Flocculation is an essential stage in many production processes as well as in the treatment of their effluents. The increasing concern with environmental issues is pushing research to an eco-friendly approach to the development of new flocculants either naturally existing, based on natural by-products, or, alternatively, produced through oil-free processes. The development of new flocculation aids requires the evaluation of their performance in the process they are aimed at, and the best way to deal with this is to follow a product performance approach, establishing a map of product performance versus flocculants characteristics.
The ECOFLOC project is aimed at the development of two ESRs PhDs jointly supervised by academia and an innovative SME, thus benefiting from a highly entrepreneurial environment.
In this way the project provides an innovative training program at the doctoral level, to educate a new generation of experts to deal with production, selection and application of less environmentally burdensome flocculants for environmental applications.
The project contract started in May 1st, 2014 and the selection of the 2 ESRs was finished by November 2014. Both ESRS are registered for the Doctoral Program on Chemical Engineering from the University of Coimbra.