10 años Energylab


Energylab Área Bioenergía


Anaerobic digestion and dark fermentation: biogas and biohydrogen

Carrying out projects aimed at optimizing the process, highlighting the following sublines of work:

  • Pre-treatments oriented to the characteristics of each waste to improve its biodegradability and inoculum.
  • Evaluation of codigestion, through characterization and analysis of synergistic mixtures.
  • Development and evaluation of new digester designs.
  • Systems monitoring and control tools and evaluation of operational conditions.
  • Valorization of outflow streams: recovery of nutrients through the use of hydrophobic membranes, biological systems or wetlands. It also includes post-treatments (composting) and the determination of its capacity as a biofertilizer. Evaluation and conversion of VFAs: conversion into other value-added compounds.

Gasification and thermochemical valorization: syngas and hydrogen

Evaluation and development of processes aimed at obtaining gaseous streams with energy interest from biomass of different origin.

  • Study of pretreatment of materials and use of additives.
  • Direct gasification of residual biomass (organic sludge, agroforestry waste, etc).
  • Gasification combined with “water gas shift – WGS” or with “sorption enhanced water gas shift – SEWGS” to obtain hydrogen. Study of catalysts and hybrid systems (adsorbent+catalyst) to carry out the reaction.
  • Pyrolysis and use of byproducts (biochar.

Treatment and valorization of gaseous streams

Research focused on the application and uses of gases with energy potential: biogas, syngas, methane, hydrogen.

  • Cleaning systems: new adsorbents for the capture of compounds such as H2S.
  • Gas mixture purification systems:
    • conversion through biological methanation by hydrogenotrophic archaea: power to gas concept.
    • CO2 capture: adsorption/absorption with different materials, purification through cultivation and growth of microalgae.
    • membrane and PSA technologies for other mixtures.
  • Transformation into thermal and electrical energy: thermochemical valorization: combined combustion with microcogeneration (organic Rankine cycle – ORC).
  • Conversion into other value-added compounds and carrier liquids: methanol and ammonia.


Digital Industry - Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Development of advanced data analysis projects in the field of the implementation of energy efficiency measures for their use in the deployment of expert systems based on massive data processing techniques (using sensors at consumption points and significant variables), to improving energy efficiency in all industrial sectors.

Through the use of disruptive technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, mechatronic sensors and actuators or the Virtual Twin, we develop predictive mathematical models, adapt energy-consuming systems to their optimal operating point, reduce the gap between forecasted and actual consumption based on the use of statistical models, searches for correlations between energy and production parameters, identifies inefficiencies, prescribes actions to correct them and improves the energy efficiency of industrial equipment and processes.

Advanced mathematical modeling and simulation applied to the environment

Development of projects focused on the mitigation of climate change through the application of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, for the extraction and use of useful information from DB (satellite, government, meteorological, etc…), for the generation of predictive models, development of specific software tools and process optimization in the following areas:

  • Agricultural and forestry management
  • Air and water qualitya
  • Sustainability
  • Renewable energy
  • Emergency management and safety of natural disasters (floods, forest fires, etc.)

Industrial thermal efficiency

Study, analysis and development of technical solutions for the recovery of medium and low temperature heat in new facilities and existing processes, either for direct thermal use (plate exchangers, heat pump) or for renewable energy generation (Rankine cycle Organic – ORC, Peltier, Stirling engine, …).

Characterization of the existing energy potential through field measurements and laboratory tests, energy parameterization and modeling, energy simulation of thermal processes, design of energy recovery systems and verification of energy savings.

Application to the optimization of heat recovery in specific systems such as industrial cogenerations (improvement of equivalent electrical performance), mechanical compression equipment (refrigeration systems and air compressors), heat recovery from evaporative condensers, industrial ovens and other intensive thermal processes.

Energylab Área Edificación

Urban Ecosystems

Positive Energy Buildings and Districts

Development of comprehensive strategies (building, facilities, renewable energy, management systems) for the decarbonization of cities and the achievement of PEB buildings, that is, buildings that produce more energy than they consume, thanks to sustainable construction and generating systems of clean energy. The main lines of research are:

  • Hybridization of renewable energy production systems.
  • Urban District Heating & Cooling systems.
  • Energy storage and self-consumption systems.
  • High-efficiency Cogeneration Systems.
  • Thermal storage in phase change materials (PCM).
  • New solutions and construction materials.
  • Vernacular architecture strategies based on the building-climate interaction.
  • Building thermal resilience.
  • Advanced modeling and simulation of PEBs and development of pilot projects.
  • Indoor air quality.
  • Residential hydrogen generation and consumption systems.

Energy communities - Intelligent management systems

EnergyLab’s main lines of research in the environment of energy communities focus on the development of:

  • New management systems focused on the active control and monitoring of energy communities, both in the generation systems and the accumulation and demand of electrical and/or thermal energy from consuming facilities, with the aim of optimizing management and production.
  • Management tools focused on the governance and administration of the energy community itself.
  • Specific software for the implementation of intelligent DSF (Demand Side Flexibility) strategies.
  • Renewable District Heating & Cooling (DH&C) systems.

Optimization of renewable thermal generation systems

Improvement of the energy performance of air conditioning and DHW production equipment based on electrically driven heat pump technology, through the following lines of work:

  • New refrigerants.
  • Use of sensible heat from refrigerant gas and residual heat.
  • Improvement of the energy efficiency of compressors.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase energy efficiency and optimize the generation of thermal energy through the development and adaptation of regulation and control algorithms (such as GA, ANN, SVM), taking into account the most critical variables of the process (parameters of operation, refrigeration circuit expansion device, integration of renewable systems for electrical generation to drive the compressor and other consumption, etc.).
  • Production of thermal energy at high temperature.
  • Hybridization with other renewable thermal generation systems.

Energy storage systems

Use and improvement in the management of renewable energy generation sources through their transformation and conservation for subsequent use in air conditioning systems:

  • Diabatic and adiabatic compressed air systems (CAES – Compressed Air Energy Storage).
  • Batteries and other electrochemical systems.
  • Molten salts and oils with high calorific capacities that store sensible heat by increasing or decreasing their temperature.
  • PCM (phase change material) or phase change materials, which store latent heat to transfer the energy absorbed or released during their phase change.

Energy Technologies

Hydrogen production by electrochemical route

Research in the field of green hydrogen generation through electrochemical processes using different technologies for its production.

  • Analysis in the construction, characterization and optimization of materials for low temperature electrolyzers (AEM/PEM) improving composite ion exchange membranes, improving electrodes and reducing the Balance of Plant (BOP).
  • Study of high temperature solid oxide electrolyzers (SOEC). Production, microstructural, textural and electrochemical characterization of complex ceramics used in energy applications.

Storage, transportation, distribution of hydrogen and other renewable gases

Development of projects in the field of necessary infrastructures:

  • Use of existing networks.
  • Evaluation of mixtures (blending) and their impact on consumers.
  • Hydrogen permeability tests on materials. Study of mechanical stress in components of the transportation and distribution network.
  • Gas mixture separation systems: PSA, membranes.
  • Distribution and dispensing systems: hydrogen stations, HRS (Hydrogen Refueling Station) and gas stations.
  • Fluid dynamic simulation of accumulation systems.
  • Normative and regulatory development.
  • Network injection.

Uses of hydrogen, methanol, ammonia and other renewable gases as alternative fuels and integration into hybrid propulsion systems

Carrying out projects aimed at:

  • Uses of renewable gases as fuel and their impact on mobility.
  • Hybrid propulsion systems: renewable gases combined in internal combustion engines.
  • Production of methanol and ammonia (hydrogen carriers).
  • Application of methanol and ammonia as fuels.
  • Fuel cells: use of the vector in power generation. Design, assembly and testing of fuel cells of different technologies.

    Circular Economy


    Life Cycle Analysis and Ecodesign

    Development of projects based on eco-innovation and the circular economy, with particular attention to the areas and applications considered key in the European Circular Economy Strategy, such as food waste, plastics, buildings, critical raw materials, etc.

    Study of value chains and production models for the transformation of linear models towards the green and circular economy.

    Design of products with environmental criteria to avoid or reduce their environmental impact before they are put on the market and at all stages of their useful life.

    Support in the regulatory development of European public policies regarding the green economy and resource use (Green Deal, Circular Economy Action Plan, etc.).

    Digitization of processes and development of environmental management tools

    Design of measurement, monitoring and follow-up procedures for circular economy, energy efficiency and industrial sustainability strategies using specific indicators appropriate to specific processes and economic sectors.

    Standardization of procedures through the development of tools for the quantification, control and communication of environmental impacts.

    Optimization of processes and activities from the point of view of energy and environmental efficiency, through the design and implementation of analysis and continuous improvement processes, management plans or integration of artificial intelligence systems.

    Development of strategies and implementation of digital sustainability systems to guarantee the development and implementation of digital technologies in accordance with the objectives and requirements established for the ecological and energy transition at the European level.

    Innovation in production models, circular strategies and industrial symbiosis

    Development of projects based on industrial symbiosis, the creation of markets for secondary raw materials and the promotion of prevention, reduction, repair, reuse and recycling strategies of products and materials related to key sectors, such as renewable energy, transport or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

    Analysis and validation of new technologies for the use of waste or secondary raw materials.

    Sustainability study of resource use strategies in the field of bioeconomy and energy transition.

    Strategic collaboration with industrial sectors for the implementation of new technologies and innovative processes in terms of sustainability.