In the 90´, researchers from the UAH Departments of Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Microbiological and Chemical Engineering of the Alcala University, in collaboration with the Technology Transfer Office (OTRI) created the PPQF (Fine Chemicals Pilot Plant). The plant was housed in a building designed by the UAH´s Technical Office as a modular structure following four main principles: compaction; to enable the reduction of costs, a flexible structure; for the easy adaptability to potential changes and the implementation of new technologies, intramural cleanliness; to prevent cross- contamination, as well as external cleanliness, for environmental reasons, and finally, integration; in order to foster synergies among different sectors. In December 1994 the project was finished. Its initial construction and equipment was financed by FEDER funds.

The Centre started its activity in January 1998 under the name of Fine Chemicals Pilot Plant (PPQF) and depended on the UAH´s Vice Rectorate for Research, being Vice Chancellor at that time Proffesor Julio Álvarez-Builla, who promoted the initial scientific infrastructure of the Centre, designed the staff and appointed Dr. José Luis Novella as Technical Director, and launched  projects and services in three main areas: Organic Synthesis, Analytical Technologies and Biotechnology, following the main foundational purposes of the Centre. From 2000 to 2009, Professor Julio Álvarez-Builla held the PPQF` scientific directorate as a University Centre for Research Support Service (CAIs). In 2009, Professor María Luisa Marina Alegre, Vice Chancellor for Research, appointed  Professor Juan J. Vaquero for the scientific directorate,  and in December 2012 the Centre was renamed Center for Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology (CQAB), in order to include the wide range of activities developed in the Centre. In 2011, the special reactions laboratory was built and in 2017, the 400L pilot plant reactor was installed and the ATEX rooms were renewed for the work-up and conditioning of the pilot plant processes. In September 2023, Prof. Javier de la Mata de la Mata, Vice-rector for Research and Transfer, entrusts the scientific direction of the CQAB to Prof. Manuel Ángel Fernández Rodríguez.

En el año 2000 el Prof. Julio Álvarez-Builla asume la dirección científica de la PPQF como uno de los cuatro Centros de Apoyo a la Investigación (CAIs) de la Universidad, permaneciendo al frente hasta febrero de 2009. En esta fecha la Prof. María Luisa Marina Alegre, Vicerrectora de Investigación, encarga la dirección científica de la PPQF al Prof. Juan J. Vaquero y en Diciembre de 2012 se procede al cambio de denominación de la PPQF por el de CENTRO DE QUIMICA APLICADA Y BIOTECNOLOGIA (CQAB) con el objetivo de recoger de forma más adecuada el conjunto de actividades que se desarrollan en el Centro. En 2011, se construye el laboratorio de reacciones especiales y en 2017, se instala el reactor de 400L de planta piloto y se renuevan las salas ATEX para el work-up y acondicionamiento de los procesos de planta piloto. En Septiembre de 2023, Prof. Javier de la Mata de la Mata, Vicerrector de Investigación y Transferencia, encarga la dirección científica del CQAB al Prof. Manuel Ángel Fernández Rodríguez.