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  • The University participates in a research on the cultivation of algae with leachates and carbon dioxide from incinerators

    December 17, 2014

    The Recovery project aims at developing an efficient technology that can be applied in an industrial scale to minimize the emission of CO2 during the phase of post-combustion of the refuse

    The RDI representative from TSK-Ingemas, Pablo Álvarez; CSIC-Incar scientist Covadonga Pevida; Ignacio Albert de la Rosa, co-founding member of Neoalgae; councilor Belén Fernández; the RDI representative from Cogersa, José Manuel González; Elena Marañón, Tenured Professor of Chemical Engineering of the University of Oviedo; Manuel Miranda, director of the Area of Refractives, Ceramics and Raw Sources of the ITMA; José Manuel Rico, Professor of the Department of Biology of Organisms and Systems of the University of Oviedo and Santiago Fernández, manager of COGERSA.

    The University of Oviedo participates in a research project that studies, for the first time in Europe, the possibilities of the cultivation of microalgae in biorreactors fed by the carbon dioxide and the polluted waters coming from waste energy assessment plants. The initiative developed by a fully-Asturian consortium of enterprises and research centers formed by the Consortium for the Management of Solid Waste of Asturias (COGERSA).

    In order to carry out this project, named Recovery, COGERSA, Ingemas engineering (environmental division of the TSK group), and the technology-based entrepreneurial initiative Neoalgae collaborate with three research centers: the National Coal Institute (INCAR), dependent from the Higher Council of Scientific Research; the Institute of Material Technology (ITMA), and the University of Oviedo, through the departments of Chemical Engineering and Biology of Organisms and Systems.

    The research teams led by Professor José Manuel Rico and Elena Marañón will work with the aim of developing an efficient technology that can be applied in an industrial scale to minimize the emission of CO2 of waste incinerators and polluted waters to cultivate microalgae that are suitable to be used later on as the basis of the production of biofuels, or to produce biogas through anaerobic digestion. The carbon dioxide, generated by the emissions of this type of plants, will be captured and concentrated by adsoption techniques. The cultivation of algae, which will take place in a biorreactor that has been specifically designed for this purpose, will receive the liquid effluents of the installation (permeated leachates) as its main fuel.

    Recovery has a global budget of €901,111.02, and has gained the support of the State Program of RDI Aimed at Society Challenges called for by the Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness. More precisely, as part of the so-called 2014 Collaboration Challenges, the research has received €680,155.47 as prefered loans and grants. The research and tests must be completed between October 2014 and December 2017.

    During the presentation of the project, the councilor for Development, Territorial Planning and the Environment, Belén Fernández, highlighted the capacity for collaboration, as well as the joint effort and shared knowledge that the Recovery project embodies as it has gathered three public and private enterprises and several research centers, including the University. Representing the Asturian academic institution during the presentation was Professor José Manuel Rico, of the Department of Biology of Organisms and Systems of the University of Oviedo, and Tenured Professor of Environmental Technologies, Elena Marañón.


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