A sustainable way for waste and wastewater management to obtain energy and resources




Our research activity is focused on the integration of thermochemical, chemical and biological processes to obtain valuable compounds (biofuels, activated carbon precursors, soil amendments, fertilizers, value-added products, among others) and the recovery of nutrients and energy from biomass waste, addressing the treatment of waste streams generated in a circular economy approach.

Currently, the research group intends to implement the hydrothermal carbonization of different biomass residues, as well as the anaerobic digestion of process waters operating at the pilot plant level.


Biomass Wastes

Several biomass wastes have been selected as feedstock to evaluate their potential valorization: sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants; digestate from anaerobic digestion plants; park and green waste (vegetables, pruning, etc.); and organic fraction of municipal solid waste (biowaste).


Thermochemical Processes

Hydrothermal carbonization is a promising thermochemical treatment to improve the properties of biomass and produce a carbon-rich solid fuel (hydrochar), an aqueous stream (process water) and a gaseous product. In the process, biomass is mixed with water under mild temperature (180-300°C) and autogenous pressure conditions. This technology is gaining attention for the potential application of hydrochar as a soil amendment, water purification, energy storage, CO2 sequestration, catalysis, among others.


Environmental Catalysis

This area focuses on the sustainable development of new catalysts or catalytic supports from biomass which can be used in advanced oxidation processes or reduction treatments for pollutant removal from water streams.


Waste and wastewater biological treatment

The group’s research activity has also focused on the treatment of waste streams by aerobic and anaerobic processes for the removal of pollutants, as well as for energy recovery (biohydrogen, biomethane) and obtaining value-added products such as volatile fatty acids.

Learn about the hydrothermal carbonization plant

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Facultad de Ciencias Módulo 8 Despacho 609 Calle Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 7 28049 Madrid

Facultad de Ciencias Edificio de Ingeniería Química y Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos Calle Marx, 10 28049 Madrid

Programa Aceleración y escalado [145/2021/01472]