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Josep Font

  • Dr
  • Associate Professor
  • Universitat Rovira i Virgili - Departament d'Enginyeria Química
  • 31h-indexImpact measure calculated using publication and citation counts. Updated daily.
  • 2621CitationsNumber of citations received by Josep's publications. Updated daily.

Research interests

Engineering EducationWastewater TreatmentProcess Integration and IntensificationAdvanced Oxidation ProcessesCatalytic Wet OxidationMembrane Processes


The main purpose of the project is developing a new family of carbon-based membrane reactors to be applied for the treatment of wastewater containing emergent or recalcitrant contaminants, which cannot be conveniently eliminated in conventional wastewater treatment plants, so they need dedicated treatments. These new reactors, conveniently adapted, could be used for two different types of treatment widely applied over these kind of pollutants: the oxidation using hydrogen peroxide catalysed with supported zero valent iron (H2O2/ZVI), and the anaerobic bioreduction over biologically activated carbon. The technologies to be developed are based on the coupling, through selective ceramic membranes (of nano- or ultrafiltration) used as support for a deposited carbonaceous layer possessing catalytic activity, of the reaction and separation steps inherent to both alternatives. Thus, a single unit intensifying both processes allows obtaining treated effluents of better quality that could be directly reused, resulting a major save in the ssociated costs. In the first phase, the carbon membrane synthesis methodology will be developed in order to obtain a thin carbon layer over the ceramic filtration elements. Starting from a polymeric precursor, the layer will be created by controlled carbonisation and the main variables affecting the process will be optimised to get defect-free carbon layers. In the first application, ZVI in form of nanoclusters will be deposited over the carbonaceous layer, thus imparting catalytic activity. The presence of ZVI allows accelerating the Fenton-like oxidation –using hydrogen peroxide- as ferrous cations are continuously generated, so a higher production of hydroxyl radicals is reached, and consequently an enhanced reaction rate. In addition, the membrane retains high molecular weight organic species –potentially hazardous- so the collected permeate shows a major quality. Following this idea, the impact of the surface functional groups over the catalytic activity and durability will be explored, as well as the effect of several operation variables on the oxidation of model compounds representing several families of contaminants. In the second alternative, the carbonaceous layer will play a role as mediator for electron transfer in the redox reactions taking place, and as support for the anaerobic biofilm responsible for the bioreduction of azoic dyes and other compounds, too. This process, very effective, suffers from the dragging of microorganisms and reactor plugging when conducted in a fixed bed system. The integration with a filtering element facilitates the recovery of high quality treated effluents in a single unit, without needing additional purification steps. This proposal integrates, develops and extends the objectives reached in two previous projects successfully carried out by essentially the same research team (CTM2008-03338 and CTM2011-23069). The achievement of the drawn objectives could allow being available new alternatives, more efficient and less costly, potentially applicable for the treatment of wastewater from most of the process industries (chemical, textile, pharmaceutical, food, etc).

Co-authors (109)

Publications (5)

  • Nitrate removal in an innovative up-flow stirred packed-bed bioreactor

    • García-Martínez Y
    • Chirinos J
    • Bengoa C
    • et al.
    Get full text
  • Zero-valent iron supported on nitrogen-doped carbon xerogel as catalysts for the oxidation of phenol by fenton-like system

    • Messele S
    • Soares O
    • Órfão J
    • et al.
    Get full text
  • Anaerobic reduction of chlorophenols using biological activated carbon

    • Chirinos J
    • Fabregat A
    • Fortuny A
    • et al.
  • Influence of wastewater sludge drying on the lipid extraction for biodiesel production

    • Olkiewicz M
    • Caporgno M
    • Fortuny A
    • et al.
  • Coprocessing of Spanish Lignites


Professional experience

Associate Professor

Universitat Rovira i Virgili - Departament d'Enginyeria Química

October 1993 - Present

Visiting Professor

University of California - Los Angeles

February 1994 - September 1995(2 years)


Doctor in Chemical Sciences

Universitat de Barcelona

October 1986 - October 1991(5 years)

Bachelor of Chemistry

Universitat Barcelona

October 1981 - June 1986(5 years)