The AOPs (Advanced Oxidation Processes)/EAOPs (Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Processes) research group aims to reinforce AOPs/EAOPs as the main technology breakthrough for niche applications in the area of water, wastewater and air treatment. These advanced oxidation processes are characterized by the production of extremely reactive and unselective oxidants. They can be applied to the treatment of a large set of different matrixes, involving the decontamination through organic compounds degradation and inorganic oxanions oxidation/reduction to less toxic/mobile ions.
Presently, our main research lines are focused on the optimization of different AOPs/EAOPs for the following niche applications: (i) water disinfection from private swimming pools, (ii) decontamination of indoor air, (iii) tertiary treatment of urban wastewaters, as polishing step to eliminate the so-called pollutants of emergent concern, (iv) treatment of landfill leachates contaminated with high loads of recalcitrant organic compounds, (v) treatment of wastewaters containing inorganic oxanions, and (vi) decontamination of other liquid streams.
The main AOPs/EAOPs include: anodic oxidation with or without H2O2 electrogeneration, photolysis of hydrogen peroxide using UVC light, Fenton, electro-Fenton, photo-Fenton, photoelectro-Fenton, solar-photo-Fenton, solar-photoelectro-Fenton, heterogeneous and homogeneous photocatalysis using different metal oxides nanomaterials. Furthermore, research has been oriented to the use of natural solar radiation as UV-visible photon source, combined with artificial UV-visible light, to promote the light induced AOPs/EAOPs, turning these processes even more economically attractive through the use of renewable solar energy.
Research has been also focused on the development of breakthrough designs for the optical system used in sunlight capture based on compound parabolic collectors (CPCs) by nonimaging optics (NIO) techniques and for photoreactors using artificial light by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool.
Solar photoreactors at pre-pilot scale placed at the roof of the Chemical Engineering Department
Photoreactor at lab-scale with UVA artificial light
Tracer experiments: jets photoreactor (top) and FluHelik photoreactor (bottom)
Sketch of a lab-scale system for electrochemical advanced oxidation processes
F.C. Moreira, R.A.R. Boaventura, E. Brillas, V.J.P. Vilar. Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes: A review on their application to synthetic and real wastewaters. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 202, 217-261, 2017
P.A. Soares, M. Batalha, S.M.A.G.U. Souza, R.A.R. Boaventura, V.J.P. Vilar. Enhancement of a solar photo-Fenton reaction with ferric-organic ligands for the treatment of acrylic-textile dyeing wastewater. Journal of Environmental Management, 152, 120-131, 2015
L.X. Pinho, J. Azevedo, S.M. Miranda, J. Ângelo, A. Mendes, V.J.P. Vilar, V. Vasconcelos, R.A.R. Boaventura. Oxidation of microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin by heterogeneous photocatalysis using a tubular photoreactor packed with different TiO2 coated supports. Chemical Engineering Journal, 266, 100-111, 2015
R.A.R. Monteiro, C. Rodrigues-Silva, F.V.S. Lopes, A.M.T. Silva, R.A.R. Boaventura, V.J.P. Vilar. Evaluation of a solar/UV annular pilot scale reactor for 24h continuous photocatalytic oxidation of n-decane. Chemical Engineering Journal, 280, 409-416, 2015
J.H.O.S. Pereira, A.C. Reis, V. Homem, J.A. Silva, A. Alves, M.T. Borges, R.A.R. Boaventura, V.J.P. Vilar, O.C. Nunes. Solar photocatalytic oxidation of recalcitrant natural metabolic by-products of amoxicillin biodegradation. Water Research, 65, 307-320, 2014
F.C. Moreira, S. Garcia-Segura, R.A.R. Boaventura, E. Brillas, V.J.P. Vilar. Degradation of the antibiotic trimethoprim by electrochemical advanced oxidation processes using a carbon-PTFE air-diffusion cathode and a boron-doped diamond or platinum anode. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 160-161, 492-505, 2014
R.A.R. Monteiro, F.V.S. Lopes, A.M.T. Silva, J. Ângelo, G.V. Silva, A.M. Mendes, R.A.R. Boaventura, V.J.P. Vilar. Are TiO2-based exterior paints useful catalysts for gas-phase photooxidation processes? A case study on n-decane abatement for air detoxification. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 147, 988-999, 2014