20 years of Science and Innovation

Environmental Sciences and Technologies

Objectives

The goals of the research group of Environmental Sciences and Technologies were aligned with the RIS3 for Portugal and particularly for the Northern Region for a sustainable development, combining the basic sciences for chemical, environmental and microbiological monitoring with the engineering approach for modelling and risks evaluation, water and air treatment technologies and residues valorization.

Major research topics

  • Environmental Chemistry: development of new high-resolution analytical methodologies for detection and quantification of emergent compounds in environmental matrices, as pharmaceuticals (cytostatics), personal care products (musks, UV-filters) and industrial products (siloxanes) and respective degradation products; environmental monitoring and risk assessment and prioritization.
  • Environmental Microbiology: characterization of microbiota of anthropogenic impacted environments; identification of factors with higher contribution to antibiotic resistance.
  • Water Treatment Technologies: combined technologies to remove emergent pollutants from waters; use of advanced oxidation processes for complex (e.g. industrial) wastewaters management and treatment, in the same unit, of liquid and gas streams.
  • Air Quality/Treatment and Health Impact: reduction of particulate matter from gaseous emissions; outdoor and indoor air quality assessment, namely using conventional equipment and low-cost sensors, and respective impact evaluation on environment and human health.
  • Clean Technologies and Waste Recycling: development of integrated technologies for key waste streams recovery and treatment, namely those of concern in the Porto region/country; diagnostics and optimization of waste management systems; valorization of organic wastes like glycerol / olive oil wastewater into “green” hydrogen by steam reforming and of CO2 by converting it into added products like SNG (synthetic natural gas); valorization of grapes and olive oil by-products through microencapsulation of phenolic extracts.

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