Get to Know EARTH

The Environmental Integrated Recovery Technologies Laboratory (EARTH) is part of a broader research team of the University of Castilla-La Mancha called Chemical and Environmental Technology Group (TEQUIMA), which has an extensive and brilliant career in basic and applied research, as well as in the transfer of results to the industry and companies.

The basic core of the EARTH team is made up of 5 professors from the UCLM Department of Chemical Engineering with extensive research experience (more than 15 years) in the field of environmental technologies applied to the treatment of wastewater and drinking water, polluted soils and industrial waste. In recent years, the researchers that make up the group have specialized in the use of biological and electrochemical technologies, and the combination of both, for the treatment of soil and water contaminated by organic pollutants and metals. Currently, a new line of research has also been started on the synthesis of carbonaceous materials (hydrochar) from biomass residues by using hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) technology.

The EARTH group has the usual collaboration of several UCLM researchers belonging to areas of knowledge other than chemical engineering (agricultural engineering, geochemistry and civil engineering) and that allow it to tackle with guarantees the different multidisciplinary aspects associated with the research lines that are carried out. In addition to this, it also maintains occasional collaborations with international researchers belonging to the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the Universidad del Litoral (Argentina), the KU Leuven University (Belgium), the CNRS at Orleans (France), the Universidad Nova de Lisboa ( Portugal) and the University of Cagliari (Italy).

Finally, the EARTH group is also made up of a total of 4 doctoral students who develop their doctoral theses in the current research lines, which also serve for the initiation and training of several national and international Final Degree and Master's Project students.

Senior researchers

José Villaseñor Camacho

+34 926052321

Degree in Chemistry (1992, Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and also Doctor in Chemistry (1998, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha). He is currently Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCLM, assigned to ITQUIMA. He teaches in the Bachelor and Master of Chemical engineering. He is Coordinator of the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Doctoral Program. His research work focuses on Chemical and Environmental Technology (wastewater treatment, solid waste, sludge, biowaste and contaminated soils), especially through electrochemical and biological techniques.

The following indicators of his research work stand out: he has been director of 9 PhD Theses, author of 110 scientific publications indexed in JCR, 14 book chapters, a hundred communications to international congresses and two patents. He has participated in 68 R&D projects, financed both by public administrations and private companies, being the main researcher in 27 of them. He is vice-president of the Red META (Spanish Board for Water Treatment), evaluator of R&D projects at the AEI and reviewer of several scientific journals.

Francisco Jesús Fernández Morales

+34 926052179

Chemical Engineer from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) in 1998, Master in Business Management from the National University of Distance Education in 2003 and PhD in Chemical Engineering (2004, UCLM). Currently Full Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the UCLM. Teaching activity in the Degree and Master of Chemical Engineering, in the Degree in Food Science and Technology of the UCLM and in the Master in Management, Treatment and Valorization of Organic Waste of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH).

His research activity mainly focuses on the environmental treatments and on the energy and material recovery of residual effluents through the use of biological and electrochemical techniques. He has participated in projects funded by European and Spanish institutions as well as from private companies. He is an evaluator of R&D projects in the ANEP and other foreign agencies (Portugal, Poland, Chile, Argentina), is a member of the Spanish Composting Network (REC) and belongs to the editorial committee and is a regular censor of several scientific journals.

Luis Rodríguez Romero

+34 926052491 

Degree in Chemistry from the University of Castilla-La Mancha in 1991. Later, he carried out postgraduate studies in the specialty of Chemical Engineering, obtaining the title of PhD in Chemistry from the UCLM in 1998. In the research section, after an initial stage of work in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, since 2000 he has specialized in the field of environmental engineering, developing research projects in different lines, i.e. characterization and recovery of soils contaminated by heavy metals through phytoremediation and immobilization, treatment of urban wastewater and sewage sludge, recovery of residual oils through supercritical extraction and application of electrochemical technologies to the treatment of water and soils contaminated by organic pollutants. He is co-author of around 50 publications in international scientific journals and numerous communications at national and international conferences.

He is currently a Professor at the School of Civil Engineering of the UCLM where he teaches different subjects of Degree and Master belonging to the field of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering.

Javier Llanos López

+34 926052273

Chemical Engineer from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) in 2005, receiving the first national award for Chemical Engineering. He is also PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCLM (2010). He is currently Professor at the Faculty of Chemical Sciences and Technologies.

His research experience has been developed fundamentally in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the UCLM and through collaborations with five international centers, three of them through pre-doctoral stays (University of Kentucky, University of Wales and University of Lisbon) and two through postdoctoral stays (Prague Institute of Chemical Technology and University of Cagliari). This experience has been fundamentally focused on different aspects related to the design of membrane processes and electrochemical systems in environmental remediation applications.

Some of its research indicators include 3 national and international awards, 48 publications in journals indexed in the JCR, 35 of them in Q1 journals, 3 book chapters, 1 patent and more than 90 participations in prestigious conferences (50 of them as oral presentations and 10 as invited lectures). In addition, he has collaborated in 16 research projects / contracts (four of them as principal investigator).

Martín Muñoz Morales

+34 926053493

Degree and Master in Chemical Engineering from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) in 2014 and 2016, respectively, receiving in both degrees the extraordinary award from UCLM. He has a PhD with international mention from the UCLM in 2021. Since October 2020 he has been teaching in the Biotechnology degree at the Higher School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineers in Albacete.

To date, he has made 3 stays in international research centers, namely Gdansk (Poland) in 2015, University of Palermo (Italy) in 2019 and recently in Orleans (France). In this last stay he has trained with the CNRS Functional Nano Materials group (NAFMAT) in the synthesis, treatment and characterization of carbonaceous materials, especially with hydrothermal carbonization processes for electrochemical applications of environmental treatment. His research experience is accredited by 2 national and international awards and 25 publications in journals indexed in the JCR, 20 of them in Q1 journals. He has also participated in more than 20 prestigious conferences (12 of them are oral presentations).

Collaborating researchers

Francisco Javier López-Bellido Garrido

Agricultural Engineer and PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Córdoba (1994 and 1997, respectively). Associate professor at the School of Agricultural Engineers of Ciudad Real (UCLM) and enrolled in the Department of Plant Production and Agricultural Technology (Plant Production Area).  

Jacinto Alonso Azcárate

Degree in Geological Sciences and Doctor in Applied Mineralogy from the Complutense University of Madrid (1991 and 1995, respectively). He is Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Biochemistry of Toledo (UCLM) and belongs to the Area of Crystallography and Mineralogy.

David Sánchez Ramos

Civil Engineer and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (2006 and 2013, respectively). Assistant Professor at the Higher Technical School of Civil Engineering of the UCLM and assigned to the Area of Environmental Technologies of the Department of Science and Technology Agroforestry and Genetics.

PhD students

Hassay Lizeth Medina Díaz

Environmental Engineer in 2017 from the la Fundación Universitaria de San Gil (Colombia) and Master in Engineering and Environmental Management from UCLM (2019). She joined the team at the end of 2019.

Irene Acosta Hernández

Degree in Chemical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (2018) and Master in Chemical Engineering at the Complutense University of Madrid (2020). He joined the team at the end of 2020.

Yelitza Delgado González

Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2018) and Master in Chemical Engineering from the University of Valladolid (2020). He joined the team at the end of 2020.

Álvaro Ramírez Vidal

Degree and Master in Chemical Engineering from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (2019 and 2021, respectively). He has recently joined our group.