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Cellulose, Paper and Advanced Water Treatments

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Scientic Supervisor / Contact Person

Name and Surname
Carlos Negro

Localization & Research Area

Faculty / Institute
Faculty of Chemical Science
Department
Chemical Engineering and Materials
Research Area
Chemistry (CHE), Information Science and Engineering (ENG)

MSCA & ERC experience

Research group / research team hosted any MSCA fellow?
No
Research group / research team have any ERC beneficiaries?
No

Research Team & Research Topic

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
The research activities of the hosted Marie S. Curie will be carried out within the area of nanotechnological solutions. The research project is based on the application of nanotechnological solutions in the recycled paper industry to obtain high quality graphic papers and special grades, in this way extending the use of recovered paper as raw material in high quality paper grades.

Between the main factors hindering the use of nanomaterials at industrial scale are the absence of fast and robust characterisation methods to perform an efficient quality and safety control along the production chain and the cost of these products. This is particularly key in the nanocellulose (NC) industry: despite the excellent properties of NC (sustainable, abundant, renewable, eco-friendly, multifunctional), confirmed through two decades of intensive research addressing an array of potential applications, the NC market is still to be deployed to its full. The main cause for this is the lack of process-adapted measuring tools capable of characterising cellulose nanoparticles at acceptable speed, accuracy and reliability to meet the industrial demands in a cost-effective way. The propose of this project will be to fill in that gap with an improved NC characterization. This will allow, first, the control of the NC production process and, second, to predict the behaviour of a given product when it is used in different applications. Nanocellulose materials will be applied in different sectors as in papermaking, 3D printing, food industry or for environmental applications.

On the other hand, the project will focus on reducing the production cost of the nanocellulose products by determining the minion quality for each application and by recovering the process chemicals for its reuse.

Application requirements

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