Dr. Silvia Alvarez

I am currently working as Assistant Professor at the Catalysis and Separation Processes Group, Chemical Engineering Department of Complutense University in Madrid (Spain).My research interests are mainly focused on wastewater treatment of pharmaceutical compounds by adsorption, advanced oxidation processes and combined processes of catalytic wet air oxidation and aerobic biological waste water technologies. During my Doctoral Thesis, entitled “Removal of emerging contaminants from waste water by fixed-bed adsorption” I worked about the adsorption removal of emerging micro-pollutants from aqueous phase by adsorption on activated carbons. Specifically I have been working in the removal of emerging contaminants such as: stimulants (caffeine), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen), beta-blockers (atenolol), psychiatric drugs (carbamazepine), antibiotics (flumequine, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, metronizadole) and pesticides (isoproturon, diuron) from water by adsorption and mathematical modelling onto carbonaceous adsorbents (activated carbon, carbon nanofibers and nanotubes, carbon cloths, lignocellulosic-based activated carbons, etc.). Therefore, I have broad experience on solids characterization technologies (N2 physisorption, scanning electron microscopy, thermal programmed decomposition, Fourier transform infrared spectra, zero point charge and iso-electric point evaluation). Also, I have studied different synthesis conditions of activated carbons (chemical and physical activation of lignocellulosic precursors, sol-gel synthesis, carbide-derived structures, etc.) In addition, I have worked on the removal of emerging micro-pollutants through advanced oxidation process (catalytic wet peroxide oxidation, catalytic wet air oxidation and the combination with aerobic biological treatments).