The European Union (EU) set-out an ambitious but achievable plan that by 2030 up to one-quarter of the total transport fuel demand should be met by clean and CO2-efficient biofuels to curb greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from fossil fuels and its impact on global climate change. The EU 2006 Biofuel policy has clearly stated that the search for alternative pathways for renewable energy sources will result in considerable growth in biofuel technologies and industry sectors in the coming years. Therefore, sustainable, energy efficient and innovative technologies are needed to produce biofuels from a wide range of raw materials feedstocks while adhering to the societal, economic and environmental norms of the EU. As an alternative to this conflict, the exploitation of new materials, such as residual biomass of lignocellulosic nature and aquatic (microalgae), can be an important strategy for the reconciliation of economic growth and environmental sustainability in the long term. Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) produced from agricultural and forestry residues including, among others, sugarcane bagasse have been considered as a generous source, which does not compete with food requirements and is one of the most abundant and promising biomass sources in the world, obtained from the processing of sugarcane. Microalgae are primitive plant organisms with no roots, stems or leaves, that can be found in all terrestrial ecosystems. Microalgal biomass is frequently rich in fatty acids, of which polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, carotene and folic acid, among others are of high value. From the above, this project proposes the bioethanol production from a biomass mixture of the microalgae Chlorella zofingiensis and lignocellulosic hydrolysate sugarcane bagasse, focusing on the development of a fermentation technology to convert the pentoses and hexoses present in the biomass to bioethanol.
The THERMAC project aims to investigate, develop, and validate emerging thermal-aware software-based techniques that will reduce operating temperature of avionic computing platforms in small aircraft transports. The project specifically targets the integration of multicore and GPU-based platforms in avionics from a thermal perspective. The expected impact of the improved thermal performance will improve dependability, computing performance, and will reduce size and weight of electronics due to relaxed dissipation requirements and the higher number of functionalities that can be integrated in the same computing platform.
Biosensors possess recognition elements that bind to target molecules which lead to detectable signals; they are made of two basic components: (i) a bioreceptor or biorecognition element; and (ii) a transducer element. The bioreceptor system interacts with the target analyte and this interaction is monitored by the transducer, which converts the information into a measurable effect such as an electrical, optical or mass-sensitive signal. This project proposes the development of an autonomous electrochemical biosensor that is lightweight, disposable and low cost by using an outstanding innovative approach: hosting synergistically the bioreceptor element inside a passive direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Such approach will provide an electrically independent, very simple, miniaturized, autonomous electrical biosensor. The electrical dependency is eliminated by coupling the biosensor to an electrochemical transducer that is capable of autonomous energy production, the fuel cell. This work proposes a merge between electrical biosensors and fuel cells, combining the advantages of both areas of research in a single synergetic device. In this envisaged innovative device, the electrical signal obtained from the DMFC is directly related to the concentration of the cancer biomarker in the sample analyzed. The proposed electrochemical biosensor will be completely autonomous operating at room temperature and using the oxygen present in the air, thereby allowing diagnosis everywhere.