Thematic Strands

 CERENA is organized in three main thematic strands:

Oil & Gas (O&G)

Evaluation & Valorization of Resources (E&VR)

Natural & Technological Hazards(N&TH)

A strong interaction between this thematic strands and the Research Groups (Energy, Environment and Raw Materials)  is given by the following matriz


Some examples of this interactions are presented  in this section with the highlights of that work:

Energy and Environment pillars in the  Evaluation & Valorization of Resources(E&VR) and Oil & Gas(O&G) thematic strands.

The acid-catalysed transformation of hydrocarbons constitutes a very important set of reactions for industrial applications of zeolites. These transformations have a high degree of complexity due both to the variability of the loads that are used, usually an intricate mixture of different hydrocarbons with various reactivities, and to the fact that zeolites possess acid sites with a wide range of acid strength distribution. It was given a contribution to the analysis of the transformation of hydrocarbons over zeolites.

Energy  pillar and O&G thematic strand

Due to the nature of seismic inversion problems, there are multiple possible solutions that can equally fit the observed seismic data .  For this purpose, we evaluated a new methodology to combine the multidimensional scaling (MDS) technique with an iterative geostatistical elastic seismic inversion algorithm. The work revealed that MDS is a valuable tool to evaluate the convergence of the inverse methodology and the impedance model variability among each iteration of the inversion process.

Energy,  Environment  and Raw Materials pillars in the  E&VR thematic strand

Biodiesel production using heterogeneous alkaline catalysts instead of the conventional homogeneous alkaline catalysts is studied.  The main advantage is that it requires lower investment costs, as there is no need for separation steps such as methanol/catalyst, biodiesel/catalyst and glycerine/catalyst. The work carried out show very good catalytic performance with high activity and stability. In fact, biodiesel (FAME) yields higher than 94% .

Environment pillar in the Natural and Technological Hazards (N&TH) thematic strand

In order to understand and quantify the importance of land sliding in routing sediment through mountainous drainage, such as Madeira Island’s landscape, it was essential to perform extensive landslide analysis. This study describes the methodology used to semi-automatically detect the landslides, produce the landslide inventory maps and estimate the sediment volume produced during an extreme rainfall. These results contributed to the design and implementation of measures to prevent damages caused by landslides.

Energy and Environment pillars in the O & G and  N&TH  thematic strands

Several environmental health studies suggest birth weight is associated with outdoor air pollution during gestation. In these studies, exposure assignments are usually based on measurements collected at air quality monitoring stations that do not coincide with health data locations.  In this work a semi-ecological study was carried out to analyze associations between air quality during gestation and birth weight. Air quality during gestation was measured using a biomonitor,as an alternative to traditional air quality monitoring stations data, in order to increase spatial resolution of exposure measurements.

Energy,  Environment  and Raw Materials pillars in the N&TH thematic strand

The aim of this study was to assess by different approaches the occupational exposure during the remediation of a tailings dam in an abandoned uranium mining site. A hypothetical scenario was created in which the workers involved in the remediation activities were exposed to radiation through both internal and external pathways. It was intended to assess quantitatively the potential exposure of the workforce involved in the remediation works, focusing particularly on the inhalation of radon and on the gamma irradiation from the contaminated soil.

Environment  and Raw Materials pillars in the E&VR and  N&TH  thematic strands

An updated conceptual circulation model for some  thermomineral waters was developed. These waters (at T ≈ 33 °C) are related to a huge syncline ascribed to the regional flow paths. Two diapiric structures were responsible for the uplift and subsequent folding of regional Jurassic carbonate rocks. Environmental isotopic (δ2H and δ18O) data indicates that the main recharge area of the thermomineral system is linked to the Jurassic limestones.

Energy,  Environment  and Raw Materials pillars  in the E&VR thematic strand

Sustainability Analysis of Industrial Processes is a main issue to point out the critical points where the process retrofit should be carried out. This holistic analysis could enclose the issues of resource conservation, minimization of wastes, energy efficiency and safety . SustainPro is a new tool developed on the VB-Excel platform to carry out that analysis systematically including all the information available and pointing out the best alternatives to improve the process.

Raw Materials pillar  in the E&VR thematic strand

The ammoniacal leaching of ores, concentrates, wastes, by-products and scrap, containing copper, is a process of notable interest, since this metal ion is easily solubilized through the formation of ammine complexes. The copper present in the effluents must be recovered on account of economic and environmental reasons. Several performance studies were carried out for copper removal from those aqueous solution by liquid–liquid extraction using a pulsed sieve-plate column and by the extraction using a hollow fiber contactor.

Environment  and Raw Materials pillars in the E&VR and N&TH thematic strands

In this study, efforts were made in order to put forward an integrated recycling approach for the thermoset based glass fibre reinforced polymer (GPRP) rejects derived from the pultrusion manufacturing industry. Both the recycling process and the development of a new cost-effective end-use application for the recyclates were considered. Potential recycling solution was assessed by mechanical behaviour of resultant GFRP waste modified concrete-polymer composites with regard to unmodified materials.

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