The University of Almería (UAL – http://www.ual.es) is a research-education oriented public university founded in 1993. It is a non-profit organization and currently offers 34 degrees, 35 masters and 14 PhD programs. The University of Almería employs more than 1,300 people, including 854 teaching and research staff. As of present day, UAL has more than 14,000 students, of whom 600 are doctorate students. A total of 13 departments and 135 research groups are devoted to research and training. In addition to the research work of the departments, the UAL has 8 research institutes.
The research institute associated with ALCHEMIA project is the Solar Energy Research Center (CIESOL – http://www.ciesol.es). CIESOL is a joint research establishment, founded and managed according to an agreement signed in April 2005 between the University of Almeria and the Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT) at the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. In operation since January 2006, CIESOL is located on the northern side of the University of Almería campus and was built using bioclimatic standards while its design is aimed at efficient energy use.
The building and its energy infrastructure were funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Andalusian Regional Government and the ARFRISOL Project (National Research Project of Singular and Strategic Nature on bioclimatic architecture and Solar Cooling).
Currently, 57 researchers (34 doctors), from the UAL and CIEMAT, carry out their collaborative activities in the center, 28 of them working full-time. Since 2006 these activities have been linked to more than 192 projects and contracts with companies, both national and international, 10 of them European Union projects. The scientific production of CIESOL researchers has culminated in more than 600 SCI articles, 41 Doctoral Theses, 12 registered patents, as well as more than 400 presentations at national and international conferences.
CIESOL has 6 functional units engaged in research and technology transfer activities in the field of solar energy applications concerning: organometallics and photochemistry, water treatment, environmental chemistry, photosynthesis and desalination, modelling and automatic control of solar systems, home automation for energy efficiency, as well as solar cooling and solar resources assessment.
The Water Treatment unit is the one involved in the ALCHEMIA proposal. Currently, its main line of research is focused on the removal of micropollutants and disinfection of water using advanced oxidation processes based on solar technologies such as photo-Fenton.