Coordinator: Manuel Luís de Magalhães Nunes da Ponte
Development of Clean (Bio)Chemical Processes and their application to the efficient use of resources represents a core activity of LAQV. This Thematic Line will bring together extensive expertise in membranes and adsorption, intensification of processes and use of green solvents, valorization of biomass and CO2 utilisation, design of new smart materials and effective recovery of non-renewables. Contributions from several LAQV Research Groups, from Synthesis and Analytical Development to Cultural Heritage Conservation, Materials, and Process Engineering, will be required. Coordination of the scientific programme will act mainly by promoting networking activities, such as short meetings, workshops and web-conferences. It will also be highly committed to innovation fostered by collaboration with industry, taking advantage of an already existing record.
The main research efforts will focus on:
(1) Valorization of biomass from local agro-industrial wastes (such as brewer spent grain and yeast, fruit peels and pomace, spent coffee, olive pomace, eggshell and canned fish wastes) will continue to be a key area, due to its potential to combine local industry-relevant projects with LAQV know-how in green processing, including clean production and separation processes, and green solvents. The use of systems biotechnology platforms and intensification of biotechnological processes will represent added value for some of these projects. The production of biodegradable, microbial polymers will also use biomass feedstocks.
(2) CO2 utilisation is another key development area, which will build on extensive expertise on supercritical carbon dioxide as solvent to venture into its chemical and electrochemical transformation. Apart from the power-to-gas and CO2 capture schemes developed under the Thematic Line Clean and Renewable Energy, carbon dioxide catalytic reaction with natural epoxides to produce polymers will be exploited, as well as reactions in heterogeneous media ionic liquid carbon dioxide.
(3) Cultural Heritage safeguarding, using cleaner, greener chemical methods will continue to be a "niche" application of LAQV expertise with a positive social impact, improving the image of Chemistry.
(4) The use of innovative and bio-friendly technologies, namely involving supercritical fluid-based particle formation, micro-wave heating, plasma activation and imprinting methodologies, microfluidics and layer-by-layer deposition, will envisage the synthesis and engineering of new (bio)materials for bio-medical, pharmaceutical and sensing applications.
We shall pursue our research on membrane-based treatment of (agro)industrial and domestic effluents for water reuse; and integration of membranes with advanced oxidation processes.
Research Groups that contribute to the Thematic Line:
- Molecular Synthesis
- Analytical Development
- Environmental Chemistry
- Cultural Heritage and Responsive Materials
- (Bio)Chemistry & OMICS
- (Bio)Chemical Process Engineering
- Materials for Sustainability and Wellbeing