Hausmann and IQS create a new water purification system during the process of obtaining food aromas.

It is an adsorbent based on graphene oxide, an innovative technique in this field, which allows reducing the impact of olfactory residues in the production of aromas for food or cosmetics, which, although not dangerous, generate bad smells.

The Catalan company Hausmann and the Sarrià Chemical Institute (IQS), through the GEMAT group, have created a new water purification system used in the process of obtaining aromas based on graphene oxide. Although this residue does not pose a danger to human health or the environment, it generates bad odors that the consortium believes can be reduced with this innovative system.

For this project, Hausmann and IQS (a center with the TECNIO seal) have received a grant of 163,000 euros under the INNOTEC program from ACCIÓ, the agency for business competitiveness of the Department of Business and Employment. This funding scheme covers up to 70% of the cost of R&D projects developed between Catalan SMEs and TECNIO research groups.

As explained by the technical director of Hausmann, José María Bueno, 'the objective is to find another use for the water used during the process of obtaining aromas, cleaning it as much as possible, in order to revalue this resource, which, for example, can be used for irrigation.' According to Bueno, 'different systems have been used so far, but what we can achieve with graphene is the most efficient because we know it has the capacity to adsorb gases and liquids.

On the other hand, Dr. Carlos Colominas from IQS points out that the group works 'to modify graphene so that it is efficient in adsorbing the compounds present in these waters during the aroma extraction process.' However, Colominas emphasizes that 'absolute zero does not exist regarding the elimination of aromas, but the goal is to reduce the residual level, the bad odors.' 'It's not about toxic contamination, but olfactory impact, an odor that is controlled,' he states.

Currently, the project is in the pilot phase, and the working group is testing its efficiency in the laboratory with the intention of bringing it to the market. In fact, it will be Hausmann who will use this system once validated, as the company specializes in the production of aromas and plant extracts for sectors such as food or cosmetics, among others.

Hausmann, a family-owned company currently managed by the third generation, has over 60 years of experience and around fifty employees. The company is currently located in Sant Andreu de la Barca, but will soon relocate its facilities to Abrera, where it will have a new 1000m2 research center.

On the other hand, IQS is working on this project through its Materials Engineering Group (GEMAT). In fact, the study of compounds derived from graphene is a research line that the group has been working on in recent months. Finally, the consulting firm FGT and Associates is also involved in the project, responsible for accompanying the entire research process.


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