GPT - Thermo-Chemical Processes Group Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón. Universidad de Zaragoza
Thermochemical Processes Group
Valorisation and upgrading of wastes via thermochemical processes
Pollutant reduction and kinetic models
News
María Abián, Premio Medio Ambiente Aragón

June 5, 2014 - El Gobierno de Aragón ha concedido el Premio Medio Ambiente en Innovación e Investigación a la investigadora María Abián, del Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón (I3A) por su labor científica en materia de minimización de emisiones contaminantes.

La doctora María Abián forma parte del Grupo de Proceso Termoquímicos perteneciente al I3A y al Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Tecnologías del Medio Ambiente de la Universidad de Zaragoza. Esta mañana ha recogido esta distinción en un acto que ha tenido lugar en la sede del Gobierno de Aragón donde ha destacado su certeza de que la investigación “es el motor para poder alcanzar un desarrollo sostenible, y el fruto de la misma es el progreso”.

María Abián ha subrayado que, si bien, la combustión como proceso de obtención de energía en Aragón tiene una relevancia clara, también “es conocido que puede dar lugar a emisiones nocivas que están directamente relacionadas con la calidad del aire que respiramos, por lo que es necesario realizar un importante esfuerzo de investigación y desarrollo para minimizar estas repercusiones medioambientales”.

Su trabajo se centra en investigar estrategias de minimización de contaminantes en procesos de combustión, cuya aplicación puede resultar en un beneficio claro para empresas, para gestores y, en definitiva, para el medio ambiente. En él participan Mª Ujué Alzueta, investigadora principal, Ángela Millera y Rafael Bilbao, responsable del Grupo de Procesos Termoquímicos (GPT). La línea de investigación premiada hoy cuenta con la financiación del Gobierno de Aragón, del Ministerio de economía y competitividad y la Unión Europea.

El Premio Medio Ambiente de Aragón en el ámbito de la Innovación e Investigación está destinado a los Centros de Investigación y/o Departamentos Universitarios que hayan realizado sus trabajos dentro del objeto de esta convocatoria, especialmente en lo que se refiere a la prevención de residuos, aplicando la metodología científica y/o utilizando medios técnicos auxiliares y hayan sido desarrollados total o parcialmente dentro del año 2013..

Curso de verano: Biorrefinerías

May 15, 2014 - El Curso de Verano de la Universidad de Zaragoza "Biorrefinerías para el aprovechamiento integral de la biomasa", organizado por el GPT, se llevará a cabo del 7 al 11 de Julio en la Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura (EINA) del Campus Río Ebro.

El curso pretende proporcionar una visión general del concepto de biorrefinería, las tecnologías y procesos disponibles y los productos resultantes, presentando aplicaciones prácticas, ejemplis y casos de éxito.

Habrá participación de miembros de distintas empresas del ámbito de aprovechamiento de residuos y biomasa. Ya está confirmada la presencia de Abengoa Research. Pronto podremos anunciar las otras empresas que participarán en la mesa redonda.

Además el curso cuenta con profesores pertenecientes a distintos grupos de investigación de la Universidad de Zaragoza, lo que otorga un carácter multidisciplinar al curso. Concretamente, habrá gente del campo de la ingeniería química, bioquímica, química orgánica, química física, mecánica de fluidos, etc.

En este enlace, hay más información y se puede acceder a la matrícula online.

Violeta Quispe's talk at JIMA

April 9, 2014 - Violeta Quispe, peruvian Chemical Engineer and PhD student at GPT, participated as a guest speaker in the 17th JIMA (Engineering and Environment Seminars) held at EINA (School of Engineering, Universidad de Zaragoza). Her talk was entitled "La Oroya, Peru: One of the most polluted places in the World". La Oroya is the location of a smelting operation owned by Doe Run Company that earned the town a place on the Blacksmith Institute's 2007 report, "The World's Worst Polluted Places".

As a former participant in the research project "El Mantaro revive",Violeta was involved in a groundbreaking and ambitious initiative to elaborate an environmental diagnostic of the region. Violeta explained the serious difficulties -including threats and intimidations- that had to be overcome to achieve this diagnostic, the astonishing pollution levels and its horrible effects in the local population, especially in children.

As a result of the work by this research group, consciousness-raising and implication of local population and authorities have lead to the closing of the smelting plant.

Although her present work at GPT is unrelated to her past work in Perú (currently she's carrying out her PhD in pig manure valorisation), we would like to congratulate Violeta for her brave and passionate work on this subject.

Alberto Gonzalo, Director of the newly created "SAICA Sustainable Solutions Chair"

October 9, 2013 - The Head of the University of Zaragoza, Manuel Lopez, and the president of SAICA Group, Ramón Alejandro, have signed an agreement for the creation of the "Saica Sustainable Solutions Chair" with both institutions seeking to promote and encourage research projects in the field of energy sustainability and its application to the industrial sector.

Specifically, the activity of the new Chair will focus on promoting studies and research on the recovery of by-products and waste produced during the pulp and paper manufacturing processes, a subject in which the Aragonese multinational has wide expertise. To do this, the Chair will advance in the identification of existing technologies and their application to the characterization of waste and by-products, as well as the support on the design, scalability and operation of pilot and industrial plants towards "zero-waste".

However, the aim of this Chair in the near future is to extend its scope to other fields, such as logistics or sustainable packaging .

This chair is designed to bring together the research tradition of the university and the long history of the multinational, with over 70 years of experience in the field of packaging paper and corrugated cardboard, and with a strong emphasis in the search for sustainable solutions. The concern to develop a respectful activity with the environment has been a constant for SAICA: for instance, its valorization facilities at El Burgo de Ebro are capable of processing 465,000 tonnes/yr of Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste to deliver 45 MW of electrical power (the equivalent to 663,000 barrels of oil a year and preventing the emission of 520,000 tons of CO2 annually).

The Head of the University, Manuel López , stressed Saica experience in this field and was convinced that "the new Chair will produce very positive outcomes for society ."

Dr. Alberto Gonzalo, member of the GPT, was appointed as Director of the newly created Chair. Dr. Gonzalo has extensive experience both in the industrial pulp and paper sector (forming part of the SAICA team for more than 7 years) and in R&D activities within University of Zaragoza.

MATGAS lecture (Dr. L.Vega)

March 22, 2013 - Dr. Lourdes Vega (Director of MATGAS) was invited by the GPT to deliver a lecture on "Innovation in chemical processes in order to make them more sustainable"

Dr. Lourdes Vega talked about innovation and sustainability in chemical processes at the Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón (I3A). Dr. Vega was invited by the Thermochemical Processes Group, being the first of a series of selected guest lecturers. This cycle of lectures constitutes one of the acts for celebrating the GPT's 30th Anniversary in 2013.

Dr. Vega structured the talk into three main parts. After a brief introduction in which the relationship between Chemistry, Innovation and Sustainability was stablished, the first part set the discussion on how research and development are essential for the future of Chemistry, but also necessary in order to move forward on environmentally and economically sustainable development.

The second part dealt with the "open innovation" concept and the need for private companies to interact with academic institutions and research centres (and viceversa). MATGAS was presented as a clear exemplification of this strategy, being a strategic alliance between Carburos Metálicos (Air Products), CSIC and the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB). Finally, some particular cases were introduced, in which sustainability and innovation are key essentials for Chemical Engineering and related disciplines.

Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass (Manuel García-Pérez)

November 29, 2012 - We were delighted to host Dr. Manuel García-Pérez, who gave a course on Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass and Thermochemical Reactor Design.

Dr. Manuel García-Pérez is Associate Professor & Scientist at the Biological Systems Engineering Department, Washington State University.

Agreement with Abengoa Research

October 15, 2012 - The Thermochemical Processes Group signed a strategic alliance with Abengoa Research with the aim to collaborate in biofuels research and in residue valorization.

The scientific director of Abengoa Research Manuel Doblaré and the group leader Rafael Bilbao signed the agreement.

Abengoa Research centre specialises in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable development. The centre was created as a scientific and technological forum that is capable of proposing future solutions, with the aim of becoming a space for training professionals in R&D+i.

Black Liquor Combustion and Gasification (J. Frederick)

June 10, 2011 - Dr. Jim Frederick (IPST at Georgia Tech) visited Zaragoza and kindly imparted a seminar on "Black Liquor Combustion and Gasification" on 7-9 June 2011.

European Comission Brisk
The Thermochemical Processes Group (GPT) is partly funded by the EU's European Social Fund and by the Gobierno de Aragón (Aragonese government)
EU's European Social Fund Gobierno de Aragón