Dr Alejandro Montoya

Ph.D Chemical Sciences (2002) Universidad de Antioquia -Colombia

Senior Lecturer
Teaching and Learning Director
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

J01 - Chemical Engineering Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2040
Fax +61 2 9351 2854

Website Chemical process and innovation

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Biographical details

Dr. Montoya completed his Ph.D in Chemical Sciences in 2002 at the Universidad de Antioquia -Colombia. He received the prestigious Sesqui Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Sydney (2004 -2007). He joined the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney as a lecturer in 2007 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010. Dr. Montoya has been a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University (INNET), and the University of Utah (Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemistry and Fuel Engineering).

Research interests

Dr Alejandro Montoya’s research into reactive materials aims to bridge the gap between material properties at atomic scale and their useful large-scale applications in processes related to energy and chemical industrial sustainability. His unique research program in chemical engineering combines experimental (in small- and large-scale reactors) with simulation-based techniques.

“My research concentrates on biomass liquefaction, CO2 carbonation, surface processes and catalysis, combustion and atmospheric environments.

“I concentrate on developing predictive methods that can be used to optimise already established industrial processes and formulate new conditions for innovative applications.

“For example, my research into the hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass looks at developing reactive models to optimise the transformation of low-value materials into high-value products. My recent efforts have concentrated on the use of algae, breaking down its components (such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) to produce products that can be used as biofuels for powering engines, and at the same time potentially producing valuable pharmaceuticals.

“My work on CO2 carbonation is concerned with the heat pre-treatment of serpentine minerals to accelerate the leaching of cations for precipitation with CO2 to form carbonates, which are environmentally friendly solids that are able to retain CO2 permanently. I am working on predictive techniques to reduce the intensity of heat required to treat the rock, activate it, extract ions from it and induce the reactivity of these ions with the carbon dioxide.

“These predictive models based on first principles will then be able to be extended to any material to determine structural, electronic and reactivity properties.

“I’m passionate about my research because it’s an area that’s starting to make a real difference to the way chemical processes are optimised in industry.

“The University of Sydney has offered me excellent opportunities to develop my career, initially through a Sesqui Postdoctoral Fellowship, and now as an academic in the School of Chemical Engineering.”

Teaching and supervision

CHNG2802 - Applied Maths for Chemical Engineers

CHNG2804 - Chemical & Biological Systems Behaviour

CHNG5702 - Foundations of Applied Mathematics for Chemical Engineers

CHNG5704 - Foundations of Chemical and Biological Systems Behaviour

Current research students

Project title Research student
Multi-scale Analysis of Methane Activation on Spinel Oxides Ishfaque ELIAS
Hydrothermal conversion of biomass to high value chemicals Ivan KRISTIANTO
Characterisation of lithium removal from spodumene Radhika MOORE
Multiscale Modelling for Ammonia Oxidation Yiwen YANG

Internal grants

2017

  • Modelling of Reactive Materials, University of Sydney – Yonsei Joint Research Funding Scheme, International Program Development Fund

2016-2020


  • Computational Multi-Scale Approach for Process Intensification and Innovation, University of Sydney – DVC-R Grand Challenge

2016-2017


  • Developing Interactive Applications to Helping Instructors Integrate and Refine Active Learning, University of Sydney – Strategic Educational Grants

International collaboration


    Selected grants

    2016

    • Developing Interactive Applications to Helping Instructors Integrate and Refine Active Learning; Montoya A, Langrish T, Alonso-Marroquin F, Abbas A; DVC Education/Large Educational Innovation Grant.
    • Finding the right balance between reactivity and stability of solid materials; Montoya A; Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology/Mid-Career Researcher Development Scheme.

    2010

    • Establishing the pathways of biomass decomposition in hot compressed water; Montoya A, Harris A, Haynes B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

    2009

    • Assessment of novel technology to generate value-added biofuels and chemicals from Australian grain crops; Harris A, Abbas A, Montoya A; Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)/Research and Development: New Farm Products and Services.
    • Mechanism and modelling of BIOMASS Upgrading in near-critical water; Montoya A; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

    2007

    • Process Chemistry for Distributed Manufacture of Nitric Acid; Haynes B, Montoya A, Goodridge R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

    2004

    • Towards the rational design of selective solid catalysts; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Fellowship (Sesqui).

    Selected publications

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    Book Chapters

    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2005). Binding states and structural analysis of hydroxyl on Ag(111). In Simos, T. and Maroulis, G. (Eds.), Lecture Series on Computer and Computational Sciences: Advances in Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering 2005, (pp. 421-424). Leiden: Brill.

    Journals

    • Rahim, M., Harith, H., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2017). Growth and lovastatin production by Aspergillus terreus under different carbohyrates as carbon sources. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, 10, 379-385. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2017). Mechanistic Insights and Kinetic Modeling of Cellobiose Decomposition in Hot Compressed Water. Energy and Fuels, 31(3), 2203-2216. [More Information]
    • Gonzalez, J., Warner, M., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2017). N2O formation and dissociation during ammonia combustion: A combined DFT and experimental study. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(1), 637-644. [More Information]
    • Ebrahimi Ghadi, A., Saffari, M., Milani, D., Montoya, A., Valix, M., Abbas, A. (2017). Sustainable transformation of fly ash industrial waste into a construction cement blend via CO2 carbonation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 156, 660-669. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2017). The catalytic oxidation of NH3 on Co3O4(110): A theoretical study. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(3), 4365-4373. [More Information]
    • Lui, M., Chan, B., Yuen, A., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Maschmeyer, T. (2017). Unravelling some of the key transformations in the hydrothermal liquefaction of lignin. ChemSusChem, 10(10), 2140-2144. [More Information]
    • He, Y., Liang, X., Jazrawi, C., Montoya, A., Yuen, A., Cole, A., Neveux, N., Paul, N., De Nys, R., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2016). Continuous hydrothermal liquefaction of macroalgae in the presence of organic co-solvents. Algal Research, 17, 185-195. [More Information]
    • Moore, R., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2016). Effect of the Local Atomic Ordering on the Stability of Beta-Spodumene. Inorganic Chemistry, 55(13), 6426-6434. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2015). Energy profiles of hydrogen migration in the early stages of lizardite dehydroxylation. Computational Materials Science, 98, 435-445. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Rahubadda, A., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). Kinetic Insights into the Hydrothermal Decomposition of Dihydroxyacetone: A Combined Experimental and Modeling Study. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 54(34), 8437-8447. [More Information]
    • Abd Rahim, M., Hasan, H., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2015). Lovastatin and (+)-geodin production by Aspergillus terreus from crude glycerol. Engineering in Life Sciences, 15(2), 220-228. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). Molecular modelling of the decomposition of NH3 over CoO(100). Materials Chemistry and Physics, 156, 141-149. [More Information]
    • Jazrawi, C., Biller, P., He, Y., Montoya, A., Ross, A., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2015). Two-stage hydrothermal liquefaction of a high-protein microalga. Algal Research, 8, 15-22. [More Information]
    • Neveux, N., Yuen, A., Jazrawi, C., Magnusson, M., Haynes, B., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Paul, N., Maschmeyer, T., de Nys, R. (2014). Biocrude yield and productivity from the hydrothermal liquefaction of marine and freshwater green macroalgae. Bioresource Technology, 155, 334-341. [More Information]
    • Neveux, N., Yuen, A., Jazrawi, C., He, Y., Magnusson, M., Haynes, B., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Paul, N., Maschmeyer, T., et al (2014). Pre- and post-harvest treatment of macroalgae to improve the quality of feedstock for hydrothermal liquefaction. Algal Research, 6(Part A), 22-31. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2014). The role of oxygen during the catalytic oxidation of ammonia on Co3O4(100). Applied Surface Science, 316(1), 355-365. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2013). Insight into oxygen stability and vacancy formation on Co3O4 model slabs. Computational Materials Science, 72, 15-25. [More Information]
    • Jazrawi, C., Biller, P., Ross, A., Montoya, A., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2013). Pilot plant testing of continuous hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae. Algal Research, 2(3), 268-277. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Local Site Selectivity and Conformational Structures in the Glycosidic Bond Scission of Cellobiose. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(36), 10682-10691. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Molecular Dynamics Study of Acid-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of Dimethyl Ether in Aqueous Solution. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(25), 8199-8206. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Periodic density functional study of Co3O4 surfaces. Chemical Physics Letters, 502, 63-68. [More Information]
    • Reichert, D., Montoya, A., Liang, X., Bockhorn, H., Haynes, B. (2010). Conformational and Thermodynamic Properties of Gaseous Levulinic Acid. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 114(46), 12323-12329. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2009). DFT Analysis of the Reaction Paths of Formaldehyde Decomposition on Silver. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 113(28), 8125-8131. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2007). Methanol and methoxide decomposition on silver. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(27), 9867-9876. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2007). Reactions of hydroxyl on the topmost layer of Ag(111): A density functional theory study. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(3), 1333-1341. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Schlunke, A., Haynes, B. (2006). Reaction of hydrogen with Ag(111): Binding states, minimum energy paths, and kinetics. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110(34), 17145-17154. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Sendt, K., Haynes, B. (2005). Gas-phase interaction of H2S with O-2: A kinetic and quantum chemistry study of the potential energy surface. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 109(6), 1057-1062. [More Information]
    • Espinal, J., Montoya, A., Mondragon, F., Truong, T. (2004). A DFT Study of Interaction of Carbon Monoxide with Carbonaceous Materials. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 108(3), 1003-1008.
    • Montoya, A., Mondragon, F., Truong, T. (2003). CO2 adsorption on carbonaceous surfaces: a combined experimental and theoretical study. Carbon, 41(1), 29-39.

    Conferences

    • McDonald, A., Montoya, A., Alonso-Marroquin, F. (2017). Vertical garden for treating greywater. Workshop on Off-Grid Technology 2017, New York: American Institute of Physics (AIP). [More Information]
    • Rajarathnam, G., Montoya, A., Vassallo, A. (2016). The Interactions Between Chlorides and Zn(001) Surfaces in Zinc/Bromine Flow Battery Electrolytes. 229th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting, San Diego: Electrochemical Society Inc.
    • Ebrahimi Ghadi, A., Saffari, M., Milani, D., Montoya, A., Valix, M., Abbas, A. (2016). The use of Carbonated Fly Ash (CFA) in a cement blend for 'green' construction materials. Chemeca 2016: Chemical Engineering - Regeneration, Recovery and Reinvention, Adelaide: Engineers Australia.
    • Hasan, H., Abd Rahim, M., Campbell, L., Carter, D., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2015). Genetic Modifications of Aspergillus terreus for Enhanced Malonyl-CoA Production. Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress 2015: APCChE2015, incorporating CHEMECA 2015, Melbourne: Engineers Australia.
    • Gonzalez Calderon, J., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). The role of HNO and NOH in NO formation during ammonia oxidation on Pt(111). Australian Combustion Symposium 2015, Melbourne, Victoria: The Combustion Institute Australia & New Zealand.
    • Rahubadda, A., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). C5 Sugar Decomposition Products under Hot Compressed Water Conditions. Chemeca 2011: Engineering a Better World, Sydney: Engineers Australia.

    2017

    • Rahim, M., Harith, H., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2017). Growth and lovastatin production by Aspergillus terreus under different carbohyrates as carbon sources. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, 10, 379-385. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2017). Mechanistic Insights and Kinetic Modeling of Cellobiose Decomposition in Hot Compressed Water. Energy and Fuels, 31(3), 2203-2216. [More Information]
    • Gonzalez, J., Warner, M., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2017). N2O formation and dissociation during ammonia combustion: A combined DFT and experimental study. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(1), 637-644. [More Information]
    • Ebrahimi Ghadi, A., Saffari, M., Milani, D., Montoya, A., Valix, M., Abbas, A. (2017). Sustainable transformation of fly ash industrial waste into a construction cement blend via CO2 carbonation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 156, 660-669. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2017). The catalytic oxidation of NH3 on Co3O4(110): A theoretical study. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(3), 4365-4373. [More Information]
    • Lui, M., Chan, B., Yuen, A., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Maschmeyer, T. (2017). Unravelling some of the key transformations in the hydrothermal liquefaction of lignin. ChemSusChem, 10(10), 2140-2144. [More Information]
    • McDonald, A., Montoya, A., Alonso-Marroquin, F. (2017). Vertical garden for treating greywater. Workshop on Off-Grid Technology 2017, New York: American Institute of Physics (AIP). [More Information]

    2016

    • He, Y., Liang, X., Jazrawi, C., Montoya, A., Yuen, A., Cole, A., Neveux, N., Paul, N., De Nys, R., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2016). Continuous hydrothermal liquefaction of macroalgae in the presence of organic co-solvents. Algal Research, 17, 185-195. [More Information]
    • Moore, R., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2016). Effect of the Local Atomic Ordering on the Stability of Beta-Spodumene. Inorganic Chemistry, 55(13), 6426-6434. [More Information]
    • Rajarathnam, G., Montoya, A., Vassallo, A. (2016). The Interactions Between Chlorides and Zn(001) Surfaces in Zinc/Bromine Flow Battery Electrolytes. 229th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting, San Diego: Electrochemical Society Inc.
    • Ebrahimi Ghadi, A., Saffari, M., Milani, D., Montoya, A., Valix, M., Abbas, A. (2016). The use of Carbonated Fly Ash (CFA) in a cement blend for 'green' construction materials. Chemeca 2016: Chemical Engineering - Regeneration, Recovery and Reinvention, Adelaide: Engineers Australia.

    2015

    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2015). Energy profiles of hydrogen migration in the early stages of lizardite dehydroxylation. Computational Materials Science, 98, 435-445. [More Information]
    • Hasan, H., Abd Rahim, M., Campbell, L., Carter, D., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2015). Genetic Modifications of Aspergillus terreus for Enhanced Malonyl-CoA Production. Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress 2015: APCChE2015, incorporating CHEMECA 2015, Melbourne: Engineers Australia.
    • Liang, X., Rahubadda, A., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). Kinetic Insights into the Hydrothermal Decomposition of Dihydroxyacetone: A Combined Experimental and Modeling Study. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 54(34), 8437-8447. [More Information]
    • Abd Rahim, M., Hasan, H., Montoya, A., Abbas, A. (2015). Lovastatin and (+)-geodin production by Aspergillus terreus from crude glycerol. Engineering in Life Sciences, 15(2), 220-228. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). Molecular modelling of the decomposition of NH3 over CoO(100). Materials Chemistry and Physics, 156, 141-149. [More Information]
    • Gonzalez Calderon, J., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2015). The role of HNO and NOH in NO formation during ammonia oxidation on Pt(111). Australian Combustion Symposium 2015, Melbourne, Victoria: The Combustion Institute Australia & New Zealand.
    • Jazrawi, C., Biller, P., He, Y., Montoya, A., Ross, A., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2015). Two-stage hydrothermal liquefaction of a high-protein microalga. Algal Research, 8, 15-22. [More Information]

    2014

    • Neveux, N., Yuen, A., Jazrawi, C., Magnusson, M., Haynes, B., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Paul, N., Maschmeyer, T., de Nys, R. (2014). Biocrude yield and productivity from the hydrothermal liquefaction of marine and freshwater green macroalgae. Bioresource Technology, 155, 334-341. [More Information]
    • Neveux, N., Yuen, A., Jazrawi, C., He, Y., Magnusson, M., Haynes, B., Masters, A., Montoya, A., Paul, N., Maschmeyer, T., et al (2014). Pre- and post-harvest treatment of macroalgae to improve the quality of feedstock for hydrothermal liquefaction. Algal Research, 6(Part A), 22-31. [More Information]
    • Shojaee, K., Haynes, B., Montoya, A. (2014). The role of oxygen during the catalytic oxidation of ammonia on Co3O4(100). Applied Surface Science, 316(1), 355-365. [More Information]

    2013

    • Shojaee, K., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2013). Insight into oxygen stability and vacancy formation on Co3O4 model slabs. Computational Materials Science, 72, 15-25. [More Information]
    • Jazrawi, C., Biller, P., Ross, A., Montoya, A., Maschmeyer, T., Haynes, B. (2013). Pilot plant testing of continuous hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae. Algal Research, 2(3), 268-277. [More Information]

    2011

    • Rahubadda, A., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). C5 Sugar Decomposition Products under Hot Compressed Water Conditions. Chemeca 2011: Engineering a Better World, Sydney: Engineers Australia.
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Local Site Selectivity and Conformational Structures in the Glycosidic Bond Scission of Cellobiose. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(36), 10682-10691. [More Information]
    • Liang, X., Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Molecular Dynamics Study of Acid-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of Dimethyl Ether in Aqueous Solution. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(25), 8199-8206. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2011). Periodic density functional study of Co3O4 surfaces. Chemical Physics Letters, 502, 63-68. [More Information]

    2010

    • Reichert, D., Montoya, A., Liang, X., Bockhorn, H., Haynes, B. (2010). Conformational and Thermodynamic Properties of Gaseous Levulinic Acid. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 114(46), 12323-12329. [More Information]

    2009

    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2009). DFT Analysis of the Reaction Paths of Formaldehyde Decomposition on Silver. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 113(28), 8125-8131. [More Information]

    2007

    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2007). Methanol and methoxide decomposition on silver. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(27), 9867-9876. [More Information]
    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2007). Reactions of hydroxyl on the topmost layer of Ag(111): A density functional theory study. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(3), 1333-1341. [More Information]

    2006

    • Montoya, A., Schlunke, A., Haynes, B. (2006). Reaction of hydrogen with Ag(111): Binding states, minimum energy paths, and kinetics. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110(34), 17145-17154. [More Information]

    2005

    • Montoya, A., Haynes, B. (2005). Binding states and structural analysis of hydroxyl on Ag(111). In Simos, T. and Maroulis, G. (Eds.), Lecture Series on Computer and Computational Sciences: Advances in Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering 2005, (pp. 421-424). Leiden: Brill.
    • Montoya, A., Sendt, K., Haynes, B. (2005). Gas-phase interaction of H2S with O-2: A kinetic and quantum chemistry study of the potential energy surface. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 109(6), 1057-1062. [More Information]

    2004

    • Espinal, J., Montoya, A., Mondragon, F., Truong, T. (2004). A DFT Study of Interaction of Carbon Monoxide with Carbonaceous Materials. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 108(3), 1003-1008.

    2003

    • Montoya, A., Mondragon, F., Truong, T. (2003). CO2 adsorption on carbonaceous surfaces: a combined experimental and theoretical study. Carbon, 41(1), 29-39.

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