Room 217D - Edifício Departamental, FCT NOVA
Nuno Lapa




Chair: Isabel Fonseca



Porous carbons are characterized by textural properties and surface chemistry that can make them appropriate adsorbent materials for different chemical species (metallic ions, pharmaceutical compounds, phytopharmaceutical compounds, gases, among other chemicals). The most interesting topic is that they can be produced from renewable feedstocks with low or no-commercial value, originating new adsorbent materials with high added-value. Agriculture wastes, such as rice husk, rice straw, and corn cob, are among the renewable feedstocks that can be used to produce porous carbons.

Gasification and pyrolysis are two thermo-chemical processes that are used to convert bio-wastes, such as agriculture wastes, into renewable products (syngas in the case of gasification, and oils and combustible gases in the case of pyrolysis). On the other hand, these products can be converted into renewable fuels or feedstocks for chemical industry. Besides these products, gasification and pyrolysis produce a solid product, named as char, that can be converted into porous carbons through physical, chemical, or physico-chemical activations.

In this talk, the textural and chemical properties of chars, produced through the gasification and pyrolysis of wastes originated in the production and processing of rice will be presented and discussed. Afterwards, the use of gasification chars in the recovery of chromium (a critical raw material for the European industry) from synthetic and industrial wastewaters will be shown. Finally, the use of porous carbons, produced from corn cob and anaerobic digestate, to remove H2S from real biogas samples will be presented.

The “Materials for Adsorption and Catalysis” Group has already tested other applications for porous carbons, namely the recovery of tungsten from wastewaters, the removal of pharmaceutical compounds (emergent pollutants) from wastewaters, and the up-grading of biogas into bio-methane through the adsorption of CO2. An important lesson has been learnt from these works: feedstock properties, carbonization conditions, and activation procedures are essential factors for the properties and efficiency of porous carbons.

MAC researchers are now facing two important frontiers:

1. To define the optimized multi-conditions to produce porous carbons for different applications, in order to be possible to design an efficient carbon material for a specific use;

2. To open new pathways for porous carbons’ applications, such as medical activities, electrical uses and support materials for biological growth.


Short Bio

NUNO LAPA is an Assistant Professor of FCT-NOVA.

He got his PhD in Environmental Engineering (2004) from UNL-FCT in the field of eco-compatibility studies of new materials for civil engineering works, based on the reuse of bottom ashes from Municipal Solid Waste incineration plants.

 He is an Integrated Researcher of LAQV-REQUIMTE since January 2014.

He is currently integrated in the research field of “Environmental Chemistry” with the teams of ISEP and Universidade de Aveiro. He develops is research activities in the “Materials for Adsorption and Catalysis Group” (MAC) of LAQV-REQUIMTE at FCT-NOVA (

He is responsible for different courses and modules in the Master Programme of Bioenergy, Master Programme in Engineering of Renewable Energies, Master Programme in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Doctoral Programme in Bioenergy, and Doctoral Programme in Sustainable Chemistry.

His current research interests are the following:

  1. Optimization of biogas and bio-hydrogen production from organic wastes

  2. Valorisation of organic wastes towards the production of porous carbon materials

  3. Life Cycle Assessment of new products

He authored 50 papers and conference papers at the international level, having 824 citations by 711 documents and a h-index of 17 (source: Scopus; in April 4, 2019).

Since 2015, he is an Associate Editor of Waste Management journal from Elsevier Science.

He got the following awards:

1997 – SUPERVAL award from Agência de Inovação;

2013 – Fellowship “Armando Murta” from Valorfito;

2018 – “INOV.AÇÃO – Valorpneu” award in the category of Business and Innovation.