Main Lines of Research

Preparation of adsorbents: Pillared Clays (PILCs), Activated Carbons and dealuminated Zeolites

Industrial wastes, namely cork powder and by products of paper production industry, have been used as raw materials for production of chemically activated carbons. As chemical activating agents, KOH and K2CO3 were essayed leading to adsorbents with apparent surface areas between 1000-1500 m2g-1 and with different micropore size distributions.

Pillared clays have been synthesised from Portuguese soils, and also from commercial samples, mainly with aluminium oxide or zirconium oxide pillars. Besides the textural properties of PILCs, their acidity and catalytic properties have been studied also. More recently different methodologies of synthesis were tried namely using non-cationic surfactants and also by the intragallery-templating approach. With this last process Porous Clays Heterostructures (PCHs) with apparent surface areas of near 700 m2g-1 were obtained.

Zeolites, as-synthsised or dealuminated either, by self-steaming or by solid state reaction with (NH4)2SiF6, were prepared and characterized. These materials have been used in parallel studies with the abovementioned adsorbents.

Development of matrixes for supporting  adsorbent materials

Polyurethane matrixes, with different compositions, and physical properties as hydrophobicity, have been developed and characterised, aiming their use as supports of adsorbent materials.

Adsorption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and of natural gas components

Selected samples of activated carbon from cork, pillared clays from Portuguese or commercial origins, and dealuminated zeolites, have been study towards the adsorption of volatile organic compounds aiming their use as adsorbents for the abatement/recovery of these noxious compounds. Some of these adsorbents have also been considered in the process of  separation/purification of the natural gas components.

Functionalisation of Pillared Clays with transition metal complexes 

The functionalisation of pillared clays, and some zeolites, with transition metal complexes using different methodologies for encapsulation have been studied. The main goal is to heterogenise complexes which are catalytic active in the homogeneous phase.

Adsorption and release of nitric oxide for therapeutic purposes

Nitric oxide (NO) has been storaged in porous materials for slow releasing for therapeutic aplications