1 University of Girona, LEPAMAP Research group (SPAIN)
2 University of Girona, Design, Development and Product Innovation, Dept. of Organization Business (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 5317-5321
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.1319
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Society is currently experiencing great concern about the now undisputed climate change. There is a clear need for action and modification of the current model of industrial development. Proof of this is the creation of a new ministry for ecological transition by the Spanish government. In this sense, future engineers will have to take part by modifying or developing new processes that meet sustainability criteria. In the subject Sustainable Industrial Processes in the fourth year of the degree in chemical engineering, a project has been carried out for the development of a system for the elimination of motor oils from water. The main objective of this project was to make students aware of the need to develop new, more sustainable processes to replace the current ones. On the other hand, the synergy with the research group LEPAMAP and the Chair of Sustainable Industrial Processes was used to make the students aware of the need for good technology transfer between universities, companies and society.

Different materials developed by the research group LEPAMAP of the University of Girona were proposed to the students and they were asked to prepare a demonstration experience of a possible application of the chosen material. The material chosen by the students was hydrophobic aerogel produced from cellulose nanofibres. The proposed use for these aerogels was the removal of motor oil or petroleum from seawater. The demonstrative experience was constructed by means of two methacrylate pools, each one with a remote-controlled boat with a net where in one case a modified aerogel moves and in the other a non-hydrophobic absorbent material. On a demonstrative level, the same mass of both materials was used during the same time of contact with water with motor oil. The water was then removed by evaporation of the water by evaluating the amount of oil collected per unit mass of the absorbent material.

Finally, a demonstration experience was conducted for different groups of secondary school students along with a survey. In the same way, a survey was also carried out among the students who developed the demonstrative experience to find out if the objective of the project was achieved. The results obtained in both cases were very satisfactory.
Chemical engineering, innovation, sustainability.