Major Achievements

The main achievements from former CERENA in Environment area were: Characterization of precipitation extremes and definition of desertification indicators based on earth observation data; Participation in Arctic and Antarctic field campaigns;  Study earth analogous of planetary structures; Construction of the largest available crater catalogue of Phobos; Modeling soil contamination using Imaging Spectroscopy; Development of methods to map shallow landslides and analysis of triggers during flash floods events; Mapping sediments contamination by incorporating flow model results into geostatistical models; Space-time modeling of air quality by using a multi-scale approach; Development of spatial methods to characterize association between environmental factors and health outcomes. Major achievements in Petroleum area  included geostatistical  seismic inversion algorithms – Global Elastic Inversion (first time successfully tested in Oman and Marlin fields and installed/tested at Petrobras headquarters) and  Global Stochastic Inversion, intensively tested in case studies with extreme conditions- Middle East giant oilfields, and lately seismic inversion for pre-stack seismic AVO data and a new hybrid model of history matching. Main achievements in Raw Materials were: Development of an Environmental Sustainability Index for conversion of deep Underground Coal in gas and permanent Storage of CO2 in mined areas; Modelling of ground borne vibrations due to railroad/road traffic, blasting and ordinary civil construction activities to quantify dynamic impacts; Development of a process to separate glass particles from contaminants occurring in the reject of Mechanical and Biological Treatment (patent pending).

The main achievements of CPQ  were: Development of a software tool for Heat Recovery and Thermal Heat Integration (FI2EPI); Development of SustainPro as new tool to carry out that analysis systematically including all the information available and pointing out the best alternatives to improve the process; Development of a framework based on metrics to carry out Sustainability Analysis in Industrial Processes; Process Integration Analysis studies of  Prio, Fisipe  and Sisav industrial sites with the coming out of several projects proposals to improve the energy efficiency; Production of gold nanoparticles by liquid-liquid extraction and emulsion liquid membranes, using oxalic acid as the reducing agent; Modeling of copper and zinc recovery, using the technology of Pseudo Emulsion Based Fiber Strip Dispersion; Development and implementation of new processes for the production of biofuels; Recrystallization of sodium chloride from natural brines using the waste heat of a cogeneration unit;  Nano-seed mediate precipitation of iron from zinc leachates; Dewatering of sludge from cellulose and olive oil industries to produce dry material to use as fuel (studies were carried out in a pilot plant); Copper removal from ammoniacal aqueous solution by liquid–liquid extraction using a pulsed sieve-plate column and by the extraction using a hollow fiber contactor; Experimental studies to determine the operational conditions for the formation of co-crystals using supercritical fluids.

A major achievement of CEPGIST was connected to the the increase of collaborative activities with NASA/JPL/Caltech and John Craig Venture Institute (USA) to study  environments related with “The Cedars/USA” and “Cabeço de Vide/Portugal” mineral waters and its possible relation with Astrobiology and the origin of life on Earth and other planets like Mars. Moreover we highlight: Interpretation of geochemical and isotopic signatures of surface, shallow and deep geothermal waters for development of robust hydrogeological conceptual models and development Spa plans; Implementation of molecular biology approaches to identify and monitor rate and damage of microbial colonization of historic buildings; Application of 3D X-Ray Microtomography and Image Analysis Techniques to study natural and artificial materials  (building materials, biomaterials, art objects); Evaluation of  pollutants transfer between different media (water, soil, biota) and their environmental risks. A new line in the Medical Geology domain was developed (in collaboration with Faculty of Medicine, Spa technical directors, water supply Companies and Medical Geology Association) mainly focused on the Li water content in order to select the waters that will be more promising for get the best results in future epidemiological studies, related with Li health/behavior benefits or health improving.

The main achievements of IBB were: Development of new catalysts for liquefaction of wood which achieve a high yield and provide very good bio-oils; Development of new catalysts and processes for production and processing of biodiesel (some results are being implemented at industrial level); Development of a new process for oligomerization of olefinic cuts from a refinery stream (patent pending); Development of a new phytoremediation system for ammonium removal from effluents; Identification of Phragmites sp. leaf answer to chemical stress; Development of processes for catalytic pyrolysis of plastic wastes; Start-up of a new model for industrial anaerobic digestion control; Development of a new method for Chlorine quantification in Refuse Derived Fuels; Determination of Refuse Derived Fuel self-heating capacity and mechanisms involved; Insight in the combustion behaviour of refuse derived fuels in drop tube furnace; Development of a methodology for sampling, characterize and assess nanoparticles emitted in workplaces and ambient air; and Production of high value extracts of vegetable origin, and valorization of residues obtained in food industries.

The main achievements of CIGAR were: Creation of a data base concerning As concentrations in Portuguese groundwater; Development of a low-cost electrochemical analytical method for As allowing for speciation;  A full scale operation for remediation of groundwater contaminated with TCE using in-situ oxidation; Transformation mechanisms of Pharmaceutical Active Compounds by anaerobic biodegradation; Co-metabolic mechanisms of biodegradation of 1,2-Dibromoethane; Development of a method for in-situ hybridization by fluorescence using peptide nucleic acid probes to distinguish strains of dehalococcoids; Studies abut anaerobic biodegradation of a bio-diesel; Survey and modelling of the atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides around Sines Power Plant; Edition of the geological map D-33/T at scale 1:250000 (Chibia), SW Angola;  geophysical and geotechnical in-situ investigation of experimental sites along railways; Energetic optimization for production of pultrusion profile; Recycling of glass fiber wastes; Study of production of a new hybrid pultrusion profiles using a close-looping process with  injection of cork dust and polyurethane-based foams and hybrid reinforcement by combination of glass-fiber with carbon-fiber.

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