Contact Information

Dr. Esteban Ureña-Benavides
Assistant Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Mississippi

138 Anderson Hall
University, MS 38677-1848




  • Dr. Ureña-Benavides (Co-PI) and Dr. Brenda Prager (PI) received a NIFA-USDA grant entitled "Development of Multifunctional Coatings Using Cellulose Nanocrystals and Nanofibers onto Paper Substrates for Food Packaging Applications."
  • Dr. Ureña-Benavides receives ACS-PRF grant entitled "Fundamental Studies on Nanocrystal Stabilized CO2 Foams and Emulsions."
  • Dr. Ureña-Benavides in collaboration with Dr. Erick Vasquez (University of Dayton)awarded the NSF grant "Superparamagnetic Cellulose and Lignin Nanoparticles as Recyclable Additives to Enhance the Liquid/Liquid Extraction of Ethanol from Aqueous Solutions."


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
    Clemson University
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering
    University of University of Costa Rica, SJ, Costa Rica

Postdoctoral Experience

  • The University of Texas at Austin, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. (2014-2015)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. (2012-2014)
  • Auburn University, Department of Chemical Engineering. (2011-2012)

Courses Taught at the University of Mississippi

  • Ch E 545 Colloid and Surface Science
  • Ch E 421 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Ch E 423 Chemical Reactors Design
  • Engr 321 Thermodynamics

Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Moaseri, E.; Changalvaie, B. ; Fei, Y.; Iqbal, M.; Lyon, Bonnie A.; Kmetz II, A.A.; Pennell, K.D.; Ellison, C.J.; Johnston, K.P. " Polyelectrolyte Coated Individual Silica Nanoparticles Dispersed in Concentrated Divalent Brine at Elevated Temperatures for Subsurface Energy Applications." 2019, Submitted.
  • Parajuli, S.; Dorris, A.; Middleton, C.; Rodriguez, A.; O'Haver, M.; Hammer, N.; Ureña-Benavides, E.E. "Surface and Interfacial Interactions in Dodecane/Brine Pickering Emulsions Stabilized by Combination of Cellulose Nanocrystals and Emulsifiers." Langmuir, 2019, In Press.
  • Shin, J.; Nouranian, S.; Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Smith, A.E. "Dynamic mechanical and thermal properties of cellulose nanocrystal/epoxy nanocomposite" Green Materials, 2017, 6, 123-134.
  • Iqbal, M.; Lyon, Bonnie A.; Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Moaseri, E.; Fei, Y.; McFadden, C.; Javier, K.J.; Ellison, C.J.; Pennell, K.D.; Johnston, K.P. "High temperature stability and low adsorption of sub-100nm magnetite nanoparticles grafted with sulfonated copolymers on Berea sandstone in high salinity brine" Colloid. Surface A 2017, 520, 257-267.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Lin, E.E.; Foster, E.L.; Xue, Z.; Ortiz, M.R.; Fei, Y.; Larsen, E.S.; Kmetz, A.A.; Lyon, B.A.; Moaseri, E.; Bielawski, C.W.; Pennell, K.D.; Ellison, C.J.; Johnston, K.P. "Low Adsorption of Magnetite Nanoparticles with Uniform Polyelectrolyte Coatings in Concentrated Brine on Model Silica and Sandstone" Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2016, 55, 1522-1532.
  • Juang, Y; Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Boigny, A.J.; Campbell, Z.S.; Mohammed, F.S.; Fisk, J.S.; Holden, B.; Ekert C.A.; Pollet, P.; Liotta, C.L. Butadiene sulfone as ‘volatile’, recyclable dipolar, aprotic solvent for conducting substitution and cycloaddition reactions. Sustain. Chem. Process. 2015, 3, 1-10.
  • Mohammed, F.; Conley, M.; Rumple, A.; Saunders, S.; Switzer, J.; Ureña-Benavides, E.; Jha, R.; Cogen, J.; Chaudhary, B.; Pollet, P.; Eckert, C.; Liotta, C. Enhanced thermal stabilization and reduced color formation of plasticized Poly(vinyl chloride) using zinc and calcium salts of 11-maleimideoundecanoic acid. Polym. Degrad. Stab.2015, 111, 64-70.
  • Pollet, P., Davey, E., Ureña-Benavides, E.E., Eckert, C.A., Liotta, C.L. Solvents for Sustainable Chemical Processes. Green Chem., 2014, 16, 1034-1055
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Kayatin, M.J.; Davis, V.A. Dispersion and Rheology of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes in Unsaturated Polyester Resin. Macromolecules 2013, 46, 1642 – 1650.
  • Mota, L.C.; Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Yoon, Y.; Son, A. Quantitative Detection of Single Walled Carbon Nanotube in Water Using DNA and Magnetic Fluorescent Spheres. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47, 493 – 501.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Kitchens, C.L. Static Light Scattering of Triaxial Nanoparticle Suspensions in the Rayleigh-Gans-Debye Regime: Application to Cellulose Nanocrystals. RSC Advances 2012, 2, 1096 – 1105.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Kitchens, C.L. Cellulose Nanocrystal Reinforced Alginate Fibers—Biomimicry Meets Polymer Processing. Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 2012, 556, 275-287.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Ao G.; Davis, V.A.; Kitchens C.L. Rheology and Phase Behavior of Lyotropic Cellulose Nanocrystal Aqueous Suspensions. Macromolecules, 2011, 44, 8990 – 8998.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Kitchens C.L. Wide Angle X-Ray Diffraction of Cellulose Nanocrystal-Alginate Nanocomposite Fibers. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 3478 - 3484.
  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E.; Brown, P.J.; Kitchens C.L. Effect of Jet Stretch and Particle Load on Cellulose Nanocrystal-Alginate Nanocomposite Fibers. Langmuir 2010, 26, 14263-14270.

Book Chapter

  • Ureña-Benavides, E.E. and Davis, V.A. “Carbon Nanotubes and Energy”. In Modern Energy Storage, Conversion, and Transmission in the 21st Century; Rose, L., Ed; Nova Science Publishers: New York, 2013, p 348.

Research Interests

    Dr. Ureña-Benavides research includes fundamental and applied aspects of sustainable nanotechnology. The research group investigates colloidal properties of bio-based and inorganic nanoparticles and their applications in areas including nanocomposites materials, low energy separations, underground sequestration of CO2 and responsible use of oil & gas.

  • Colloidal Properties
  • Nanoparticle Stabilized Foams and Emulsions
  • Advanced Nanocomposites

Research Group Members

  • Sanjiv Parajuli (graduate)
  • Jahid Hassan (graduate)
  • Anas Al-Abri (graduate, co-advised)
  • Arghavan Beheshtimaal (graduate, co-advised)
  • Meredith Gannon (undergraduate)
  • Joshua Peltan (undergraduate)
  • Mary Worbington (undergraduate)
  • Trey Heath (undergraduate)
  • Leeta Prater (undergraduate)

Recent Alumni

  • Omayma Al Azzam (M.Sc)
  • Ashley Johnson (B.S.)
  • Kevin Green (B.S.)
  • Sangeet Adhikari (B.S.)
  • William Moyer (B.S.)
  • Chadwick Middleton (B.S.)
  • Andres Rodriguez (B.S.)