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Research Projects

Development of flexible and high efficiency piezoelectric nanogenerators based on perovskite/PVDF nanocomposites




Research head: Rocio Moriche Tirado
Period: 01-12-2022 / 30-11-2024
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: TED2021-131458A-I00
Research group: Francisco José Gotor Martínez (ICMS), María Jesús Sayagués de Vega (ICMS), Rosalía Poyato Galán (ICMS), Ana Morales Rodríguez (US), Felipe Gutiérrez Mora (US), Ángela Gallardo López (US)

Abstract [+]

Application of advanced disinfection processes with nanomaterials in the reduction of impact from urban pressures in the framework of circular economy




Research head: Rosa Mosteo Abad (UNIZAR) y Mª Peña Ormad Melero (UNIZAR)
Period: 01-12-2022 / 30-11-2024
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: TED2021-129267B-I00
Research group: María Carmen Hidalgo López (ICMS), Francisca Romero Sarria (ICMS), MªPilar Goñi Cepero (UNIZAR) y Encarnación Rubio Aranda (UNIZAR)

Abstract [+]

Water is one of the natural resources that, due to its limited and variable nature, both in quantity and quality, should be protected with special intensity, in line with the Environmental Objectives that support the ecological transition: sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, circular economy, pollution prevention and control, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. Studies realized in collaboration with the Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, the urban point sources are the pressures that in most cases are the cause of non-compliance
with the environmental quality objectives established by the DMA. This non-compliance are mainly related to microbiological contamination in the receiving waters of these discharges.
Generally, as there is no legal requirement, wastewater treatment facilities do not include disinfection processes that reduce the microbiological load of effluents and, consequently, these agents are incorporated into natural waters, limiting the usemade of them, especially in supplying populations and recreational use (bathing and others). Likewise, such contamination in wastewater limits the possibility of its subsequent reuse, reducing the capacity to increase the availability of water resources. It is important to remark that, water reuse for agricultural irrigation can also contribute to circular economy by recovering nutrients from the reclaimed water and applying them to crops, by means of fertigation techniques. Thus, water reuse could potentially reduce the need for supplemental applications of mineral fertilizer.
Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the wastewater treatment efficiency by non-conventional processes that improve the treated water quality with the final objective of allowing a safe reuse of effluents, taking into account the regulation (EU) 2020/741. On the other hand, the control of more microbiological parameters is essential for a correct analysis of the technologies application. Aware of this need, the AySA group has been developing research projects for many years focus on the research about conventional and non-conventional processes, based on photocatalytic processes, applied for disinfection waters and about the microbiological control in urban wastewater treatment plants. The main objective of this project is to select the best technology for disinfection of treated urban wastewater for full-scale application by the improvement of previously studied advanced oxidation processes in the disinfection of these type of waters. Furthermore, the microbiological control, not only by bacterial indicators conventionally used but also protozoa and endosymbiotic bacteria that are inside amoebae, is consider very relevant in this project since to our knowledge, there are no studies investigating such a wide range of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms. This realistic approach is expected to minimise the impact on the receiving waters and increase the possibility of reuse, reducing the the health and environmental risk.


Design and selection of novel materials for the fabrication of high performance reversible solid oxide fuel cells




Research head: Francisco José García García (US) y Juan Gabriel Lozano Suárez (US)
Period: 01-12-2022 / 30-11-2024
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: TED2021-132057B-I00
Research group: Francisco José Gotor Martínez (ICMS), María Jesús Sayagués de Vega (ICMS), Yadir Torres Hernández (US), Isabel Montealegre Meléndez (US), Cristina María Arévalo Mora (US), Ana María Beltrán Custodio (US), Eva María Pérez Soriano (US), Paloma Trueba Muñoz (US)

Abstract [+]

Development of biochar based heterostructured materials with photofuntional properties for applications in water decontamination and disinfection processes




Research head: María Carmen Hidalgo López y Francisca Romero Sarria
Period: 01-09-2022 / 31-08-2025
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación "Generación de Conocimiento"
Code: PID2021-122413NB-I00
Research group: José Manuel Córdoba Gallego, Concepción Real Pérez, María Dolores Alcalá Gonzalez, José Antonio Navío Santos y Rosa Mosteo Abad (UNIZAR)

Abstract [+]

In the present research project we propose the development heterostructured photocatalyst systems (ZnWO4/ZnO, WO3/AgBr, WO3/TiO2, Bi2WO6/TiO2, ZnBi2O4/ZnO, Bi4Ti3O12/Bi20TiO32) coupled or supported on biochars (coming from the pyrolysis of olive pruning waste, rice husk and olive stones and allowing a path of revalorization of these wastes), the study of the different synthesis variables and methods, their optimization, and their photocatalytic behavior evaluated in the disinfection of water and degradation of emerging pollutants.
In the last years, new photocatalysts based on heterostructured materials are arising, where semiconductor heterojunctions have been developed to achieve the spatial separation of electrons and holes providing appropriate separation pathways, thus obtaining benefits for prolonged charge carriers lifetime, broadening light absorption and increasing the efficiency of the system. Although these materials have shown good behavior in the visible on the different substrates studied, they generally present moderate or low specific surface area values, and some of them have stability problems after few reaction cycles.
The project proposes the coupling or support of these heterostructured photocatalysts on biochar of different characteristics, with the aim of providing them with higher specific surface areas and increase their effectiveness and stability for their applications as photocatalysts, improving the absorption ability, narrowing the bad-gap where the biochar can act as photosensitizer, improving the electron transport, allowing a better separation of photogenerated carriers and prolonging their lifetime and providing stabilization and photo-stabilization to the systems.
Biochars are carbon-rich materials obtained by thermal treatment of biomass in the absence of oxygen (pyrolysis) and show interesting properties such as high specific surface areas and porosities, and can be tailored by controlling operating conditions, to obtained desired amount and type of functional groups on their surfaces, hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity and surface pH.
The main objectives of the project involve full physico-chemical characterization and optimization of biochar/ heterostructured photocatalysts for the proposed applications under different operation conditions, as solar or visible illumination. The effectiveness of each system in the reduction of emerging contaminants (antibiotic products) and in the inactivation of potentially pathogenic microorganisms usually present in water will be evaluated.
The presence of pathogenic microorganisms in waters is an issue of special concern due to the potential risk of waterborne diseases, and consequently, microbial control is necessary in waters. Likewise, pharmaceuticals and personal care products are commonly used and release to waters. Their potential adverse effects on human health, led to cataloguing them as relevant environmental contaminants belonging to the class of emerging contaminants.
The project is approached from an interdisciplinary point of view and in the context of the circular economy, by revalorizing a waste product (biomass) to develop photocatalysts that provide a solution to a problem (decontamination and disinfection of water) by means of environmentally friendly processes (heterogeneous photocatalysis).


Manufacturing of iron-based porous materials with refractory characteristics for hydrogen purification, use and storage systems




Research head: Ranier Enrique Sepúlveda Ferrer (US) y Ernesto Chicardi Augusto (US)
Period: 01-09-2022 / 31-08-2026
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación "Generación de Conocimiento"
Code: PID2021-123010OB-I00
Research group: Dr. Antonio Gabriel Paúl Escolano (US), Dr. Jesús Hernández Saz (US), Dr. Krishnakumar Balu (US) ICMS: Dr. Francisco José Gotor Martínez

Abstract [+]

STructured unconventional reactors for CO2-fRee Methane catalytic crackING




Research head: Miguel Angel Centeno Gallego
Period: 01-09-2022 / 31-08-2025
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: EU240226_01
Research group: Maria Isabel Domínguez Leal, Leidy Marcela Martínez Tejada, Svetlana Ivanova

Abstract [+]

STORMING desarrollará reactores estructurados innovadores calentados con electricidad renovable, para convertir CH4 fósil en H2 libre de CO2 y en nanomateriales de carbono de alto valor para aplicaciones de baterías. Más específicamente, se desarrollarán catalizadores innovadores basados en Fe, altamente activos y fácilmente regenerables mediante procesos que no generen residuos, a través de un protocolo de diseño racional de catalizadores, que combina estudios teóricos (Teoría del Funcional de la Densidad y Cálculos de Dinámica Molecular) y experimentales (cluster), todos de ellos asistidos por caracterización in situ y operando y herramientas de Machine Learning. La electrificación (con calentamiento por microondas o por efecto joule) de reactores estructurados, diseñados por fluidodinámica computacional y preparados mediante impresión 3D, permitirá un control térmico preciso que dará como resultado una alta eficiencia energética. El proyecto validará, en un nivel 5 de TRL, la tecnología catalítica más prometedora (elegida con criterios tecnológicos, económicos y ambientales) para producir H2 con eficiencia energética (> 60 %), cero emisiones netas y con un coste hasta un 10 % menor al del proceso convencional. La difusión y comunicación de los resultados impulsará la aceptación social de las tecnologías relacionadas con el H2 y la participación de las partes interesadas en la explotación y el despliegue de procesos a corto plazo. La clave para alcanzar los desafiantes objetivos de STORMING es el muy alto grado de complementariedad e interdisciplinaridad de los grupos que forman el consorcio, donde las ciencias básicas y aplicadas se fusionan con la ingeniería, la informática y las ciencias sociales. El Grupo del ICMS implicado llevará a cabo el desarrollo del catalizador desde la preparación de los catalizadores en polvo hasta su washcoating sobre soportes estructurados. CSIC participa como miembro del consorcio, participando la Universidad de Sevilla como entidad asociada.

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101069690


Lanthanide-based bioprobes for MRI and persistent luminescence imaging




Research head: Ana Isabel Becerro Nieto y Manuel Ocaña Jurado
Period: 01-09-2022 / 31-08-2025
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación "Generación de Conocimiento"
Code: PID2021-122328OB-100
Research group: Nuria O. Núñez Álvarez

Abstract [+]

The overall objective of this project is the development of new contrast agents (CAs) to improve medical diagnostics using two advanced imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and persistent luminescence (PersL) imaging. Specifically, it is planned to develop dual MRI (T1-T2) CAs and PersL bioprobes. The advantage of dual MRI CAs over classical MRI CAs is that they allow two types of resonance images (T1-and T2 weighted images) to be obtained with a single agent. Obtaining both images is very useful as it allows avoiding false positives by cross-validation of both images. On the other hand, the use of probes with PersL significantly improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the luminescence image since, by irradiating the probe outside the organism, autofluorescence of the tissues is avoided. An additional advantage of this type of luminescent probes is that they avoid direct irradiation of living tissues with harmful ultraviolet light. Both types of CAs (MRI and PersL CAs) will consist of uniform nanoparticles (NPs) based on various carefully selected inorganic matrices containing lanthanide ions, whose excellent magnetic and luminescent properties make them ideal candidates for the pursued applications. For MRI CAs, two types of architectures will be addressed, consisting of single-phase nanoparticles (NPs), where the T2 (Dy3+) and T1 (Gd3+ or Mn2+) active cations are in solid solution, and NPs with core-shell architecture, where the T2 ions will be located in the core while the active ions for T1 imaging will be located in the shell. In both cases, phosphate, vanadate and molybdate matrices will be tested, which have been shown to be suitable in the case of T1 or T2 single MRI CAs. In the case of PersL probes, several compounds that have shown excellent luminescence properties in terms of both intensity and persistence duration as bulk materials, will be synthesized as uniform NPs. Specifically, various germanate and gallate matrices doped with lanthanide ions (Pr3+, Yb3+), that emit infrared light within the biological windows, where the radiation is not absorbed by biological tissues or fluids thus improving the penetration depth, will be addressed. Both types of CAs (MRI and PersL CAs) will be submitted to functionalization and bioconjugation processes to provide them with colloidal stability and tumor-specific recognition capabilities. Their biocompatibility will also be tested by studying their cytotoxicity in specific cell lines. Finally, the optimal probes obtained will be applied to MRI and PersL imaging, both in vitro and in vivo, using mice as a model. The research team has extensive experience in the synthesis of lanthanide-based inorganic NPs and has most of the necessary means for their morphological, structural and chemical characterization, as well as for the study of their luminescent properties. In addition, this team has the support of researchers from other institutions who will collaborate in the development of some of the tasks, mainly with regard to bioconjugation, biocompatibility and image recording studies, which guarantees the correct development of the project.


Nanostructured thin films grown by magnetron sputtering deposition with plasmas of Helium and other light gases




Research head: Asunción Fernández Camacho
Period: 01-09-2022 / 31-08-2026
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: PID2021-124439NB-I00
Research group: María del Carmen Jiménez de Haro

Abstract [+]

Magnetron Sputtering (MS) is a Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) methodology typically used for thin films and coatings fabrication. MS commonly employs Ar or Ar/N2-O2 (reactive MS) mixtures as the process gas to be ionized in a glow discharge to create the adequate plasma to sputter a target material. Among a few laboratories we pioneered the introduction of Helium plasmas in the magnetron sputtering technology. Although the deposition rate may be reduced we demonstrated the formation under controlled conditions of nanoporosity and/or trapped gas (He and N2 nanobubbles) in the produced films. In particular solid-films containing gas filled nanopores have several unique characteristics: They allow a large amount of gas to be trapped in a condensed state with high stability, and will provide a route to tailor the over-all films properties. Magnetron sputtering is easy to scale and much cheaper than alternative technologies based on high energy ion implantation. Building on this, we propose to further develop an innovative and versatile bottom-up methodology to fabricate thin films (e.g. Si, C, other metalloids and metals) promoting open porosity or in the opposite stabilizing trapped nanobubbles of the process gas (He, Ne, N2, H2 and their isotopes).

The methodology will be mainly investigated to fabricate unique solid targets and standards of the trapped gas for nuclear reactions studies. Our work will make light gases and their isotopes available in a condensed state and easy-to-handle format without the need for high pressure cells or cryogenic devices. Together with a network of collaborative researchers from the Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics domain we are aiming to bring this application from proof-of-concept to final experiments in large installations facilities. It is also worth to mention that the control of the process from gas filled to nano-porous structures will open additional applications to be investigated in the project such as optical devices, vacuum-UV emitters or catalytic coatings.

The project will introduce innovative process design and control in our magnetron sputtering chambers to work with the different light weight gases newly proposed. Low gas consumption methodologies will be further implemented for scarce isotopes (e.g. 3He). The final goal is to implement an improved MS experimental set-up and to develop the proposed bottom-up methodology in terms of matrix-gas combinations, gas mixtures, variety of supports (e.g. flexible), and self-supported or multilayer designs looking for the innovative applications. An important task is also to determine the MS film growth mechanism. The plasma characterization during the deposition process and the use of the SRIM simulation tool may strongly contribute to a better understanding and control of the growth processes. To understand the microstructure, composition and physical-chemical properties of the novel materials, a complete microstructural and chemical characterization at the nano-scale will be undertaken with a variety of techniques. Of special mention are the advanced electron microscopies (TEM and SEM) including the Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and the Ion Beam Analysis techniques for the in-depth elemental composition determination.


Biomass for DEsalination via CApacitive Deionization and Energy Storage, “BioDECADES”




Research head: Joaquín Ramírez Rico
Period: 01-01-2022 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: US-1380856
Research group: Alfonso Bravo León, Manuel Jiménez Melendo, Julián Martínez Fernández

Abstract [+]

Water resources, global warming and the decline of fossil fuels are three of the main challenges that we as a society will have to address in the next decade. Solutions to these challenges rely on the development of new technologies that allow the efficient use and reuse of water resources, as well as on new, high power and high energy density storage systems to be coupled with renewable sources. These two seemingly unrelated topics currently rely on one technology: carbon adsorbents and electrodes. Both desalination and purification systems as well as supercapacitors and batteries use materials that are based on carbon, their structure modified through physical and/or chemical processes.  Biomass is a cheap, widely available precursor for carbon materials, which can be obtained by pyrolysis. Both the choice of biomass as well as the actual process will determine the final properties of the carbon electrode, which can be tailored for targeted applications.
Capacitive deionization (CDI) is an emerging desalination technology with tunable salt removal levels, that uses a small voltage applied across two carbon electrodes to remove ions from solution by means of Electrosorption. The small amount of energy required means that such a system can be powered by a solar panel, making this technology useful in portable and deployable systems.  Supercapacitors and batteries also rely on adsorption and/or intercalation mechanisms to store electric charge, in a process that is essentially the same but with a different final target as CDI. Both technologies rely on the use of carbon electrodes, with properties and structure tailored to each of the applications.
This proposal’s main objective is to use biomass residue as a precursor to develop tailored carbon electrodes for electrochemical applications related to energy and environmental technologies, with a focus on two main applications: energy storage in supercapacitor systems and batteries, and desalination via CDI. The main proposed synthesis approach for this electrodes will be the pyrolysis of biomass precursors, with a focus on biomass waste products such as grain husks, peels, pits and stones and other organic waste. In the case of monolithic electrodes, wood and wood-derived fiberboards will be the main focus. Chemical methods will be developed to functionalize the resulting carbons, to improve their capacitance or ion selectivity.
We will build a CDI testing rig to determine desalination behavior, and to correlate this with microscopic information obtained from advanced techniques such as electron microscopy, total scattering diffraction experiments, nitrogen adsorption isotherm, and others. We will test the electrochemical energy storage behavior and correlate it with structural properties and processing conditions. Our goal will be to optimize carbon electrodes derived from biomass for targeted applications, and to develop a menu of biomass derived carbon materials.


New generation of conformal dielectric nanocoatings for emerging electronic devices by plasma technology (PLASMADIELEC)




Research head: Francisco Javier Aparicio Rebollo
Period: 01-01-2022 / 31-05-2023
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: US-1381057
Research group: Ana Isabel Borras Martos, Ramon Escobar Galindo, Lidia Contreras Bernal

Abstract [+]

Recent advances in nanomaterials and processing techniques are leading to the development of highly miniaturized nanodevices and new functionalities in the field of flexible electronics. The project deals with the development of a new generation of dielectric materials in the form of thin films of nanometric thickness using plasma technology, with the ultimate goal of manufacturing high-performance flexible organic transistors. The proposed plasma deposition methodology is a pioneering technique developed in our laboratory that provides ample control over the dielectric properties and the interaction with liquids of these coatings, as well as allows the conformal deposition on high aspect ratio nanostructures such as nanowires and nanotubes uses in molecular electronics. The proposed plasma technique is fully compatible with the current industrial process used in electronic microdevices and nanocomponent manufacturing. These advantages and the previous results of the proposed plasma technique in the development of photonic materials and sensors support the viability of the project. As a result, PlasmaDielec will establish the bases for the development of new procedures and a new generation of dielectric materials for the future development of flexible electronics.


Biomorphic materials for energy storage (BioMatStor)




Research head: Joaquín Ramírez Rico
Period: 05-10-2021 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P20_011860 - PAIDI 2020
Research group: María Dolores Alba Carranza, Alfonso Bravo León, Manuel Jiménez Melendo, Esperanza Pavón González

Abstract [+]

Biomass derived carbon materials will play a key role in several energy conversion and storage technologies in the future, with application in supercapacitors and batteries, power-to-X systems (fuel cells and electrolyzers), CO2 and H2 storage. Large amounts of biomass waste are generated in local agrofood industries. Among these wastes, the overall estimated production of olive stones in Spain is approximately 1,050,000–1,400,000 tons per year (campaign of 2017). The main use of this byproduct has been as solid biofuel for domestic applications, but given its abundance and low cost, this project presents an opportunity to convert what is considered waste into an added value product.

This proposal’s main objective is to develop tailored carbon materials for applications related to energy and environmental technologies, with a focus on three main applications: i) electrochemical energy storage; ii) catalyst supports in fuel cells and electrolyzers; iii) and gas storage and capture, with a focus on both hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage and separation processes. The main proposed synthesis approach for these materials will be the pyrolysis of biomass precursors, with a focus on biomass waste products such as grain husks, peels, pits and stones and other organic waste. A first objective will be to perform a survey of readily available biomass waste materials from regional agrofood industries. A second objective will be the investigation and optimization of pyrolysis and activation routes to obtain carbon materials with tailored properties for each of the applications targeted in this project. Lastly, a third objective is to assess the applicability and the potential for the application of these materials at commercial scale.

Extensive physical and chemical characterization of the obtained carbon materials will be performed and testing of the resulting materials for the targeted applications will allow us to tailor the processing parameters. A scale-up analysis, with definition of materials integration and systems configurations will be performed by means of simulations, as well as technological and industrial applicability evaluation and assessment of the feasibility of the proposed approach in the large scale. BioMatStor develops R&D at different levels of application: fundamental for materials science characterization and manufacturing, and applied science for energy storage systems modeling and characterization. This Project combines Materials Science and Energy Engineering with the goal of obtaining highly performing materials for a wide range of applications in energy production and storage. Such a proposal requires a multidisciplinary approach, as evidenced in the research team and collaborators. We propose a multidisciplinary approach which has its foundation in scientific excellence, responds to societal challenges and may result in a significant technology transfer to the industry. This project also addresses the socio-strategic goals of Horizon 2020 as it aims to contribute to the improvement of our environment through advanced science and multidisciplinary research. It is fully aligned with the objectives and policies of European Union, the Energy Union Energy, H2020, SET Plan and Andalucía region RIS3 objectives.


Design of advanced CataLyst for H2-free hydrodeoxygenation - a rEVolutionary approach Enabling pRactical BIOmass upgrading: CLEVER-BIO




Research head: Tomás Ramírez Reina
Period: 05-10-2021 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P20_00667
Research group: Luis Francisco Bobadilla Baladrón, José Antonio Odriozola Gordón, Laura Pastor Pérez, Anna Dimitrova Penkova

Abstract [+]

CLEVER-BIO proposes a revolutionary approach to synergise bio-oil upgrading and Green House Gases (GHG) emissions abatement, setting the grounds for a sustainable chemical technology: waste to fuels/chemicals. We aim to develop novel biomass-derived routes to produce deoxygenated aromatic hydrocarbons – highly important chemical compounds in the biofuels and biochemical industries – from lignin-derived bio-oil via designing of advanced catalysts for the H2-free hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) process. The urgent problem of global warming and the need to decarbonise the transportation and chemical industry in a circular economy context place CLEVER-BIO in a privileged position to become a pioneering approach to contribute towards the development of sustainable societies. CLEVER-BIO will be delivered in 24 months under a comprehensive research program with strong international cooperation and social-scientific impact


Design of highly efficient photocatalysts by nanoscale control for H2 production NanoLight2H2




Research head: Gerardo Colón Ibañez
Period: 05-10-2021 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P20-00156 - PAIDI 2020
Research group: Alfonso Caballero Martínez, Rosa Pereñiguez Rodríguez, Juan Pedro Holgado Vázquez

Abstract [+]

The main objective of this project is the development of heterostructured catalysts based on highly efficient semiconducting oxides (Nb2O5, WO3, TiO2 and Fe2O3) and g-C3N4, with control at the nanoscale level, and potential application in the photoreforming reaction of alcohols for the production of H2.  Furthermore, the aim of this project is to study the optimisation of the catalytic process by means of a multi-catalytic approach, combining thermocatalysis and photocatalysis. The photocatalytic production of H2 is a reaction of great interest from an energetic point of view through the use of a clean and sustainable technology such as photocatalysis. We will try to develop highly efficient systems for hydrogen production. Special attention will be paid to the design of heterostructures that allow the optimisation of the photoinduced process. Likewise, emphasis will be placed on the use of alternative co-catalysts to the traditional noble metals; systems based on transition metals (Cu, Co, Ni), as well as bimetallic structures with noble metals formed into alloys or core-shell. Together with the liquid phase photocatalytic process, the feasibility of a gas phase photoreforming process will be studied, based on recent studies that show the synergistic effect of a photo-thermo-catalytic approach in these processes. In this way, this proposal aims to ambitiously address the increase in efficiency of the photocatalytic process in order to be able to consider this technology on a larger scale. In this sense, in addition to the optimisation studies of the catalysts and the photocatalytic process, its scaling up to a pilot solar plant will be considered as essential.


Gasification and ENergy Integration for User Sustainability (GENIUS)




Research head: José Antonio Odriozola Gordón
Period: 05-10-2021 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P20_00594
Research group: Luis Francisco Bobadilla Baladrón, Laura Pastor Pérez, Anna Dimitrova Penkova, Tomás Ramírez Reina

Abstract [+]

GENIUS proposes an innovative approach to transform biogenic residues into a valuable bioenergy carrier. The proposal is based on the combination of modified mature technologies, e.g. gasification, with first-time approached solutions as the continuous aqueous-phase reforming of tars that compromises downstream processes, usually the bottlenecks for upgrading catalytic processes.
The combination of microchannel reactor technologies with state-of-the-art multifunctional catalysts will provide a path to increase the wealth of rural communities on proposing a decentralized approach allowing territory-based solutions for agricultural residues or marginal lands production.
ENIUS focus in the system perspective demanded in HORIZON EUROPE keeping in mind the Objectives for Sustainable Development and industry decarbonisation. GENIUS will be delivered in 24 months under a comprehensive research program with strong international cooperation and social-scientific impact


Integrated nanoscopies and spectroscopies for the analysis of novel functional materials at the nano-scale




Research head: Asunción Fernández Camacho
Period: 05-10-2021 / 31-12-2022
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P20_00239 - PAIDI 2020
Research group: M. Carmen Jiménez de Haro

Abstract [+]

The current development of nanomaterials and functional materials in general, as well as their nanotechnological applications, are determined to a large extent by the current capacities on  the characterization of microstructure, composition and even properties of the materials at the nano-scale. The project is proposed to promote an innovative research in the microstructural characterization of materials. The nanoscopic and spectroscopic techniques linked to the electron microscopes (electron beam probe), will be integrated together with techniques associated with photon beam (X-rays) and ion beam (IBA techniques) probes. This characterization will be associated with selected functional materials, also within advanced research lines of high current interest, in the topic of coatings and thin films in which the work team has strong experience.

The development and application of the available techniques with multiple probes will be a first central objective, both in the ICMS and in other centers of the Universities of Seville (CITIUS, CNA) and Cádiz (TEM central services). Likewise, through collaborations and measurement time applications, access to other international facilities will be achieved. In the project, selected materials will be available in two emerging technologies: i) Nanoporous  thin films and coatings that stabilize gases at ultra-high density and pressure. ii) Catalysts for hydrogen storage and on demand hydrogen generation through the use of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). The advanced characterization proposed in the nano-scale will contribute to the fundamental understanding of the synthesis-microstructure-properties relationships with the final objective of achieving a rational design of new functional materials in the selected priority lines. The project has a direct impact on enabling or emerging technologies such as "nanotechnology" and "advanced materials", as well as on the Andalusian societal challenges and RIS3 objectives in relation to the storage of renewable energies "Topic: Hydrogen and fuel cells".


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