University of Alicante

The University of Alicante was created in October 1979 on the structure of the University Study Centre (CEU), which was started in 1968. Thus, Alicante recovered in this way its university studies centre that was suspended in 1834.

Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690

Electrochemical regeneration of activated carbons versus thermal regeneration

managed by University of Alicante


The research group Electrocatalysis and Polymer Electrochemistry of the University of Alicante has developed a new technology in order to regenerate activated carbons. The main advantages of this technology are: it can be used in situ and at room temperature and pressure. This technology can be used in the following industrial sectors: pharmaceutical, waste recycling, drinking water, etc. The research group is looking for companies interested in this technology for licensing agreement or technical cooperation.
The economics and feasibility of the adsorption technology on industrial scale largely depends on the reactivation and reuse of the spent activated carbon. The ideal activated carbon regeneration process involves desorption of the pollutants concentrated in the activated carbon without any modification of the initial properties of the carbon material.
Spent activated carbons are conventionally regenerated using thermal, physicochemical or biological processes; all of these processes are complex, costly and have high energy demand.
In this sense, the implementation of electroadsorption technology permits the possibility of inverting the polarization of the potential producing desorption of the contaminant and the regeneration of the activated carbon in the same system without being necessary transport activated carbon saturated. Then, the electrochemical regeneration method is an alternative technology due to its unique features such as it can be conveniently operated in situ at room temperature and pressure, with low energy consumption and with short time requirements.


• Allows regeneration of activated carbon in the same place where it is being used (in-situ regeneration), avoiding removal and transport activated carbon.
• The equipment used is simple (requires no additional handling or transport of chemicals), and provides a very economical process and easy control.
• It works at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, unlike the heat treatment, which uses temperatures between 600-1000 °C, and oxidizing or inert gases.
• The treatment can be stopped in seconds, controlling the regeneration process at different time scales.
• The regeneration efficiency is very high (85-90%).
• The energy consumption is lower than in thermal regeneration. For example, electrochemical regeneration of activated carbon saturated with phenol has an efficiency of 85%, takes place between 2-3 hours and consumes between 0.20-1.80 kWh/kg respect thermal regeneration, which consumes between 220-250 kWh/kg to obtain a similar efficiency.
• The textural properties of the original material are slightly modified.
• It enables not only activated carbon regeneration, but also to enhance the performance of adsorption process increasing the adsorption capacity of the porous material and the rate of adsorption.
• Electrochemical technology enhances performance in many aspects of currently technologies (thermal regeneration), as already described above. It is characterized by a high efficiency, sustainability and more economical than conventional technologies.
• It is therefore a real promising alternative that offers a great business opportunity in the growing market of activated carbon regeneration.




- Other Medical/Health Related.
- Chemicals and Materials.
- Pollution and Recycling Related.
- Utilities and Related Firms.

Readiness Level (TRL)

technology validated in relevant environment
"This technology has been proved in a laboratory scale, ant this prototype has been successfully used and it has been demonstrated its technical and economical feasibility. Moreover, it allows an easy scaling and controlling. The research group has an extensive experience in the field of the preparation, characterization and applications of activated carbon (especially in pollutants removal in gas and liquid phase) as well as electrochemical processes, what allows us to produce know-how necessary to design and develop this system."
(The pie chart refers to the entire portfolio contained in the database of the helpdesk)

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a method of estimating technology maturity of Critical Technology Elements (CTE) of a program during the acquisition process. The use of TRLs enables consistent, uniform, discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology.

Patent Grading Report

Patent Grading Report

The Grading Patents Report evaluates and grades US patents

Sample Buy from Wisdomain


Current status

PCT Application


Available for



Morallón Nuñez, Emilia Cazorla Amorós, Diego


Case manager: Rodriguez Roselló, Iván

EU-Japan Centre
European CommissionMeti