The great winner of the 12th edition of the Santander/NOVA Collaborative Research Award 2018/2019 is the project "PlaTiNa – Low cost platforms based on Nano-heterostructures of TiO2/WO3 to apply in Photocatalysis". The winning team consists of researcher Ana Pimentel, from CENIMAT/I3N, NOVA School of Science and Technology, in collaboration with researcher Vanessa Jorge Pereira, from ITQB NOVA/ iBET, also from NOVA.
This project explores how we can fight the presence of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in wastewater and groundwater, as well as in drinking water, indicated by the European Union as priority treatment pollutants due to its high toxicity. The main concerns are analgesics, antibiotics and antiepileptic drugs, which have proven to be resistant to wastewater treatments.
During the study, the researchers will work with nanostructures of titanium oxide and tungsten, which will be placed on polymeric or glass surfaces, being subsequently exposed to the presence of compounds to destroy, under solar radiation.
According to Ana Pimentel, "the goal is to perceive the efficiency of these treatments in the removal of chemical pollutants, for example, antibiotics, because even when present in water at very low concentrations can contribute to the emergence of resistances ". As the researcher Vanessa Jorge Pereira recalls, "in the world, right now, there are 800 million people who do not yet have a safe water supply, hence the importance of this collaborative research that will allow testing materials already used normally, now in new water pollutants."
The award was delivered today, at the Rectorate of NOVA de Lisboa, by the Chairman of Banco Santander Portugal, António Vieira Monteiro, and the Rector of NOVA, João Sàágua, during the second edition of NOVA Science Day 2019.
The Santander/NOVA Collaborative Research Award, totaling 25,000 euros, aims to distinguish projects developed by junior researchers from NOVA and involving at least two of the schools of the university. This prize, given annually, has distinguished, in previous years, research projects in the fields of Social and Human Sciences, Life Sciences, Exact Sciences and Engineering.