António Ferreira graduated in Industrial Chemistry by the University of Beira Interior in 2001 and completed a PhD degree in Chemical and Biological engineering by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto in 2008. The phenomenological characterization of impurities transfer to crystals during the crystallization process was the PhD main subject. This study was performed in laboratory and pilot scale. The pilot runs were performed at Audubon Sugar Institute in United States of America in cooperation with the industry. The major achievements obtained in this research were the identification and control of the different variables that are related with the impurity inclusion in the crystal lattice. In this project an on-line image analyse technique was also developed and used for the first time in crystallization runs in order to characterize the crystals (size, shape, agglomeration degree, etc). This technique has been gaining a considerable attention from the scientific community as well as from the industry. At the moment the image analyse technique has been used as an analytical tool for solids, bubbles, and drops characterization. Different analyses have been performed for chemical, pharmaceutical and bio industries. Some pharmaceutical industries are exploring the use of this technique in their analytical and control laboratories.
After obtained his PhD degree A. Ferreira started to work at CENTI (centre for nanotechnology and smart materials) as researcher, where consolidated his knowledge in project development. At CENTI A. Ferreira participated in the preparation, justification and submission of different projects to national (QREN) and international (FP7) programs. The national projects developed were all approved. These projects had an eligible investment of 1.43 million euros with an incentive of 761 thousand euros of which 344 thousand euros related to the project where A. Ferreira was the principal investigator, at CENTI.
At the end of 2008 A. Ferreira started his Post Doc in bioreactors optimization. The aim of this project was to explore and optimize the hydrodynamic and mass transfer process in different bioreactors (bubble column, air-lift and oscillatory baffle reactors), operating with multiphase systems. The main achievement of this study was an improved apparatus for mixing intensification of multiphase systems, which can operate in continuous or batch mode. Due to its characteristics reagent requirements and waste are significantly reduced, as well as the operating costs, compared to the common reactors, like continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and the “conventional” oscillatory flow mixing (OFR). Two patents associated to this novel apparatus are under evaluation process. This technology has been explored for continuous crystallization of different compounds, as proteins, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), among others.
In the period of 2009 to 2012, in parallel with his Post-Doc research, Ferreira worked as lecturer of chemistry and organic chemistry at Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto with a score of 4 in 5.
Ferreira is actually Research fellow at LEPABE-FEUP being responsible for several protocols established with the industry and research groups in the areas of crystallization and multiphase reactors.
Ferreira published 3 book chapter, 26 papers in international peer review journals with an accumulated impact factor of 50 with over 250 citations and an h-index of 9. Seven papers were published in two of the top 10 journals in chemical engineering field.
Since his PhD, Ferreira completed the co-supervision of 1 Post-Doc, 1 PhD student, 6 Master students, and 4 foreign students from different programs. At the moment is co-supervisor of 1 Post-Doc.
During his career Ferreira got different recognitions and awards, like: best student award – University of Beira Interior (2001); PhD fellowship - FCT (2003); Post-Doc fellowship – FCT (2008, 2014); and Frank Chapman Memorial Award - Sugar Ind. Tech. (2012). Ferreira belonged to the International Organizing Committee of the GLS10 where was also chairman.