Riikka L. Puurunen 2020 ChemCatChem

Aqueous-phase reforming of bio-oil aqueous fraction over nickel-based catalysts

Aitor Arandia, Irene Coronado, Aingeru Remiro, Ana G. Gayubo, Matti Reinikainen 2019 International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Film Conformality and Extracted Recombination Probabilities of O Atoms during Plasma-Assisted Atomic Layer Deposition of SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, and HfO2

Karsten Arts, Mikko Utriainen, Riikka L. Puurunen, Wilhelmus M.M. Kessels, Harm C.M. Knoops 2019 Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Sticking probabilities of H 2 O and Al(CH 3 ) 3 during atomic layer deposition of Al 2 O 3 extracted from their impact on film conformality

Karsten Arts, Vincent Vandalon, Riikka L. Puurunen, Mikko Utriainen, Feng Gao, Wilhelmus M.M. Erwin Kessels, Harm C.M. Knoops 2019 Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films

Kinetic modelling of the aqueous-phase reforming of fischer-tropsch water over ceria-zirconia supported nickel-copper catalyst

Irene Coronado, Aitor Arandia, Matti Reinikainen, Reetta Karinen, Riikka L. Puurunen, Juha Lehtonen 2019 CATALYSTS
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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