Universidade Nova de Lisboa


Description of main R&I activities

UNL team have extensively worked on the topic of biorefineries, namely on the development of green and cost effective technologies for resource recovery and waste valorisation and in the development of cell factories both from a computational and a wet-lab perspective for a variety of raw materials and final products. Participation in EU research projects related with biorefineries: SALTGAE – Demonstration project to prove the techno-economic feasibility of using algae to treat saline wastewater from the food industry; INCOVER – Innovative eco-technologies for resource recovery from wastewater; RES-URBIS – Resources from URbanBIo-waSte; EuroPHA – Novel technology to boost the European Bioeconomy: reducing the production costs of PHA biopolymer and expanding its applications as 100% compostable food packaging bioplastic; PHASEPLIT – Novel Two-phase Acid/Gas Anaerobic Reactor for Industrial Wastewater of Food & Drink SME industries; SOLVER – Solvent Purification and Recycling in the Process Industry Using Innovative Membrane Technology¸ O-WaR – An Integrated Membrane Process for Oily Wastewater Treatment, Water Reuse and Valuable By-Products Recovery; AquaConserver – A Novel and combined domestic grey water treatment and heat recovery system suitable for cost effective installation in 90% of European households.

Key contributions for the CoLAB

UNL will mainly contribute in: 1) Development of green technologies for biomass fractionation; 2) Development and implementation at pilot scale innovative processes for biopolymers production from wastes; 3) Anaerobic digestion od high saline wastes; 4) Membrane technologies for gas and chemicals separation and purification; 5) Development of improved microbes for the production of desired chemicals from lignocellulosic or gas raw material using metabolic engineering approaches; 6) modelling of microbial systems and use of omics data to indicate targeted genetic modifications to improve biorefineries’ yields and productivities; 7) Enzyme engineering to improve the performance of both enzymatic and fermentation processes in biorefineries.

International Networks / Associations

The EU platform “Innovation Deal” on sustainable wastewater treatment combining anaerobic membrane technology and water reuse. Partner of Marie Curie ITN project “Mermaid” Microbial Resource Management and Engineering solutions for the Urban Water Cycle. Isabel Rocha is part of the International board of ELIXIR Europe (www.elixir-europe.org), an European Research Infrastructure of Horizon 2020 uniting Europe’s leading life science organisations for management and safeguard of biological data.