CEFT is a research unit of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto focusing on the sub-domain of transport phenomena bridging the main areas of chemical and mechanical engineering.
It assembles researchers from various Departments and Institutions across Portugal, thus departing from the traditional model of vertical organization. CEFT is a medium sized unit with about 40 researchers, of which 50% are permanent scientific staff.
The activities are centred on three major topics:
(1) energy with particular emphasis on cleaner fuels, such as natural gas and biomass, as well as to issues pertaining to the carbon problem, and the hydrogen economy, such as the optimization and development of fuel cell technology and systems for hydrogen production and storage;(2) multiphase flows and biofluids with particular emphasis on oil exploration in pre-salt regions, adhesion of biological cells to form biofilms , development of lab-on-chip equipment, and blood flow studies to support medical interventions; and (3) microfluidics and complex fluid flows such as polymer solutions, surfactants and blood, with particular emphasis on the study of viscoelastic instabilities, viscoelastic turbulence and blood flow in capillaries and microfluidic systems. CEFT vocation lies essentially on fundamental research, in which it has achieved significant success.
Nevertheless, some of its research has a more applied nature, especially in the energy area.
Currently, there is also a drive to complement the fundamental research on microfluidics with applied research in bio-medicine, micro fuel cells and micro-rheology and on the multiphase flows with applied research in the study of oil exploration and transport, motivated by the large pre-salt oil fields of the South Atlantic.
The research work done by CEFT spans macro and micro-scale and integrates successfully numerical, experimental and theoretical approaches, a combination not often seen in the area.
CEFT has established itself a reputation for excellent work in a number of topics and as the workplace of various expert researchers at a national and especially at the international level with several solid collaborative partnerships with other research groups across Europe, the United States, South America and Asia.
CEFT has received various invitations for keynote and plenary lectures and seminars at major international conferences and universities, invitations to organize symposia at major international conferences, one Starting Grant from ERC for one of its members and another becoming Co-Editor of the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics from Elsevier. CEFT has an average of 2.5 ISI papers per year and per FTE.
Created in 2002, the Associated Laboratory CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials is an Associate Laboratory of the University of Aveiro (UA) joining some 400 chemists, physicists and materials engineers making it the largest Portuguese Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) institute. 41% of 29 full-time researchers, 36% of 86 post-docs and 29% of 120 PhD students are foreigners.
In the recent National Science Foundation (FCT) research assessment, CICECO was ranked 24.5 in 25 points (”Excellent”) and placed among the top 5% of research units in all fields of knowledge. In the last 5 years, approximately 2100 SCI papers were published, 100 PhD and 400 MSc theses were finished.
CICECO has been building an excellent track record of working with industry, with ca. 1.6 M€ per year funding coming from industrial projects and services. Over 100 patents filled (35 international) and 4 spin-offs are currently running or being created.
The instrumental facilities of CICECO are the best in the country for MS&E, including SEM, TEM, AFM, X-ray diffraction, NMR, vibrational spectroscopies, measurement of optical, magnetic, electric, thermal, mechanical properties, furnaces, autoclaves, reactors, ALD, CVD, a computer cluster, etc.
CICECO researchers are housed in the Departments of Chemistry (3600 m2), Physics (600 m2) and Materials (2750 m2), in a total of ca. 6950 m2, comprising labs, offices and student's rooms, and administrative areas. Stores for receiving and keeping chemicals are available in the Chemistry and Materials Departments.
A considerable recent investment was made in refurbishing labs and improving the air exhaust conditions in the Chemistry Department. The extension of the Physics Department has just been finished and we use some space here, including a clean room. Our facilities were just upgraded with new ca. 450 m2 lab space. Major equipment (NMR, XRD, SEM/TEM) has dedicated (7) technicians.
CICECO's Centre for Imaging and Structure of Materials gathers our main equipment ensuring its maintenance, running costs, upgrading, etc. Although much of the equipment has been purchased with grants earned by CICECO, this effort is often co-financed by the University. Check www.ciceco.ua.pt for further information.
The CQ-VR is hosted by the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Vila Real, where it develops research in fundamental and applied areas of Chemistry.
It aims to use scientific knowledge to the welfare of the society developing new advanced materials with improved performance for application in different devices, new solutions to match the agro-food industrial activity with a healthy environment, new food products and new food safety monitoring techniques.
The unit comprises 27 members organized into 4 groups: Materials chemistry, Applied organic chemistry, Environmental chemistry and Food chemistry & biochemistry.
Collaborations are well reflected on cooperative projects, participation in European networks (including 2 COST actions), joint publications in SCI journals, co-edition of books and co-supervision of PhD theses.
The focus of the Materials Chemistry group has been the development of advanced and innovative functional materials with applications in high-technology products for the energy field, electronic and magnetic devices, heterogeneous catalysis and photocatalysis. Another interest of the group relies on bio-inspired materials chemistry to develop novel strategies for the production of advanced biomaterial systems for bone regeneration and drug delivery.
The main strengths of this group are the very high number (95) and impact of the publications in top materials chemistry journals, as well as the successful participation in cooperative R&D projects. The Applied organic Chemistry Group has been mainly focused on developing new functional dyes for bio-applications and molecules for smart materials. Recognition of the innovative work developed is reflected in the high number of financed FCT projects (6) and the high number of published papers in relevant journals (46).
Research of the Food Chemistry sub-group has been centered on the food and wine quality, thermal processing of foods and biological activity and toxicity of food components. Its connections with the agri-food industry sector are well flashed on the number of QREN funded projects (5).
The considerable amount of peer reviewed papers in high impact journals (43) and patents (5) also reflect the high scientific quality and innovative character of the developed research work. The Environmental Chemistry group has dealt with different facets of agro-industry.
The research work was nationally and internationally recognized, having won the prizes of the Biennium Award 10/11 of the Portuguese Association of Water Resources and the 2011 Green Projects Awards.
This group displays a particular entrepreneurial outlook, building successful collaborations with SMEs focused on applied research. The impact of the work produced is well reflected in the high number of patents (9), research contracts with companies (7) and participation in the construction of one pilot-plant.
Laboratório Associado para a Química Verde (LAQV) was set in 2001 to promote Sustainable Chemistry through research, networking, training and outreaching activities.
The 12 year experience of sharing complementary scientific knowledge between researchers of UNL and UP led to significant advances in focusing expertise in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in the development of sustainable products and processes.
LAQV, a science-driven institution, is also acknowledged in the Portuguese Chemistry and Chemical Engineering community as a key player in technology transfer, spin-off creation and scientific service provision.
Within the scope of Sustainable Chemistry, LAQV took to itself to design green products and clean technologies to help prevent pollution at the source and to disseminate knowledge and know-how to promote their utilization, make the transfer of the technologies to society, train young researchers in interdisciplinary areas on Sustainable Chemistry and promote social awareness in what greener Chemistry will play in a sustainable world.
LAQV is organized in eight groups (http://www.requimte.pt/laqv/homepage) and its management relies on a coordinator and a vice-coordinator (one from each University) that are assisted by a Scientific Council composed by the group leaders. Each group aggregates scientists who share similar backgrounds, albeit focusing their object of research in diverse topics.
We highlight the group of Catalysis, Functional and Smart (Nano)materials, for which several members from Faculty of Sciences in UP will participate on UniRCell project. The expertise in each of the groups provides the needed blend of competencies for a Sustainable Chemistry approach, always requiring a plethora of different perspectives, which are integrated in the five thematic areas (lines) of the Associate Laboratory: novel compounds from renewable sources; food quality and safety; analytical control and process automation; clean (bio)chemical processes; and functional molecules and materials for sustainability, including the group of Catalysis, Functional and Smart (Nano)materials, focus on the development of technologies for new applications, materials and/or molecular assemblies with unique or enhanced properties: solar energy conversion/storage, catalysis, drug-delivery and magnetic materials are key issues of this area.
This will be supported by a strong effort on chemical synthesis and characterization, preparation of devices and reinforced connections with industries. As a broad picture, we address the need to attain a sustainable development, a goal well accepted by governments, industrial sector and general public. Within this scope, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, which are associated in the general public perception more with harmful products and processes than with materials absolutely essential for everyday life, must have a decisive role in the maintenance and improvement of living and environmental conditions.
LSRE-LCM is a partnership between LSRE - Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering and LCM - Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials, an Associate Laboratory since 2004, located at Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and 2 external poles at Polytechnic Institutes of Bragança and Leiria. The mission of LSRE-LCM is to contribute for the development of scientific and technological know-how in the Chemical Engineering areas of Separation and Reaction Processes, Product Engineering, Catalysis and Carbon Materials, Thermodynamics and Environment. LSRE-LCM aims to contribute towards the sustainable development
of Portugal, in particular its Northern region. In the recent evaluation by FCT, LSRE-LCM received the grade Excellent. The Evaluation Panel referred that “For decades LSRE-LCM has had a national and international reputation as possibly the strongest research and teaching unit in Portugal within two core disciplines of Chemical Engineering, Catalysis+Reaction Engineering, and Separation Processes” and is by far the dominating research and teaching institution for Chemical Engineering in Northern Portugal.
From 2005, researchers of LSRE-LCM published >1000 articles in SCI journals and 12 books, supervised >90 PhD and >200 Master theses, registered 12 patent families and started 3 spin-off companies (iSensis, Fluidinova, MICE). Research at LSRE-LCM is organized in 4 groups. CYCLIC ADSORPTION/REACTION PROCESSES: Cyclic separation technologies, Simulating Moving Bed (SMB) and Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA), for difficult or novel industrial separations and CO2 capture; Intensification of cyclic processes with simultaneous separation and chemical reaction, PSAR and SMBR, applied to forefront products or intermediaries. Product Engineering: Perfume engineering, extraction and microencapsulation of essential oils. Production of vanillin and syringaldehyde from lignin. Polymers and biopolymers from renewable resources. Application of mixing technologies NETmix and T-jets for industrial production of nanomaterials and composites. Thermodynamics & Environment: Thermodynamics: separations in aqueous and non-aqueous media; computation models used in dynamic molecular simulations. Environmental: river basin management; intensification of technologies for pollution control, through integration of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), electrochemical AOPs (EAOPs), biological adsorption/reaction and membrane processes. Catalysis and Carbon Materials: Environmental catalysis: Catalysts, adsorbents, photocatalysts and prototypes based on the integration of processes, for water, wastewater and gaseous effluents treatment. Innovative nanostructured materials: functional textiles, carbon-membranes for water desalination, functional materials based on graphene, hierarchical porous carbons for energy storage, carbon sensors. New catalysts for efficient energy production (solar fuels, hydrogen, fuel cells, water electrolysis, biomass conversion), and synthesis of fine chemicals.
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