Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 8976-8980
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.2186
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The presence of chemistry, industrial chemistry and chemical engineering is essential in our life. Moreover it is necessary to maintain the standard of living of the actual society. Nonetheless, the abuse of non-renewable resources such as oil and carbon and the uncontrolled use of no environmentally friendly processes since the industrial revolution have left a drastic impact on our planet. Nowadays, this impact it’s difficult to be mitigated and only could be done by the society evolution to greener and sustainable production and consumptions. In this sense, a lot of companies have made an effort to improve their processes in a greener and sustainable form.

The Bologna Declaration includes some transversal competences which must be accomplished during the degree studies. LEPAMAP is a research group with high presence in the student teaching in Chemical Engineering degree of the University of Girona. One of the objectives of the group regarding the teaching experience is the development of the student’s capacity to identify, analyse and solve problems in a sustainable and ethical form. In addition, the LEPAMAP group has large experience collaborating with leading industrial companies. This constant partnership gives the students the opportunity to deal with some of the actual environmental troubles of world companies.

In this work, the students were proposed to enhance the mechanical properties of paper without damage drastically the cellulosic fibres. This damage is irreversible and limited the recyclability of paper. One of the most trending methodologies is the use of cellulose nanofibers (CNF). Nevertheless, their production usually required high energy cost to achieve the nanometric size. Some pre-treatment could be applied in order to reduce the energy cost. Enzymatic pre-treatment or TEMPO catalysed oxidation are some examples of the used pre-treatment. The students will follow step by step the procedure to produce both kind of CNF and evaluate its cost and environmental impact.

As a conclusion of this study the students get experience and feel more self-confidence to analyse and be able to decide the better option considering the normative, environmental impact and the company requirements. Finally the students evaluated the experience and give a feedback to professors in order to improve the quality and adequate the experience to the student’s interests.
Greener, sustainable.