Benoit Louis

Benoît Louis graduated from the University of Strasbourg (1998) and completed his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, 2002). He is currently CNRS Research Director at the Institute of Chemical and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (UMR 7515).
Since twenty years, Benoît is struggling to design zeolites mainly for acid-catalyzed reactions. The originality of his research relies on the combination of molecular and microscopic design of microporous solids along with a suitable macro-scale (shaping, coating) for a use in real reactors.

The two main highlights of his studies remain the development of a new technique to determine the BrØnsted acidity of solid acids using H/D isotope labeling and the synthesis of a zeolite catalyst able to convert methanol into propylene at high yields and outstanding stability. The later catalyst is currently at the scale-up stage in the frame of an industrial maturation project (SATT - Conectus Alsace).

His current research interests encompass heterogeneous catalysis, zeolites and related porous materials like MOFs or COFs, biomass valorization, alkane activation chemistry, CO2 capture and conversion and more generally C1 chemistry.
He co-authored 140 peer-reviewed papers, 5 book chapters and 4 patents. Besides, Benoît acted as guest Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2013-2018) and at the Beijing Forestry University (2017-2019). He was awarded by the Guy Ourisson Prize (University of Strasbourg, 2015). In 2013, he was the first laureate of the Young Scientist Award in Acid-Base Catalysis (Tokyo) and awarded by the French Chemical Society SCF Catalysis Division Prize. He also received the CNRS Bronze medal in 2009.

Apport du prix Guy Ourisson en 2015

Ce prix a contribué de manière non négligeable au passage Directeur de Recherche 2è classe CNRS en 2016. Le parrainage scientifique de Jean-Marie Lehn a été un atout supplémentaire. C’est surtout une confiance supplémentaire que j’ai acquise, m’incitant à prendre des risques dans des choix de nouvelles thématiques à aborder. Ce prix est sans aucun doute l’amorceur, via la reconnaissance, d’une envie de toujours aller de l’avant, sortir de sa zône de confort et d’envisager de nouvelles thématiques de recherche.

La sélection d’un projet ‘à risque’ par l’USIAS en 2019 (avec Stéphane Baudron) en est la belle illustration.