Chemical and Environmental Engineering Group

Treatment of wastewaters

Advanced Oxidation Technologies for the removal of pollutants in municipal and industrial wastewaters
Advanced oxidation processes are defined as wastewater treatments mediated by the generation of hydroxyl radicals under mild conditions. These radicals are highly instable and reactive species which a remarkable oxidizing potential for the oxidation of a wide variety of organic molecules and with remarkable reaction rates. This kind of processes have gained a great interest in the field of the degradation of highly toxic, non-biodegradable and refractory pollutants present in municipal and industrial wastewaters. Likewise, the application of these technologies in the degradation of emerging pollutants which are not currently regulated by environmental laws (such as pharmaceutical and endocrine disrupter compounds, chemicals for personal care or surfactants) is currently of great interest.
AOPs such as photo-catalysis, photo-electro-catalysis and Fenton-like processes (assisted by temperature, UV and ultrasonic irradiation) are thoroughly studied in our research group. The purposes are mainly addressed to the synthesis of highly active and stable heterogeneous catalysts as well as the design of photo-reactors. These processes are applied to the treatment of industrial wastewaters, disinfection and removal of emerging pollutants. The combination of these technologies in order to obtain highly effective treatments is also studied (sono-Photo-Fenton process, Fenton-biological systems and Fenton-membrane technology).

Heavy metal adsorption
Water pollution with heavy metals is one of the great problems of environmental concern due to their high toxicity. Mercury, cadmium and lead as well as their derivative compounds are included in the priority substances list of the EU Water Framework. Our research is focused on the synthesis of mesostructured silica materials functionalized with sulphur and nitrogen containing quelating groups actives in the adsorption processes of organic and inorganic forms of the mentioned metals.

Membrane technology
Membrane technology for wastewater treatment is currently growing due to its versatility and ability to combine with other complementary operations such as biological or chemical processes. In our team, the goal to achieve is focused to the selective separation of organic compounds with low and medium molecular weight, including pharmaceuticals, which are often scarcely biodegradable. For this purpose, we use commercially available polymeric membranes both for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. The analysis of the physicochemical parameters determining the membranes performance is the central aim related to this line of research.

Current research projects:

Red madrileña de tratamientos avanzados para aguas residuales con contaminantes no biodegradables (REMTAVARES) (S-2009/AMB/1588).

Financial Support: Comunidad de Madrid, Programa de Actividades de I+D entre Grupos de Investigación de la Comunidad de Madrid

  • Start Year: 2010
  • End Year: 2013

Laboratorio de análisis de aguas dentro de la red madrileña de tratamientos avanzados para aguas residuales con contaminantes no biodegradables (REMTAVARES)

Financial Support: URJC-CAM (Programa de Actividades de I+D entre grupos de Investigación de la Comunidad de Madrid)

  • Start Year: 2010
  • End Year: 2013

Procesos de bioxidación avanzada y fotocatalíticos para la eliminación de contaminantes emergentes

Financial Support: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

  • Start Year: 2012
  • End Year: 2014

Procesos fotocatalíticos y de adsorción para la eliminación de contaminantes preferentes (arsénico y cromo) en sistemas acuosos

Financial Support: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

  • Start Year: 2013
  • End Year: 2016

Mainline Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Carbon Recovery through Phototrophic Bacteria

Financial Support: Smart Water Fund 2013-2016. Project ID 10OS – 023. Clearwater, EPA Victoria, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the Stormwater Industry Association of Victoria (SIAV)

  • Start Year: 2013
  • End Year: 2017

Resource Recovery from Wastewater. Project C2.1.

Financial Support: CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

  • Start Year: 2013
  • End Year: 2017

Red madrileña de tratamientos avanzados de aguas residuales Proyecto S2013/MAE-2716

Financial Support: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - LAGUA

  • Start Year: 2014
  • End Year: 2018

Integrated processes for monitoring and treatment of emerging contaminants for water reuse (MOTREM) Water JPI JPIW2013-121

Financial Support: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad - Acciones de Programación Conjunta Internacional -

  • Start Year: 2014
  • End Year: 2017

EVALUACIÓN DE LA ELIMINACIÓN DE CIANUROS EN AGUAS MODELO Y AGUAS REALES MEDIANTE PROCESOS AVANZADOS DE OXIDACIÓN FOTOASISTIDOS

Financial Support: Arcelor Mittal

  • Start Year: 2014
  • End Year: 2015

Desarrollo y evaluación de nuevos procesos fotoquímicos y biológicos para el tratamiento y reutilización de agua en industrias alimentarias (Water4Food)

Financial Support: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

  • Start Year: 2015
  • End Year: 2017

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