You are here: Home / ProcESS / Rafael M. Santos

Rafael M. Santos

Rafael M. Santos
Ph.D. candidate

Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems
Department of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Willem de Croylaan 46 - bus 02423
B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)
Office: 02.07 
Tel:     +32 16 322350

  • 2010-2013:  Doctor of Engineering, PhD (Chemical Engineering), KU Leuven, Belgium.),
  • 2007 – 2009: Research Engineer, Vale Inco, Canada.
  • 2006 – 2007: Master of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering), University of Toronto, Canada.
  • 2004 – 2006: Research Engineer, Zenon Environmental, Canada.
  • 2000 – 2004: Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering), University of Toronto, Canada.

Research interests

This postdoctoral project aims to elucidate the properties that make certain precipitated calcium carbonates (PCC’s) attractive for papermaking applications, and demonstrate how to achieve these using sonochemical, waste-derived and nanotechnological synthesis routes. PCC’s produced at the KU Leuven, as well as those supplied by the collaborating partners, will be tested as paper fillers or paper coating pigments, with their effects, due to different morphological and optical properties, being assessed and compared to commercial PCC varieties.
This research is expected to bring novel technological developments and improve fundamental understanding in the areas of PCC synthesis and application thereof in papermaking. More specifically, the findings will be useful for informing researchers working on PCC production for the purposes of carbon capture and waste valorization on the product requirements. This is important as currently most researchers are focussing on production yield rather than properties, and as a result many produced PCC’s are not suitable for their intended applications.



  • Process intensification
  • Mineral carbonation
  • Waste valorisation
  • Heavy metals leaching
  • Environmental remediation
  • Bioleaching
  • Ultrasound

Selected publications

Selected conference contributions

  • Bodor, M., Santos, R.M., Kriskova, L., Balta, S., Vlad, M., Van Gerven, T. (2012). Minerals Synthesis for Detailed Analysis of Steel Slag Carbonation Process. International Conference on Casting, From Rigor of Technique, To Art. Galati, Romania, 18-19 May 2012.
  • Santos, R.M., Ling, D., Guo, M., Blanpain, B., Van Gerven, T. (2011). Valorisation of thermal residues by intensified mineral carbonation. Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Waste Processing and Recycling in Mineral and Metallurgical Industries. Conference of Metallurgists (COM 2011). Montreal, Canada, 2-5 October 2011 ( 47189).
  • more...