Group of Catalysis and Unit Operations (CyPS)

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials
Faculty of Chemical Science

This group ( has extensive experience in the synthesis, preparation and modification of materials for use as adsorbents and / or catalysts, the study of various catalytic and non-catalytic reactions and the development of separation operations such as adsorption, distillation, etc. Specifically, the research group has extensive experience in the wastewater treatment which began in 1990 with the completion of several research projects of public and private funding primarily using adsorption and wet oxidation. We have published more than 200 papers of high impact index, and we have made more than 200 communications to national and international congresses, symposia, workshops, etc. Currently, the research team is integrated into a network of wastewater treatment, namely, “Red Madrileña de Tratamientos Avanzados de Aguas Residuales (REMTAVARES)” in Madrid Community and it was part of another national network in the Program Consolider -Ingenio 2010 through the project “Treatment and Reuso de Aguas Residuales para un Desarrollo Sostenible (TRAGUA)” which was evaluated by a committee of international experts appointed by the General Director of Scientific and Technical Research program as excellent. We collaborate with several companies, such as Cepsa, Maxam, Repsol, Ecolotum Energía Recuperable, among others.

Conventional purification processes will no longer be sufficient to reach discharge limits. In addition, the regeneration, the planned reuse of wastewater and the recovery of nutrients is a strategy that connects with the paradigm of the circular economy. In this context, the adsorption capacity of different adsorbents will be evaluated using priority and emerging pollutants. Initially Bisphenol A (BPA) will be studied as a compound widely used in plastics manufacturing, persistent and bioaccumulative and 17? Estradiol as an endocrine disruptor. It is also planned to work with other compounds on the recently published European Union monitoring list. In addition, and in view of the increasing need to remove metals from aqueous effluents, the adsorption of arsenic, as well as other heavy metals, will be assessed. All studies will be carried out in both synthetic samples as in real matrices. Different types of adsorbent materials will be used, from activated carbons to TiO2 or SiO2 materials with specific functionalities in order to develop selective adsorbents. Adsorption tests will be carried out both in discontinuous as in continuous. The results obtained will allow the development of models and the obtaining of parameters that allow easy comparison between developed adsorbents. The models to be used will be those of Sheindorf Rebhun Sheintuch, Freundlich extended, or PSDM. The breakage curves are developed using water matrices corresponding to actual effluents and compared with obtained for pure compounds. The results obtained will allow an approximation to the reality and can verify the efficiency in terms of organic matter removal, toxicity and the displacement of the active centers due to the competitive effect (overshooting).