UNIVERSITY OF ALICANTE
The research staff involved in this project is part of the group “Processing and Pyrolysis of Polymers” from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Alicante. (Spain). This group is formed by seven professors and two technical assistants as permanent staff and a variable number of fellows and contract staff as a function of the number of operating projects. The group develops its activity in several fields of research, one of the most important being the pyrolysis of wastes, natural and synthetic polymers.
In relation to the field of pyrolysis, directly related to this project, the group has a wide experience, developing projects in this field in the last 20 years. The group also has a significant variety of both lab-scale and pilot plant reactors (tubular reactor, screw reactor, fixed bed, fluidized bed, pyroprobe...) as well as the main techniques to analyse the generated products (gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, infrared spectrometry). In this field, two of the latest projects are focused on i) the feasibility of using commercial fluid catalytic cracking reactors for the recycling of polymers by designing and tuning up the process at a pilot plant scale and ii) the valorisation of tannery wastes through its pyrolysis for the production of gas and liquid fuels. Moreover, the group has a wide experience in the hydrothermal liquefaction at lab scale of different raw materials such as microalgae, almond shell or tanned leather.
The research group has also the resources, knowledge and experience needed to carry out the optimization of many different industrial processes. Its experience in scaling up studies is significant and prototypes for a large number of processes have been developed, such as a multistage fluidized bed plant and a fixed bed plant to obtain activated carbon, an shape stabilization oven for footwear, a continuous reactor to obtain activated carbon fabric, a "prepreg" plant for the production of epoxy resin and glass fibre, a continuous Jijona nougats cooking plant and a pneumatic transport reactor for catalytic cracking of refinery vacuum residue and plastic waste, among others.
In general, it can be said that the group develops very different research lines trying, in all the cases, that the results can be useful at industrial scale.