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AMPC : Analysis of Cultural Heritage Materials Research Group

The objective of the group is to study materials of historic, archaeological, artistic and cultural heritage interest using chemical-analysis techniques and scientific equipment. Apart from determining the composition of the materials, it is possible to explain the chemical mechanisms involved in the processes of ageing and alteration, which is of considerable interest in the field of conservation and restoration, and to obtain information on production technologies, geographic origin, trade, etc. Another area of work involves reproducing antique materials not just to understand the production technology but also to produce reference standard materials. The group also performs laboratory studies to reproduce ageing and reaction processes.

The interest of the research is based on adapting techniques to the problems that arise and in optimizing analysis methods and on the use to which the results can be put in other fields of knowledge.

CEPIMA : Centre for Processes and Environmental Engineering

This centre carries out research, development and innovation and integrates the study, simulation and optimization of chemical processes and sustainability. Its work is therefore aimed at achieving improvements in the design and management of production systems that lead to the rationalization of the use of resources, improved efficiency in processes and the minimization of environmental impact.

The work and objectives of CEPIMA are currently focused on a double line of action:

Integration and intensification of processes :
This covers optimal design and operation following multiple-goal criteria (productivity, safety, logistics, financial management, environmental impact, reliability, customer service, etc.), taking into account different levels of detail. The group also develops intelligent decision support systems (DSS) for real-time online operations (management and coordination of production resources, production planning, process supervision and control, error detection and diagnostics, providing for and managing uncertainty, etc.).

Management and recovery of waste :
Management and recovery of biomass, tires, solid urban waste, sludge from water treatment plants, etc., using thermal treatment and energy recovery, allowing for appropriate environmental control (combustion, gasification/co-gasification and pyrolysis).

CERTEC : Centre for Technological Risk Studies

This group works in the area of research and training in the different fields of technological risk and environmental impact by means of mathematical modelling of serious accidents, fires, explosions, toxic clouds, transport of hazardous goods, accidental environmental impact, accident studies in industry, etc.

The main lines of research are the study of hydrocarbon fires, modelling of serious accidents, analysis of risk in the transport of hazardous goods, analysis of the environmental situation in maritime ports and the study of forest fires.

Some of these programmes are carried out with international cooperation, some by government authorities and others by companies. The group also has strong international relations that result in joint research projects and exchange programmes for researchers and students.

ENGIBIO : Engineering and Biotechnology

The overall objective of the research group Engibio is the development of biotechnological processes with a high level of implementation and rapid transfer of results to industry. Their projects are centered on chemical engineering knowledge.

The group is divided into five areas of research: Food Technology, biopolymerizations, bioprocessing, tanning and chemical education.

GBMI : Group of Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology

The group works in the area of the study of biological molecules, especially in the field of proteins with applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. The group is formed by a multidisciplinary team that includes the participation of chemists, biologists and chemical engineers and is made up of senior researchers and research scholarship students.

The group’s activity focuses on two lines: basic research that includes molecular studies (designing and obtaining recombinant proteins by means of genetic engineering techniques) and applied research that aims to develop new materials and processes (modification of enzymes for industrial applications of importance in the improvement of processes and modification of polymers for obtaining systems with high added value).

The Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology group has experience in Spanish and European research projects and in collaboration with industry. The lines of work focus on the study of the structure and properties of membrane receptor proteins, enzymatic catalysis on natural and synthetic fibres and the study and identification of colour molecules and their properties.

IMEM : Subgroup of Innovation in Materials

The IMEM's work is carried out in two principal lines of research :

Innovation in materials :
Research and technology transfer activity focuses on developing new polymer materials both experimentally and by means of computer simulation, and on mechanisms of protection against corrosion and developing anticorrosion additives for coatings.
Development of new polymer materials: This covers aspects such as the preparation of polymer materials using chemical or electrochemical processes, characterization of their physical, chemical and electrochemical properties, and the design and application of new conductive polymers with optimized properties, the study and prediction of properties (structural, mechanical, chemical, electronic, electrochemical and rheological) by means of molecular simulation, development of microscopic and mesoscopic models to simulate the behaviour of molecular and macromolecular systems and, finally, study of the interaction between polymer materials and biological systems.
In the area of protection against corrosion, we analyse the factors responsible for metal corrosion in large facilities, determine protection mechanisms by means of accelerated atmospheric and marine corrosion tests, and develop anti-corrosive attitudes for organic coatings and the application of conductive polymers to protection against corrosion and, finally, we develop and manufacture mechanical devices for carrying out Accelerated tests.

Molecular engineering :
This group works on molecular modelling and collaborates with different pharmaceutical companies. The main lines of research are the development of algorithms for both conformational exploration of peptides and proteins and for subsequent analysis of the obtained confirmations, modelling of G-protein coupled receptors, including in liquid bilayers, design of combinatorial libraries using an analysis of molecular diversity, and obtaining new compounds by means of rational design (rational drug design).


ENGMOL : Group of Molecular Engineering

The Molecular Engineering Laboratory belongs to the IMEM's research group that works in two principal lines of research :


Innovation in materials :
Research and technology transfer activity focuses on developing new polymer materials both experimentally and by means of computer simulation, and on mechanisms of protection against corrosion and developing anticorrosion additives for coatings.

Development of new polymer materials: This covers aspects such as the preparation of polymer materials using chemical or electrochemical processes, characterization of their physical, chemical and electrochemical properties, and the design and application of new conductive polymers with optimized properties, the study and prediction of properties (structural, mechanical, chemical, electronic, electrochemical and rheological) by means of molecular simulation, development of microscopic and mesoscopic models to simulate the behaviour of molecular and macromolecular systems and, finally, study of the interaction between polymer materials and biological systems.

In the area of protection against corrosion, we analyse the factors responsible for metal corrosion in large facilities, determine protection mechanisms by means of accelerated atmospheric and marine corrosion tests, and develop anti-corrosive attitudes for organic coatings and the application of conductive polymers to protection against corrosion and, finally, we develop and manufacture mechanical devices for carrying out Accelerated tests.


Molecular engineering :
This group works on molecular modelling and collaborates with different pharmaceutical companies. The main lines of research are the development of algorithms for both conformational exploration of peptides and proteins and for subsequent analysis of the obtained confirmations, modelling of G-protein coupled receptors, including in liquid bilayers, design of combinatorial libraries using an analysis of molecular diversity, and obtaining new compounds by means of rational design (rational drug design).



MACROM : MACROM Group

The MACROM group works in the area of understanding the three-dimensional structure of biomolecules by using single-crystal X-ray diffraction techniques to study the structure of DNA and its interactions with drugs, ions and proteins.vThis group uses two complementary methodologies: crystallography and recombinant DNA techniques.

POL : Advanced Industrial and Biotechnological Polymers Research Group

The activities of this group focus on three lines of R&D, all of which are aimed at developing materials with advanced technical properties for use in new applications. This research includes synthesis or biosynthesis of polymers, their chemical and structural characterization and evaluation of their thermal and mechanical properties, permeability and degradability.

Industrial polymers: Principally aromatic polyesters (PET and PBT), polyurethanes and polyamides. They are currently working on optimization of industrial polymerization processes and development of new copolymers with improved environmental and technological properties.

Biodegradable polymers : Synthesized from natural products, amino acids and carbohydrates. They prepare polyamides, polyesters, polyester amides, polycarbonates and polyurethanes, using easily accessible sugar derivatives, and evaluate their biodegradability.

Polymers produced by biosynthesis :
Bacteria or fungi, specifically polyglutamic and polymalic acids. These biopolymers are then modified for use in biomedical applications such as membranes or drug-delivery systems.

POLQUITEX : Polymer Materials and Textil Chemistry

The group is currently working on the modification and optimization of processes relating to polymers (synthesis, modification and treatment) and the variables used in their industrial applications (drug delivery, insertion of biomolecules, encapsulation of active ingredients, absorption of chemical species, compounds) and control of the properties of the end product (permeability, desorption kinetics, colour, mechanical properties, surface characteristics, durability).

Part of the POLQUITEX research group is dedicated to the structural characterization and determination of the mechanical behaviour of sustainable composites. These are materials formed of recycled polymers that have been reinforced with lignocellulose fibres obtained from waste wood and brush. Also included under sustainable compounds are compounds that use as reinforcement elastomeric particles obtained in the process of reusing tires. Characterization of both types of compositions is carried out at mechanical, thermal and structural level (configurational and conformational).

PSEP : Synthetic Polymers: Structure and Properties Research Group

The group works in the area of synthesis and study of the properties of new polymers, principally biodegradable materials. For this reason they have focused on techniques that allow for monitoring of the process of degradation (hydrolytic, enzymatic or thermal), studying their application as drug-dosage systems (preparation of microparticles, incorporation of active ingredient and monitoring of delivery). Materials are characterized using standard spectroscopic techniques and their thermal and mechanical properties are determined.

The properties of the polymer materials depend on how the macromolecules are organized. For this reason, the group also studies the amorphous phases and the different crystalline phases. Determination of the crystalline structure is carried out by combining X-ray diffraction techniques (powder or fibre), electron microscopy and molecular simulation. Resolution is also performed using direct methods and single-crystal diffraction of model molecules that correspond to representative segments of the polymer sequence. Finally, the group studies aspects relating to kinetics (crystallization and polymerization) and the study of crystal growth (from the molten state or dilute solutions).

They are currently working on the design of polymers for specific applications, on the development of new biodegradable polymers for use as commodities that are biocompatible as surgical sutures, drug-delivery compounds, glycolide-derived polymers with biomedical applications, new biodegradable polyamides and polyester amides that contain natural amino acids, and biodegradable polyesters. They study the crystalline structure of synthetic polymers and model composites, determination of mechanical properties and the effect of additives, the use of chain extenders to improve the mechanical properties and preparation of microparticles and polymer nanocomposites.

SETRI : Group on Techniques for Separating and Treating Industrial Waste

The Group on Techniques for Separtating and Treating Industrial Waste works on the following three lines of research:

Development of separation processes:
Applying different technologies either to recover metals with added value or to eliminate metals and organic pollutants. Work has been carried out on technologies including the use of adsorption/absorption processes using vegetable waste, biopolymers and reactive resins and impregnated resins for removing pollutants. Work has also been carried out on the development of separation processes based on membranes of different configurations.

Development and validation of analytical methods and new sensors for monitoring physical-chemical parameters of industrial and environmental interest:
Based on chromatographic (HPLC) and electrophoresis (CE) instrumental separation systems for determining dissolved organochlorine (DOC) and volatile organic compounds of gasoline (BTEX) in water and soil. The group is also working on developing chemical sensors based on new ionophores or composites to determine contaminating metals and other ions of industrial and environmental interest and determine their response characteristics. These sensors are then incorporated in a monitoring system. This integrated monitoring system based on chemical sensors was developed entirely in our laboratories - construction of the hardware and the fluid management system, and the associated virtual instruments - and is used for real-time monitoring of processes of bioabsorption of metals using vegetable waste.

Study of characterization and treatment of waste:
Liquids and solids from industrial and nuclear processes, study of the management and minimization of industrial waste and its environmental impact, and analysis, evaluation and modelling of the behaviour of environmental pollutants, particularly chemical behaviour and migration of different species in the geosphere. The species studied include actinides and different species of pollutants such as chromium and arsenic. The group also studies the dissolution of uranium oxide under different experimental conditions in order to predict the behaviour of spent fuel stored in geological formations. Within this line of study, the group is working on developing new technologies for restoring soils and aquifers contaminated by both organic and inorganic compounds, taking into consideration the risk to human health and ecosystems.


LCMA : Laboratory of the Environmental Center


The Laboratory of the Environmental Center (LCMA) works on the design of methodologies in the area of atmospheric environment applied to the real evaluation of air quality (indoor-outdoor air) in urban areas (VOC-HAP), monitoring of episodes of smells with identification of the compounds responsible and their origin, creation of territorial planning tools, drafting of maps showing impact and concentration of pollutants, and measurement of the impact of activities by means of chemical monitoring and computer modelling. Equipment is being developed in the same field for monitoring volatile organic compounds; this equipment is aimed at monitoring air quality and its integration as part of public participation in recording short- and long-duration episodes of smells.

Última modificación: Enero 2013
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