The Mineralogia Aplicada, Geoquímica i geomicrobiologia Research Group works on topics related to Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Hydrochemistry and water-rock interaction. Our main tools are Geochemistry, Isotopes and Modelling. These tools are applied to different research topics:
The main research goal is to understand the role of the fluids in the formation of ore deposits and the relationship between the mineralizing processes and the geologic history of the mineralized area, as well as their environmental impact.
Environmental impact of mining and remediation
The main goal is to design treatments for mining drainage waters from laboratory to field scale. Treatments include minimization and revalorization of mining residues. A second goal is to develop geochemical and isotopic tools that help to determine the environmental impact of mining activities.
Environmental impact of rural (mainly nitrate) and urban (organic contaminants) activities
The Environment research group centers its work in the study of the geochemistry of pollution, mainly using isotopic tools to identify the contamination sources and to evaluate the fate of contaminants in the environment. Current research lines are focused on agricultural (nitrate) and industrial (DNAPLs, PAHs, BTEX, fuel oxygenates) pollution sources, with a special aim in the isotopic characterization of natural and induced attenuation processes.
Paleoenvironment and Paleoclimate analysis
The climate change group aims to understand geochemical systems in natural environments, to evaluate possible human impact to such systems, and to reconstruct the environmental and climatic evolution of Earth for the last 15,000 years using lacustrine sediments.
The main goal is to study the evolution of porosity in reservoir hydrocarbon rocks due to dissolution-precipitation processes in diagenetic environments. A second goal is the study of CO2-water-rock interaction, especially in carbonated reservoirs.
Mineral rock Durability
The research related to mineral and rock durability consists in studying the influence and the relationship between the mineralogical and textural properties of rocks and their mid to long-term behavior in a construction context (slopes, concrete, etc.).
The main goal is to provide tools for monitoring microbiological processes. This information is crucial for the implementation of reliable reactive transport models and for the assessment of natural or enhanced remediation of environmental pollutants. The current research line focuses on iron oxides reduction by marine microorganisms to evaluate the potential impact of submarine tailings disposal from iron oxide mines.
Isotopes applied to food authentication
The main goal of this research line is to develop isotope tools for food fraud prevention. There is the need to protect food products of high quality and cost from possible commercial fraud, by assessing their authenticity and quality: identifying the actual geographical provenance of raw materials, detecting mislabeling or characterizing dietary regime of animal byproducts. Finding a combination of robust scientific techniques for the authentication of high-quality food products would be of immense value for consumers, government agencies and the agri-food industry.