Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Cellulose, Paper and Advanced Water Treatments
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The Research Group, originated in 1990, was officially stablished in 2004. Nowadays, it is focussed on research topics related to the improvement of industrial processes, development of sustainable processes, use of secondary materials and wastes, circular economy and industrial symbiosis, treatment of process water and industrial effluents to close the water circuits, reclamation of urban and industrial water for water reuse, and minimization of industrial wastes. The works are carried out in two parallel lines, one fundamental to generate new knowledge, and one applied to develop and apply the generated knowledge to solve industrial and social problems. This close collaboration with the industry allowed to create an UCM-HOLMEN laboratory inside a company and it is proven by the high number of innovation projects commissioned by the industry (+80) and by offering industrial PhD positions. We have participated in 21 European projects and we have published more than 200 papers in JCR journals. The innovative nature of the works and the implementation of results at industrial scale has rendered several awards: Chemplast Award to the best Research Project for Industry, 2019; Ken Madderm Award, 2017; the first UCM Technology and Knowledge Transfer Prize in 2016; ""IIBCC Excellence Award in Recognition of Outstanding Research on Inorganic Bonded Composites"" in 2008. We have contributed to implement the first water reclamation plant to reuse high quality water in a paper mill.
Research lines / projects proposed
This Project goes beyond minimizing the environmental impact at plant level by developing an industrial symbiosis that enables the maximum utilization of waste streams as resources. The objective is to promote the sustainable industrial development and to stimulate the generation of new business opportunities through the innovative use of waste flows as secondary materials, the development of emerging technologies and the optimal management of information. First the strategy for sustainable development and environmental impact minimization in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors will be materialized through the development of concrete biotechnological and environmental transformations; secondly the concept of industrial symbiosis at regional and industrial area levels will be carried out in collaboration with local authorities. Residual flows rich in organic carbon will be used to obtain products of interest for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetics companies and the potential for the integration of flows between adjacent plants will be considered. On the other hand, how to extend the limits of closure of the water circuits will be also studied. Special attention will be given to treat concentrates and to remove emerging contaminants from the final effluents. During the project optimal solutions will be developed based on extending the limits of cheap treatments and an adequate integration of advanced technologies.<br />