Technologies for Pollution Control

The zero-pollution vision for 2050 is a key deliverable of the European Green Deal. This ambitious goal requires substantial reductions in air, water, and soil pollution, aiming to reach levels deemed non-harmful to both human health and natural ecosystems, which respect the boundaries with which our planet can cope, thereby creating a toxic-free environment.

The activities carried out focus on the design of advanced, safer, and sustainable environmental technologies for the treatment of soil, water for human consumption, urban wastewater, industrial wastewater, and air. They span from developing innovative adsorbents/catalysts/membranes to creating computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and testing breakthrough reactors for Biological Oxidation Processes, Adsorption/Biosorption, Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs), Electrochemical Processes, Ozonation, and Membrane Filtration. Multistage treatment strategies, integrating both advanced and conventional treatment processes, have also been implemented to remediate high-strength and low-strength wastewaters. Moreover, nature-based solutions have been applied to wastewater treatment, enabling the reuse of the wastewater for hydroponic cultures.

Important funding from several i) R&D projects (Healthy-Waters, NOR-WATER, OZONE4WATER, SERPIC) of basic and applied research; and ii) PhD scholarships (Agustina de Olivera, Alberto Webler, Ana Isabel, Batuira Filho, Cristiana Gomes, Inalmar Barbosa, Inês Rodrigues, Jéssica Xavier, Laís da Silva, Lúcio Gomes, Mariko Carneiro, Mateus Pituco, Mateus Caixeta, Paulo de Oliveira, Paula Remor, Reynel Castellanos, Sandra Miranda, Sara Santos, Tatiana Matiazzo, Vicente da Silva) have been obtained from competitive agencies (FCT, POCTEP, WaterJPI, CCDR-N, CNPq, CAPES) to acquire specific analytical equipments/prototypes as well as to recruit emerging researchers. The conducted research involved collaborative efforts with industrial partners (Águas do Centro Litoral, Ambilis, AdP Valor, Enkrott, Indaqua, Simbiente, SolarSpring GmbH). Their valuable input played a crucial role in enhancing problem-solving effectiveness. Several companies (EFACEC, SULDOURO, DS Smith) have been requesting consulting services for bench-scale and pilot treatability tests, and development and/or optimization of treatment strategies for different types of wastewater.

Major projects in this research area include: