20 years of Science and Innovation

Environmental Sciences and Technologies


We combine the basic science areas of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, focusing on the diagnosis and prioritization of environmental risks, with the Engineering approach, to develop innovative technologies for emerging environmental problems related to water, air and solid wastes.

Specifically, competences in Environmental Chemistry have been used in the development of high resolution analytical methods for the detection of micropollutants in various environmental matrices, including water and air, as well as in environmental biomonitoring and risk assessment issues. On the other hand, the Environmental Microbiology capabilities have also been helping in the development of specific biological species able to degrade specific contaminants or to control the increasing antibiotic resistance. The competences in Environmental and Chemical Engineering cross-fed with those before, to develop solutions for water and wastewater treatment, for gaseous and particulate matter from industrial emissions, and for waste recycling.

Major research topics

  • Environmental Chemistry - development and validation of new analytical methodologies for emergent contaminants, risks prioritization and proposal of degradation processes for removal of emergent pollutants (industrial, pharmaceuticals and personal care products) in environmental matrices (waters and wastewater, air emissions and solid wastes).
  • Environmental Microbiology - characterization of microbiota of anthropogenic impacted environments; identification of abiotic factors favouring the development of organisms involved on the humification of organic solid residues and of biotic and abiotic factors contributing most to antibiotic resistance prevalence in each compartment of the urban water cycle.
  • Water Treatment Technologies – combined technologies to remove emergent pollutants from waters; explore further applicability of advanced oxidation processes to several contaminants in water and solid matrices; integrate such processes with biological ones (e.g. sequencing batch reactors); integrate, in the same unit, treatment of liquid and gas streams.
  • Air quality/treatment and health impact - reduction of particulate matter from gaseous emissions; implementation of a new process to treat gaseous streams with carbon dioxide; study of the presence of PAHs in particulate matter and use of urine biomarkers; assessment of ultrafine particles in indoor and outdoor air; indoor air quality in nurseries and primary schools and evaluation of its impact on childhood asthma based on medical evaluation; air pollutant emissions from ships and its impact on air quality and health; low-cost sensors for air quality measurements.
  • Clean Technologies and Waste Recycling - Development of sustainable biofuels for use in transports focusing on their life cycle, considering since the origin of raw-materials (with emphasis on waste and other alternatives of reduced effects on land use changes), till the chemical processes, main product, by-products and impacts of use.

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