Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre (IPP)

VALORIZA – Research Centre for Endogenous Resources Valorisation

Description of main R&I activities

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF WASTE RECOVERY TECHNOLOGIES: Applied research for the development of waste and effluents energetic recovery productive processes through thermochemical, electrochemical and biochemical technologies routes, with several developments in: a) evaluation of biomass resources energy potential by application of GIS; demonstration of technological feasibility of energy recovery of waste based on industrial pilot units, including dryers, mills, densifiers, thermal gasifiers and fermenters, having biomass; c) economic evaluation of waste energy recovery in small industrial units. The relevance of this contribution is conveyed not only by the significant number of projects that have been developed with industrial and agro-industrial companies, but also by the funding given to several national (PORTUGAL 2020) and international projects (POCTEC) carried out. Additionally, the knowledge produced is starting to be used for the design of industrial units and equipment.
  2. PROCESS NUMERICAL AND ANALYTICAL TOOL: The developed research enabled the use of numerical and analytical tools to facilitate solutions for the long term of energy-related societal problems, namely through the: a) development of energy-economic models to assess emissions, energy and economic outcomes from several scenarios of Portuguese and European policies to mitigate greenhouse gases; b) analysis to fluid dynamic problems found in the engineering practice of waste-to-energy processes (combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, etc.); c) development of specific waste blends to produce high quality syngas in quasi-industrial gasifiers, by means of experimental and numerical approaches tied by validation and uncertainty quantification techniques. The relevance of this contribution, both nationally and internationally, is supported by the economic impact achieved by several projects funded by FCT and by Portuguese companies (~600 k€). 
  3. HYDROGEN AS ENERGY VECTOR: The entry of hydrogen into the energy mix has opened a new era for energy production and storage systems. Though in Portugal, this potential has not been considered a priority in terms of investment/research, the conducted research enabled its affirmation as a relevant energetic vector in the national energy mix. This work, supported by several national and international funded projects, enabled not only technological development towards competitive, secure, low-carbon energy supply (namely, electrolysers) but also the dynamization of the H2 vector, through territorial demonstration projects (e.g. H2SE, COMPETE), promoting national transition to sustainable energy systems.

Key contributions for the CoLAB

Development of project of biomass conversion processes into fuels, with a focus on waste-to-fuel, thermochemical gasification, biochemical and electrochemical processes. Technical-economic analysis and optimisation processes. Electrochemical technologies for energy conversion and storage.

International Networks / Associations