Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre

CIEPQPF: Newsletter 001 - 2012

Executive Board

Director Maria Graça Rasteiro

Vice-Director Rosa Quinta Ferreira

Vice-Director Marco Seabra

Editorial Board

Mara Braga, Rodrigo Lopes

Raquel Costa, Marco Seabra

Fernando Bernardo


The Research Centre on Chemical Processes and Forest Products (CIEPQPF) started its activity in 1994 with the objective of structuring research activities in Chemical Engineering in the University of Coimbra. Since then, the centre has tracked a continuous trail of progress that lead to an evaluation of “Excellent” by the international FCT panel in 2008. New challenges have been progressively undertaken by CIEPQPF’s members. Presently, and for the period 2012/2013, we have adopted the following main general vectors to guide the centre’s action: reinforcement of synergies between the groups, reinforcement of the interaction with the industrial sector, reinforcement of internationalization.

In line with these general vectors and supported by the high quality of the research being conducted in each group, it was possible: (i) to organize a program of regular seminars “Encontros com a Ciência”, (ii) to develop workshops directed to private companies (in one case in collaboration with IAPMEI), (iii) to increase the number of research proposals involving industrial companies, and (iv) to put together a proposal involving researchers from the different groups and 11 foreign partners, submitted to FP7 under the call Marie Curie/People ITN. The first number of CIEPQPF’s newsletter is another important outcome of our present strategy.

It must be stressed that the initiatives above could only be put together with the enthusiastic collaboration of all centre researchers. Such truly joint efforts contributed to reinforce the internal cohesion and external projection, and are planned to be continued next year.

Monthly seminars “Encontros com a Ciência” 
Our monthly seminars are the main forum to get together researchers from the five research groups. These regular meetings, with two short presentations each (see table below), have only started this year, but results are already encouraging. The main goal, which is to promote interaction between the different groups and discussion of different research approaches and topics, has clearly been achieved. A sign of this is the constant lack of time to accommodate all the questions and issues raised by the audience. We intend to proceed with this initiative and try to increase attendance, which in 2012 was between 14 and 56 participants per session.
March Opening Session. Presentation of the five research groups: scope and strategy.

Taking the most out of analytical data: the case of wine age prediction. Marco S. Reis (GEPSI - Process Systems Engineering Group)

Thermophysical properties of phosphonium ionic liquids. Abel G. Ferreira (Thermodynamics & Thermophysical Properties of Fluids Group )


Marco Reis


Development of self-assembly structures for advanced applications of polymeric materials. Nuno Rocha (Particles, Polymers & Biomaterials Technology Group)

Molecular modeling and simulation in chemical engineering. Pedro N. Simões and André F. Ferreira (CEM - Computing, Statistics & Materials Group)


Abel Ferreira


Intensificação de processo na nitração de aromáticos. Cristina G. Baptista (GEPSI - Process Systems Engineering Group)

Advanced oxidation processes at ambient conditions for liquid effluents depuration: ozonation and Fenton’s process. Rui C. Martins (GERSE - Reaction, Separation & Environmental Engineering Group)


Pedro Simões


Solubilidade de hidrofluorocarbonetos em solventes aromáticos e álcoois: valores experimentais e modelização com a equação de estado de CPA. José M. de Sousa (Thermodynamics & Thermophysical Properties of Fluids Group)

New modified fillers for papermaking. Ana F. Lourenço (Particles, Polymers & Biomaterials Technology Group)


Cristina Gaudêncio


Recycling agroindustrial by-products by composting technologies. Margarida J. Quina (GERSE - Reaction, Separation & Environmental Engineering Group)

Tailoring of silica based aerogels for Space applications. Luísa R. Durães (CEM - Computing, Statistics & Materials Group)


Rui Martins

December Thematic closing session: valorization of residues. Speakers: Teresa Vieira (DEM/FCTUC), Margarida Quina (DEQ/FCTUC), Carlos Cardoso (Enviroil)luisa_duraes

Luísa Durães


Scientific publications   
During the last decade CIEPQPF has developed scientific research in collaboration with several partners, from institutes and universities to industries. The main indicators of those collaborations are reflected in the publication of scientific works like books, book chapters and articles, whose number has increased by 77% over the last six years. This proves that the collaborations that CIEPQPF has developed until now are fruitful and opened opportunities to return to community the knowledge produced in academy.scientic_production

Scientific production from 2006 to 2011


"aquaTECH has worked with CIEPQPF on three different projects related to the application of flocculants, the characterization of polymers as well as synthesis in emulsions. These collaborations have been carried out quickly and at a very high level and have involved students, permanent staff and professors. During the eight years of collaboration we have found CIEPQPF to have excellent staff, state of the art equipment and visionary leadership and, for those reasons, we hope to continue to work together in partnership over the years to come."

David Hunkeler, Director of aquaTECH

CIEPQPF starring in the media   
margarida_quina In 2012, CIEPQPF’s activity has attracted significant media coverage, both at the local and national levels. The work of several members of the centre has been featured in the TV programme “República do Saber” (go to http://www.rtp.pt/programa/episodios/tv/p28798 for the full episodes). Margarida Quina also had her work highlighted in “Biosfera” (http://www.uc.pt/fctuc/noticias/20121010).

New PhD students and post-doctoral researchers

In spite of the increasingly competitive funding environment, CIEPQPF has been steadily reinforcing its team by capturing PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers funded by FCT. In the 2012 Individual Doctoral and Post-doctoral Grants call (results released on Oct 12), 4 doctoral grants (out of 18 in the Chemical Engineering domain) and 3 post-doctoral grants (out the 12 in the Chemical Engineering domain) have been awarded to CIEPQPF members. Congratulations to Ana Sofia Fajardo, Carlos Abreu, Christin Zscherneck, Micaela Soares, Nuno Rocha, Carla Maleita and Paula Calvinho.

Foreign students

In this semester, DEQ received more than 40 new students from Erasmus and Ciência sem Fronteiras programmes. Students came from Brazil, Poland and Turkey. Some of them incorporated CIEPQPF’s groups doing scientific initiation that allow them to follow the projects currently being developed. This is also an excellent cultural exchange opportunity for Portuguese students and an occasion to highlight the national event “Ano de Portugal no Brasil”. Stay tuned! (http://anodeportugalnobrasil.pt/)

CIEPQPF evaluation

The Permanent External Advisory Committee of CIEPQPF visited us last October, interacting with our team in order to evaluate the centre scientific production, activities and projects. The committee evaluated the centre perspectives and offered guidance for future development. We hope, all together, to keep the “Excellent” grade.

Workshop on “Knowledge Transfer” co-organized with IAPMEI

On the 20th June 2012 a workshop on “Knowledge Transfer” took place in DEQ. This event was co-organized by CIEPQPF and IAPMEI and aimed to promote the interaction between researchers and industry. Our undergoing R&D&I projects were presented, highlighting the potential interest for industry. In the end, new contacts were established and the experience acquired will be useful to foster further synergies between academia and industry.

Analytical facilities

CIEPQPF offers a wide range of analytical techniques to assist projects from universities and industries. Modern installations and equipments are available, among them the new generation of thermo-mechanic analysis. Contact the Analytical Centre of CIEPQPF for more information:


CIEPQPF: Newsletter 2012 in PDF