Close

News

September 12, 2019
Alba, a tool to tackle challenges in the fields of renewable energy production and fight against air pollution
Perovskites materials are promising candidates for next generation solar cells. However, their use is still limited by their instability within ambient conditions. An international team of scientists, led by a group from KU Leuven in Belgium, have shone a light on this problem developing a new method to stabilize the black form introducing strain into the perovskite thin film using the glass substrate on which it sits. Synchrotron-based techniques at the ALBA Synchrotron (NCD-SWEET beam line) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble (France) were crucial for obtaining these results, published in July in the prestigious magazine Science.

Another recently published article tackles the problem of pollution sensors. The increasing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their resulting impact on air and water quality has become one of the major environmental concerns of our age. Researchers at IMDEA Nanociencia (Madrid) have developed an easily-made coordination polymer as an acetonitrile chemical sensor with a simple electro-optical readout (acetonitrile is primary used as an organic solvent). The studies have been carried out with synchrotron light techniques at the XALOC beam line in ALBA and also at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley (USA).

These research works are two recent examples, among others, of Alba’s contribution to tackle key society challenges. Another way to improve society consists in giving companies answers to their technology challenges. In that sense, Alba regularly invites delegations to discover how a synchrotron can help solve industrial issues. The last meeting was in July with a delegation of the Spanish Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SEQC) that could discover the different applications Alba offers in cosmetics such as skin structural investigations, analysis of skin penetration of compounds or structural characterizations of end cosmetic products.
 
July 24, 2019
Port de Barcelona will have a rolling highway terminal
Last week, the Catalan Ministry of Territory and Sustainability, via the public company CIMALSA, signed an agreement with VIIA (SNCF Mobilités French group) to carry out the project for the construction and the operation of the Port de Barcelona rolling highway terminal. That terminal will provide 8 daily connections and will be open to any operator.

With this promising alternative to road to connect Port de Barcelona to Europe, the new infrastructure will strengthen Port’s capacities and will offer companies settled in Barcelona an additional differential element of competitiveness.

Today, Port de Barcelona is the top Spanish port in terms of passengers (more than 3 million in 2018), ahead of Balearic Islands, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife ports. Regarding goods transport, the Catalan capital’s port ranks 3rd after Algeciras and Valencia with 67.8 million tons transported in 2018, 10.6% more than in 2017.

The accompanying image shows how Port de Barcelona was just one year after the creation of the entity in 1869: from 70 hectares at that time to the 1,300 hectares currently used, the evolution is significant and Port de Barcelona deserves to celebrate its 150 anniversary!

Congratulations!
 
July 04, 2019
New software to promote urban district heating and cooling networks
Thanks to its experience in the field of district heating and cooling, the Barcelona Synchrotron Park participated to the previous stress test phase of a new software officially launched last month that aims at identifying the most feasible, environmentally and economically desirable options for urban heating and cooling networks
 
This free, user-friendly, state-of-the-art energy system mapping and modelling online software is tailored to support local authorities and key local energy planners to find the best network solutions, and which buildings to serve, out of hundreds of possible heating and cooling network options.
 
The open-source software has been developed by the EU-funded research project THERMOS and is tailored to meet cities’ key conditions and case-specific requirements.

The Barcelona Synchrotron Park will now use the software in order to identify the potential options to extend the network already operative in the business area to the future neighbouring area.

Step-by-step demonstration video here
Contact in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park: Carlos Dapena
 
June 07, 2019
Biodiversity in danger: Barcelona Synchrotron Park’s actions
Describing nature’s decline as unprecedented and citing among many indicators, 1,000,000 species threatened with extinction, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) laid bare the threats to all life on earth in its Global Assessement Report, released at UNESCO headquarters in May.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay says the report put the world on notice. “Following the adoption of this historic report, no one will be able to claim that they did not know. We can no longer continue to destroy the diversity of life. This is our responsibility towards future generations,” she said. “This report reminds us of the urgent need to act for biodiversity, our global environmental heritage. We can and must all mobilize, urgently and together, to save our planet and thus humanity. Protecting biodiversity is as vital as fighting climate change.”

Indeed, the Park, awarded by the EU Business & Biodiversity label, has already carried out different actions in this field: a reserve of space for the one kilometre wide green corridor, permeability of road infrastructures, creation of shelters to promote birds and other fauna to control pests, naturalised drainage systems (green ditches) or agreements with farmers to promote biodiversity-suited dry croplands in the green corridor and on undeveloped plots.

The BSP’s global action program designed to enhance its green infrastructure and support biodiversity can be downloaded here.
 
May 28, 2019
The UAB ranks first according to the CYD Foundation
The CYD Foundation recently presented the results of the sixth edition of its CYD Ranking, the ranking which evaluates the greatest number of universities in Spain (73 over 81). This foundation aims mainly to analyse and foster the contribution of universities to the economic and social development of Spain, as well as to broaden the ties between universities and businesses.

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), our partner, obtains the maximum score possible in 29 (five more than last year) of the 36 ranking indicators and is this year's top university, followed by the Autonomous University of Madrid and the University of Navarra.

The ranking divides these indicators into five "dimensions": teaching and learning, research, international orientation, contribution to regional development, and knowledge transfer.

Of the nine indicators evaluated in teaching and learning, the UAB obtained a top score in seven. In research, the UAB obtained the highest score in 8 of the 9 indicators analysed. Five out of six of the international orientation indicators also elevate the UAB to the top performance group. The UAB also obtained a maximum score in 2 of the 4 indicators in contribution to regional development.

Finally we want to point out the very good results obtained in knowledge transfer that for our Park, is particularly relevant. The UAB receives actually the highest score in seven of the eight indicators evaluated: private funding, publications in private enterprises, patents per lecturer, income per licence, spin-offs, cited patent publications and income for continuous training.

Congratulations!

 
May 23, 2019
Alba: open day, workshop and last results
On Saturday 29th of June 2019, from 09:00 to 19:00, the ALBA Synchrotron celebrates its Open Day. Visitors can explore the facility and discover its applications, as well as participate in hands-on experiments and activities for all ages.

But Alba also invites companies to explain its potential: on next May 31, ALBA organizes a workshop dedicated to the polymer industry: ALBA allows obtaining nanoscopic information of polymers such as plastics, adhesives, materials for 3D printing and biomedicine, etc. (free egistration here).

Let’s take advantage of this news to highlight, among many, two examples of the latest results that Alba allows to obtain, one taken in the health sector and another in the energy/materials sector:
  • An international collaboration led by Idibell describes in Nature Communications a new muscular disease caused by a mutation. Thanks to ALBA MIRAS beamline, researchers could demonstrate the presence of oxidized lipids in the damaged muscle cells.
  • On the other hand, in an international research work published in Advanced Energy Materials, MSPD and CLAESS ALBA beam lines contributed to better understand the synthesis of new materials designed for the next generation of lithium ion batteries by determining the structural and chemical changes.
1 2 3 4 5 6