Flavio Silva
Luís Tarelho; Ana Paula Gomes; Carla Patinha
InCIRCULAR - Integrated production of biochar from residual biomass to boost local agriculture
While industry has overcome agriculture heritage, farming and forestry continue to be important economic clusters in Estarreja. However, the exodus from farms to factories has led to increasing land abandonment and proliferation of invasive plant species that require a more effective management towards wildfire prevention and land protection. In turn, valorisation of this residual biomass can be achieved through its pyrolysis for production of biochar that has emerged as a way to improve soil quality. Biochar sequesters carbon and retains most of the inorganics of raw biomass into plant-available forms that can provide fertilisation upon soil application. Moreover, biochar produced from biomass loaded with contaminants (soil-borne metals) does not present major environmental risks, as they are retained onto the carbon matrix. Additionally, by raising soil pH, biochar turns most metallic contaminants non-bioavailable, thus helping to mitigate soil contamination. This research pursues an integrated approach to valorise residual forestry biomass existing in Estarreja (e.g. acacia and gorse) into biochar to further apply in local agricultural soils to increase their fertility and crop yield and decrease the inorganic fertilisers demand, with evident economic gains. Such approach will provide synergies between wildfires prevention, nutrient recycling, soil amelioration and boosting of agriculture under a local-based circular economy pathway that will benefit several stakeholders. The work programme encompasses biochar production from local residual biomass, retrofitting of the pyrolysis process to target suitable biochar properties and determination of the agronomic value and environmental safety of the produced biochar upon soil application.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja


Flávio Silva, FS (http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7025-0601) got his PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering in 2013 at the University of Aveiro. He is an environmental scientist and engineer with seven years of research in bioprocess technology and biorefinery concepts (energetic and material valorisation of waste streams). After PhD, he broadened his research into further environmental subjects to develop skills under a wider vision of ecosystem interactions, including earth surface processes, carbon and nutrient dynamics, integrated ecosystem services and soil remediation. Currently FS is a researcher at CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies at the University of Aveiro, working on carbon/nutrient dynamics, soil biotechnology and resource recycling at both scientific and industrial interface levels. He worked as executive manager and field team coordinator in 1 national project and 2 European projects. He has co-supervised 17 MSc students and participated as jury examiner of 7 MSc theses. He is/was team member of 7 research projects (either European or national) and collaborator of 13 research projects (either European or national). He owns a granted patent, has authored 19 peer-reviewed papers (h-index 7, SCOPUS) and more than 30 oral or panel presentations in conferences. FS career has not been only focused on fundamental science but he also has advanced skills on R&D projects management, students mentoring, design of funding applications, as well as a strong expertise in collaboration between scientists and stakeholders, notably aiming at technology transfer.


Luís Tarelho, LT (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0385-5621) got his PhD in Environment Applied Sciences in 2002 at the University of Aveiro. He is Associate Professor at the Department of Environment and Planning of University of Aveiro, where he is also Adjunct-Director for the Cooperation University-Society and for Pedagogic issues. He is Coordinator of the Research Group Coastal Zone Planning and Management of the CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies. His research activities include the subjects of energy and environment, biomass to energy, energetic and material valorisation of solid wastes and process integration towards material and energy efficiency, thermochemical conversion processes and technology (torrefaction, pyrolysis, gasification, combustion) of solid fuels, fluidized bed reactor engineering, technologies for monitoring, control and treatment of gaseous emissions, solid waste management/treatment technologies, valorisation of waste and biomass ashes, industrial ecology, forestry resources management and circular economy. He has/had (co-)supervised 3 Post-Doc fellows, 11 PhD students and 67 MSc students. He (co-)authored 65 peer-reviewed papers (h-index 19, SCOPUS), 2 books and more than 100 articles and communications in conferences. LT has also long-standing expertise in developing prototypes for bench- and pilot-scale demonstration facilities for characterization and development of thermochemical conversion of biomass and wastes to energy and organic products, including: two pilot-scale (30 and 75 kWth) bubbling fluidized bed reactors; a bench-scale fixed bed and fluidized bed reactor for pyrolysis processes of distinct biomass types, including monitoring systems of temperature and pressure, gas sampling and analysis, and real-time control of operation and data acquisition.
Ana Paula
Ana Paula Gomes, APG (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5190-9391) holds a PhD in Environment Science since 2001. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Environment and Planning of University of Aveiro, where she is also Director of the Master in Environmental Engineering course. APG research interests concern waste management, composting engineering, resource recovery and development of soil amendments. She has long-standing expertise in chemical reactors, solid waste management and treatment technologies, biological processes, advanced composting (process monitoring and final compost quality) and analytical methods applied to solid wastes. She (co-)authored 8 peer-reviewed papers and co-edited a book and presented more than ten studies in conferences. She has supervised several PhD and MSc students.
Carla Alexandra de Figueiredo Patinha, CP (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6006-344X) have a Degree in Geological Engineering by the University of Aveiro, MSc degree in Geochemistry and a PhD in Earth Sciences by the same Institution. In June of 2005 began her activities at Geosciences Department of the University of Aveiro as Superior technician, assuming the management of geochemistry and hydrochemistry laboratories at the University of Aveiro. Since October 2018, she is Assistant Professor at Geosciences Department of the University of Aveiro. Her main areas of scientific activity have been the development on new analytical methodologies, environmental geochemistry and health and urban geochemistry. Present research interests include research on human bioaccessibility, solid-phase distribution of potentially harmful elements to human health, and health risk assessment studies on ground-level /household dusts and water. She is member of the International Association of Medical Geology, member of the Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe (BARGE) and member of the OHM-Estarreja. She has been participating and coordinating several national R&D Projects. She has published about 60 papers in peer-reviewed Scientific Journals.