The Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC) has been created for doing research of excellence focused on basic chemical sciences, but also addressed to solve specific problems of our society by using tools from the chemistry-biology interface, theoretical chemistry, chemical and biomolecular nanotechnology and sustainable chemistry. In particular, the identification of niches where our expertise can make important contributions will be systematically pursued.
IDÆA is devoted to the study of the natural and anthropogenic changes occurring in the ecosystems of the geosphere using chemical and geochemical tools. IDÆA is focussed on the changes related to climate and those involving toxicity increases for organisms and humans.
The IDÆA research activities are based on the expertise of its personnel in environmental sciences, analytical chemistry, geochemistry, hydrology and biotechnology. These researchers have a consolidated record of publication in leading scientific journals, participation in international projects, contribution to the remediation of major environmental accidents, identification of environmental problems and study of climate and global change.
Spain has specific environmental features as consequence of its climate and geographic situation. Water, either that originating from rivers or aquifers, undergoes strong reuse and intensive exploitation due to its scarcity. This aspect tends to condition the quantity and quality of water resources and requires important social and economical efforts for providing sufficient amounts of high quality water to the population. The scientific researchers of IDÆA are committed to this task. One of the main goals of the institute concerns the implementation of advanced assessment and management methods to grant the accessibility of high quality water to the population.
Another specific problem is air quality which is threatened by Saharan dust episodes as well as specific problems of urban and industrial pollution. Several researchers of IDÆA are fully involved in developing chemical and geochemical methods for air analysis as well as in participating in national and international panels for air quality improvement.
The effects of diffuse pollution on organisms and humans are also a major research topic of interest for the researchers of the institute.
IDÆA has 174 researchers grouped in the Departments of Geosciences and Environmental Chemistry. They are expert in handling these problems using sophisticated analytical instrumentation and innovative environmental and geochemical methods. Among other facilities the institute has the Laboratory of Dioxins, the one with highest consolidated professional tradition in Spain, and a large number of chromatographic and mass spectrometric instruments which support the high international standard profile of the institute.