Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-IF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Chemical Engineering.

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    01/07/2020 11:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor María Ángeles Martín Lara, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) in 2020 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information: http://sl.ugr.es/0aNV).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. The UGR has been awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding.

UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://sl.ugr.es/0aw0). The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) places the UGR in 268th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research. From the perspective of specialist areas in the ARWU rankings, the UGR is outstanding in Documentation (ranked in the 36th in the world) or Food science technology (ranked 37th in the world), Mathematics and Computer Science (ranked among the top 76-100 in the world).

The UGR has 4 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in the Computer Science area. With regard to broader subject fields, the UGR is ranked in 45th position in the universities worldwide in the discipline of Engineering. It is also well recognized for its web presence (http://sl.ugr.es/0a6i) taking 36th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe. Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 18.02 million euros, and for H2020, 80 projects with total funding around 20.6 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group


Our research group was established in 1988. Until 2000, research has been exclusively focused on the treatment of solids, mainly minerals, flotation, and solid-liquid-gas interphase studies. Over the last decade, the group incorporated a new research line in the removal and recovery of heavy metals by biosorption, mainly using agricultural waste as sorbent materials which are abundant, renewable and can be obtained very economically. This research line has made the group an important group of reference. Recently, the group has evolved into a multi-disciplinary research group, working on sustainable energy and waste management projects. The group has a special interest in the valorization of plastic solid waste and biomass to generate useful organic chemicals or biofuels via biorefinery.

Research lines of the Group

  • Removal and recovery of heavy metals by biosorption: Proposal of appropriate treatment technologies for industrial wastewater based on biosorption.
  • Valorization of solid waste.
  • Valorization of dirty non-recyclable mixed plastics (NRMP) from municipal solid waste (MSW) by mechanical and thermochemical methods of conversion.
  • Thermochemical processing of biomass for the production of biofuels.
  • Leaching and recovery of metals and other valuable materials from solid waste (especially industrial, electric/electronic and mine solid waste).
  • Flotation and alternative methods of solids concentration.

Project description

Combining torrefaction pretreatment and co-pyrolysis to upgrade biochar derived from agricultural and forestry waste.

Biochar has been consistently recognized as a multifunctional material. According to the different surface properties, structure and composition of biochar, the modified biochar can be widely used in greenhouse gas sequestration, inexpensive adsorbents, soil improver, catalyst carrier and so on. Generally, some important physicochemical properties of biochar depend on the raw materials for the preparation of biochar, including mineral content, organic carbon, and surface functional group characteristics.

In general, conventional pyrolysis is relatively simple way for biochar production, but a single approach is not conducive to the development of multiple properties of biochar. Torrefaction pretreatment is a mild cracking process at relatively low temperatures (200–300 °C) in an oxygen-free inert atmosphere, which can significantly improve the pyrolysis characteristics of biomass. During the torrefaction process, the chemical structure of biomass is destroyed, resulting in significant removal of oxygen and an increase in calorific value.

In addition, co-pyrolysis as a potential technology has been proposed to improve the overall performance of biomass pyrolysis by adding other materials.

In this project, torrefaction combined with co-pyrolysis was proposed to produce biochar from different agricultural and forestry residues in a tube furnace. The effect of torrefaction and co-pyrolysis on the yield and properties of biochar will be investigated in the torrefaction-pyrolysis process. The physicochemical properties of torrefied feedstocks and biochar will be effectively evaluated by the hydrogen to carbon atom effective ratio, infrared spectrum, and other techniques. Further, the synergistic effect between the feedstocks will be explored. The co-pyrolysis mechanism during torrefaction pretreatment and co-pyrolysis will be revealed. These results will provide effective guidance for modifying biochar derived from agricultural and forestry waste.

Research Area

Environment and Geosciences (ENV).

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor María Ángeles Martín Lara (marianml@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)


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