Dr Mercedes Regadío García

BS, DEA, MS, PhD

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Marie Curie Individual Postdoctoral Fellow

m.regadio@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 5768

Full contact details

Dr Mercedes Regadío García
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Room D01
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
Sheffield
S1 3JD
Profile

Dr Mercedes Regadío obtained her PhD on “Earth Science and the Environment” in the Dept of Geology and Geochemistry, Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM, 2012), the top university in Spain (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2010-2013).

Mercedes combined her PhD (2008-12) with (1) an appointment as teaching assistant in UAM (2008-2013), (2) a MSc on Environmental Geology & Geological Resources, spec. in Hydrology & Soils, in Complutense University of Madrid (2009-2011) and (3) a Programme of Continuous Training in Higher Education, incl. a final dissertation (UAM, 2009-12).

Between 2007-2013, she studied the sorption of contaminants in landfill leachates through real underlying clayey substrata.

Afterwards, Mercedes joined the Dept of Chemistry, in the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium), a leading and renowned oldest European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU).

During this period (2014-2018), she worked on the recovery of critical metals from industrial process residues by solvometallurgical solvent extraction and leaching.

Since March 2018, Mercedes became a Marie Curie Individual Fellow (Standard EF – 2016) working on High Attenuation Recycling Materials as sustainable barriers for waste disposal sites (HARM), in the Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group, Dept of Civil and Structural Engineering (University of Sheffield, UK).

Her interests range from the attenuation of pollutants (included metals) in natural soils to immobilise them, to sorption and separation of metals to concentrate them and recover them, with a three-fold objective: the supply of critical metals, the recycling of industrial waste and the remediation of soils.

Qualifications
Publications

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Kumar NB & Regadío García M (2019) Critical and Rare Earth Elements: Recovery from Secondary Resources In Abhilash & Akcile A (Ed.), Methodologies and Developments in the Analysis of REEs (pp. 365-374). CRC Press Book (Taylor and Francis Group) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Theses / Dissertations

Grants
Professional activities
  • 2014-18 Postdoctoral fellow, KU Leuven; a leading, old and renowned European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU)
  • Jun 2015 Positive evaluation of the teaching and research activity to be eligible as a PROFESOR CONTRATADO DOCTOR (Associate Professor) by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA). Reference 2015-371 in free university and ref. 2015-372 in paying university
  • Feb 2013 Positive evaluation of the teaching and research activity to be eligible as a PROFESOR AYUDANTE DOCTOR (Assistant Professor) by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA). Reference 2012/09225
  • Mar 2012 Mention of European Doctor, from the Spanish Ministry of Education. Success rate: 15%
  • 2009-10 General Education Scholarship to postgraduate students, from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture. Success rate: 9.3%. Free tuitions
  • Nov 2008 Appointment (5 yrs) of Teaching Assistant (ref. 0810-177) from the Autonomous University of Madrid (the top university in Spain, Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2012). Success rate: 17%
  • Nov 2008 Appointment (4 yrs) of PhD research fellowship (Training Program for Researchers, FPI, ref. BES-2008-009995) from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Success rate: 28%. Renounced for accepted the position of Teaching Assistant
  • 2001-02 General Education Scholarship to undergraduate students, from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture
Current research

Experimental development of high attenuation barrier systems for landfill sites, using recycled waste materials as additives to clays, with the objective to mitigate pollutant releases to groundwater.

The project HARM is about recycling industrial process residues as materials to build affordable landfill barriers.

Landfills produce a toxic liquid that percolates downwards. This black and smelly liquid can pollute the surrounding areas; representing a groundwater risk. For that reason, landfill barriers that stop the migration of leachate pollutants are required.

Compacted clays are normally used as natural geological barriers in landfills. However, clays suffer from volume changes due to hydration, causing engineering problems. If mixing clays with industrial process residues, one could stabilize clayey barriers and improve the attenuation of landfill leachates.

It will also save natural resources and add value to a product with currently no market value. The masonry waste (from building, reparation and demolition of houses) and remained unburned bottom ash (from renewable biomass power plants) are increasingly produced due to the increase in population and the advance in technology.

Both industrial process residues are classified as non-hazardous waste and, thus, safe to use in clayey landfill barriers (water percolation tests at L/S = 10 European standard NBN EN CEN/TS 14405:2004). In the Dept of Civil and Structural Engineering, we are testing the attenuation of landfill leachate with different waste/clay mixtures.

The most appropriate composition of the barrier will be selected after modelling leachate pollution transport over >100 yrs. For that, two reactive transport models will be used: first, a geotechnical centrifuge (experimental model) and, afterwards, a numerical software (theoretical model).

This approach is very novel because the retention of leachate pollutants is still unproven under the long-term and conditions similar to reality. The outcomes of the project will provide an effective and more environmentally sustainable basis to control landfill pollution risks and ensure environmental protection, especially in low-income countries