Separation Processes, Hydrometallurgy and Environment


The main objectives are the development of fundamental and applied research in the area of chemical processes, with emphasis on separation processes, with a special concern on the treatment of industrial residues and effluents.

The group also aims to pursue the transfer of technology to the Industry, by the development of new processes at bench scale with the scale-up to pilot and industrial scales. Moreover, the set-up of the pilot plant facilities will also allow the organization of training courses.

Main Research Areas

  • Liquid-liquid Extraction
  • Liquid Membranes: emulsion liquid membranes, hollow fibre techniques, Pseudo Emulsion membranes based on hollow fibers with strip dispersion.
  • De-watering / Integrated Filtration / Compression / Drying
  •  Leaching, Biosorption, Cementation and Ion Exchange
  • Biofuels Production

Research projects

OURORecovery of Copper Gold, Silver and Palladium from electronic scrap (Recuperação de Cobre, Ouro, Prata e Paládio de resíduos de equipamento electrónico por métodos hidrometalúrgicos.) IAPMEI nº24120, Budget: 33,000€, (Company: HM consultores IST team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Remígio Machado) Abril 2014 – November  2014.

FURNAS “Quimical removal of Phosforus from the Furnas Lake: São Miguel, Azores “ Remoção Química de Fósforo da Lagoa das Furnas – São Miguel” Project funded by the company : EDA- Electricidade dos Açores, .Budget :81,720€ (IST team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Remígio Machado), June 2013 –Dezember 2014

ENERGREEN – Biomass liquefaction for use as fuel in cement kilns (Liquefacção de biomassa para utilização como combustível em fornos de cimento). ADI, Programme QREN, Nº30227; Budget: 256.124,03€ . (Company: CMP-Secil. IST team: João Moura Bordado (Coordinator), M. Joana Neiva Correia, Margarida Mateus, Rui Santos), 2013-2015.

FATFUEL– Use of animal fats for biodiesel production (Utilização de gorduras animais para produção de biodiesel); Budget: 36.5 k€. (Company: Enerfuel. IST team: M. Joana Neiva Correia (Coordinator), João Bordado, Carina Domingues), 2013-2014

TOMATE – Recycling for added value of tomato residues using a filter press with membrane plates.  “Valorização do Repiso de tomate em filtro de prensa de membranas.” Project solely funded by the company Sugalidal, budget :60,000€. (IST team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Remígio Machado.) July 2012 –March 2013.

BGALVANIZAÇÃO – Integrated process treatment and recovery of exhausted pickling baths from the galvanizing  industry” (Processo integrado de tratamento e valorização dos banhos esgotados de decapagem da indústria de galvanização), ADI, Programme QREN, Nº 13626. budget 617230.74 €. (Company: Eurogalva. IST Team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Remígio Machado, Teresa Reis; Rosinda Ismael)., 2011-2014.

IBERDIESEL – “Development and application of new processes for biofuels production  – Project: 003089 – Funding Programme QREN, Portugal: 953,905€.(Company: Iberol. IST Team: João Bordado (Coordinator); Filipe Freire; Maria Joana Neiva Correia; Ana Paula Dias; Carlos Henriques), 2009-2012″.

BIORVOIL – Novos processos de purificação de óleos vegetais para utilização como combustíveis. ADI, Programme QREN nº 5340, Budget 458,755 k€. (Company: MultiRecolha; IST team: João Moura Bordado, M. Joana Neiva Correia, Fátima Farelo) 2010-2013

ZINCO – “Treatment of zinc concentrates” ( Tratamento de concentrados de zinco). ADI, Programme PRIME – IDEIA, Nº 70/00191, 2007. Total budget 315889 €. (Company: Somincor / Eurozinc. IST Team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Maria Joana Neiva Correia; Maria Teresa Reis; Maria Rosinda Ismael), 2007-2008

DRECHE – “Environmental technologies for the valorisation of spent grain from brew industry” ( Tecnologias ambientais para a valorização de resíduos da indústria cervejeira). ADI, Programme PRIME – IDEIA – 3rd Call, Nº 70/136, 2005. Total budget 238269 €. (Company: Unicer. IST Team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Licinio Ferreira; Teresa Reis; Paulo Correia, Remígio Machado. 2006-2008 .

FATDIESEL – “Production of biodiesel from animal fats” ( Produção de biodiesel a partir de gorduras animais). ADI, Programme PRIME DEMTEC, Nº 70/225, 2006. Total Budget: 189893 € (IST: 20000 €). Coordinator: M. Joana Neiva Correia . SPACE-ECO-Combustíveis. 2006-2008.

AMBIRES – “Environmental tecnologies for the removal of phenol and formaldehyde from phenolic resin plant effluents” (Tecnologias ambientais para a remoção de fenol e formaldeído de efluentes industriais de resinas fenólicas). ADI, Programme POCI – IDEIA – 2nd Call, Nº FDR 1292, 2003, Total budget: 133300 €.(Company: FUNDIPOR. IST Team: Jorge Carvalho (Coordinator); Maria Teresa Reis; Maria Rosinda Ismael. 2004-2007.

FCT Project: POCTI/EQU/61733/2004, “Recovery of Zn, In, Ga, Ge from Neves-Corvo zinc concentrate” (Recuperação de Zn, In, Ga, Ge do concentrado de zinco de Neves-Corvo). Total budget: 72000 €. (IST Team: M. Rosinda Ismael (Coordinator); Jorge Carvalho; Maria Joana Neiva Correia; Maria Teresa Reis; 2005-2008.

Laboratory Facilities

Laboratories- Level 10, South Tower


Batch reactors  Atmospheric leaching

Biodiesel production

Biomass liquefaction

PS 1
NIR and MIR Spectroscopies  Alternative analytical methods PS 3
Hollow fibre membrane contactors  Non-dispersive solvent extraction and pseudo-emulsion with strip dispersion foto agrupada 2
Autoclave  Pressure Processes

Leaching Studies

Biodiesel Production

PS 6
Modified Lewis cell with vibrational mixing  Kinetic studies on liquid liquid  extraction PS 7
Ozonizer  Advanced oxidation processes PS 8

Laboratories- Level 02,01,00 South Tower

Pilot Plant Units

Two Khüni columns

Two packed columns

Two pulsed columns

      PS 12    PS 10PS 9
Rotating disc contactors (RDC) PS 11
Mixer-settlers PS 13
Plate heat exchanger
Electrowinning cells
Filter press with membrane plates and thermal drying under vacuum PS 14 PS 00
Continuous plant for Biodiesel production PS 17 002


Laboratories- Level 01 South Tower


Zeta potential meter

Interfacial phenomena studies PS 18 PS 19
Support equipment for analyses Digestion of solid samples

Atomic absorption Analysis

FIAS for Hg, Sn, Sb, and As analysis

UV and visible spectrophotometer

COD & BOD determination

PS 22 PS 21 PS 20

Old Chemistry Building- Level 3

Batch reactors

Homogenizer (a)

Electrocoalescer with high voltage applying (c)

Permeation with emulsion liquid membranes (b)

Emulsion preparation

Splitting of emulsions

PS 23
Atomic absorption spectrophotometers

Liquid chromatograph

Gas chromatograph

Analyses PS 24
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