Luís Novo
Rui Oliveira; Myriam Lopes; Rui Batista; Cristina Costa; Johnny Reis; Ana Alves
PHYTALEST - Phytoremediation of a highly alkaline former sedimentation pond in the Estarreja chemical complex
One of the most important industrial areas in Portugal is the Estarreja Chemical Complex (ECC). A result of more than five decades of industrial activity has been the accumulation of residues in the environment. The production of acetylene and polyvinylchloride (PVC) led to the deposition of 300,000 ton of sediment in a 10-ha area within the ECC. Extreme alkalinity, high salinity, low levels of organic matter and nutrients are the main characteristics of the sediment. The aim of the PHYTALEST project is to assess the applicability of phytoremediation to restore the highly alkaline area within the ECC and to establish the foundations for the full-scale rehabilitation of this disturbed ecosystem. In phytoremediation, it is normal practice that selected plant species are sown onto the target site. The main difficulties of phytorestoration are that commonly high mortality, very slow plant growth, or even no growth at all, occur due to the environmental stresses of disturbed ecosystems. The PHYTALEST project will address this problem by studying the role of microbial inoculants and organic amendments in ameliorating the adverse conditions generated by the alkaline sediments. A series of greenhouse and field experiment will be conducted using arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and organic amendments (biochar and compost). It is expected that the applied microbial inoculants and organic amendments will alleviate plant stress in the highly alkaline sediment and improve several plant physiological traits and soil microbial activity, contributing to an efficient phytoremediation of the target site.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biogéochimie, Biologie, Botanique, Écologie, Écologie de la santé


Luís Novo (PhD in Terrestrial Ecosystems, University of Vigo, 2013), is a Researcher and the Head of the Laboratory of Experimental and Applied Phytotechnologies at Department of Geosciences of the University of Aveiro. His main research interests are soil metal pollution, phytomining, phytoremediation, metal hyperaccumulation, synthesis of metal nanoparticles in plants, nanopollution, and metal phytotoxicity. He has published numerous articles and book chapters as first author, and serves as reviewer for 40 renowned international journals. Dr. Luís Novo has participated in several research projects. Please see the attached cv for further information.


Rui S. Oliveira obtained his PhD in 2006 from the College of Biotechnology, Portuguese Catholic University (ESB-UCP) in joint regime with the International Institute of Biotechnology - Research School of BioSciences, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK; and with the Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. From 2006 to 2012 he has worked on the interactions between mycorrhizal fungi and plants in sustainable forestry and in remediation of degraded soils as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry-ESB-UCP. From 2013 to he has studied the benefits of plant growth promoting bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable agriculture and in remediation of degraded soils as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Functional Ecology, University of Coimbra (CFE-UC). He is currently a Research Fellow at CFE-UC. Rui S. Oliveira has published 37 papers in international indexed and peer reviewed journals, which have been cited more than 500 times (h-index = 12) and 4 book chapters and presented 150 scientific communications. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5252-5595
Myriam Lopes has a BSc in Environmental Engineering, MSc in Air Pollution and a PhD on Environment Applied Sciences at University of Aveiro. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Environment and Planning from the University of Aveiro and researcher at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) Her research work covers topics such as sustainable development and climate change issues, particularly emissions trading, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, air quality management and impacts of air pollution on human health, environmental management, urban metabolism and urban sustainability. She is the representative of University of Aveiro in PACOPAR (the Resposible Care Community Painel of Estarreja Industry) and in the International Environment Studies Network of Portuguese spoken countries (REALP). She was or is involved in 12 international and 19 National Research projects, including the coordination of INPIRAR project (Air quality, exposure and human health in urban industrialized areas, a FCT funded project having Estarreja as case study), the national coordination ClairCity (Citizen-led air pollution reduction in cities, a project financed by H2020) and a project supported by OHM (Implementation of a low-cost ambient air quality monitoring micro sensors for population awareness and to support civil protection).
Johnny Reis has a BSc in Environmental Engineering, actually is a researcher fellow at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), in Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro. He is member of the University of Aveiro team in several projects related on air quality modeling and a project supported by OHM (Implementation of a low-cost ambient air quality monitoring micro sensors for population awareness and to support civil protection). Currently Johnny Reis is enrolled in the PhD Programme in Territory, Risks and Public Policies lead by the University of Aveiro, Coimbra and Lisbon.
He has 10 years professional experience in environmental monitoring companies and is responsible for coordinating environmental impact studies, environmental measurements and risk assessments. Main competences in Environmental Assessment and Management, Air Pollution and Climate Change science and policy, urban metabolism and urban sustainability. He is the representative of University of Aveiro in PACOPAR on the risk prevention group. He is specialized in hazardous materials and specialist firefighter of dangerous substances.
Ana Rita
Ana Rita Alves holds a BSc in Biology and Geology by the University of Aveiro (2017). She is currently pursuing a MSc in Geomaterials and Geological Resources at the Department of Geosciences of the same university. Her master work is titled "Investigating the potential of Alyssum serpyllifolium subsp. lusitanicum for nickel phytomining in the Morais massif".
Rui Miguel Ventura Batista, has a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Coimbra. He is CIRES Manager for Quality, Environment and Safety and, as such, respectively responsible for CIRES certifications under ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001, as well as Safety Management System for the Prevention of Serious Accidents (Seveso Directive). He has been an active member of PACOPAR (the Responsible Care Community Panel of Estarreja Industry) since its beginning, where he has been coordinator for the Environmental Working Group from 2015 to 2018. He is also an active member in the environmental working groups of sector associations, such as APQuimica (Portuguese Association of Chemical Companies) and ECVM (European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers), both affiliates of CEFIC.
Cristina Costa has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD on Chemical Engineering, both obtained at the University of Coimbra. She is the Laboratory & Product Regulatory Affairs Manager at CIRES.
As the manager of the Technological & Analytical Laboratory, she has experience and knowledge on the techniques and analytical methods applicable to PVC in the different stages of the manufacturing process. In what concerns Regulatory Affairs, she is responsible for ensuring that CIRES complies with the legislation applicable to PVC, in particular specific legislation that regulates the safe use of PVC in medical devices or in materials and articles in contact with food or drinking water.