CORDIS - EU research results

Advanced Biological Waste-to-Energy Technologies

Final Report Summary - BIOWET (Advanced Biological Waste-to-Energy Technologies)

The IRSES “BioWET” project integrates a number of advanced biotechnologies for waste-to-energy conversion. It includes anaerobic digestion of wastewater and solid waste, bio-hydrogen production from industrial wastewater and direct electricity production using sediment fuel cells. As the quality of biogas/hydrogen gas produced via anaerobic processes is crucial for further utilization as a source of heat and electricity, experimental work on gas quality up-grading (CO2 sequestration and H2S removal) is included too. The project includes six research work packages and two transfer of knowledge (summer school and international workshop) work packages. Besides the research tasks, this IRSES project aims to:

1) transfer knowledge between the partners,
2) explore new research lines and
3) stimulate (knowledge for knowledge) networking via support of the mobility of early-stage and experienced researchers.

Within the project, we organized an international summer school that took place in Tampa, USA. The main topics of the summerschool were:
1) bioenergy from wastewater, solid wastes and polluted sediments,
2) analytical methods,
3) biogas and biohydrogen cleaning technologies,
4) bioenergy from waste for climate change mitigation and adaptation and
5) EU and US policies supporting bioenergy production from waste.
The presentations were given both by academic staff and by the students and can be found at

We established a project website ( and a blog page (

In the second year, we organized a mini-symposium on Advanced Biological Waste-to-Energy Technologies again at USF. At this meeting, members of BioWET (prof. Lens, dr. Yeh and dr.
Ergas) met with number of students from USF as well as MSc. student sent to USF from UNESCO-IHE (Thanh Tung Nguyen).

In 2015, we organized international woprkshop (WP8) which took place as a part of Water Environment Federation (WEF) conference Water and Energy 2015: Opportunities for Energy and Resource Recovery in the Changing World (Washington, DC, June 8 – 10, 2015, The consortium organized Session 10 on Advances in Water and Energy Research: Knowledge Exchange between Europe and the Americas. The session hosted 5 full length oral presentations and 6 short talks presenting associated posters. The full oral presentations were always presented jointly by European and American researcher both associated wit the consortium institutions and from other partners.

We were able to acquire complementary funding for the US partner (USF) to be able to send researchers to Europe. This is funded by NSF PIRE (Partnerships for International Research and Education) within project “Context Sensitive Implementations of Synergistic Water-Energy Systems”. With this project, Maureen Kinyua, an ESR of USF was able to visit ICT Prague in the period of August 2013 to April 2014 working on ammonia removal from anaerobically pre-treated sewage. Moreover, Nathan Manser was able to work at UNESCO-IHE from March through June. Nathan worked closely with Dr. van der Steen on the topic of biological nitrogen removal in a photo-sequencing batch reactor with anammox granules.

UCT Prague seconded four ESR (Lucie Krayzelova, Peter Dolejs, Natalie Anferová and Radek Vurm) who are still PhD students at UCT Prague. Lucie Krayzelova worked at USF from January through August 2013 within WP 6. Her work focused at the use of sulfide as the source of electrones for denitrification. Petr Dolejs has been seconded to USF since September 2013 till July 2014. He worked on WP 2 - the use of anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) for the treatment of domestic sewage.
The work of Petr Dolejs was complemented with the secondment of Radek Vurm, who worked from August through December 2015 in the group of dr. Daniel Yeh with anaerobic membrane reactor for sewage treatment (WP 2). He further optimize the performance of this reactor.
Natalia Anferova worked from July through December in the group of dr. Sarina Ergas on optimizing solid-state anaerobic digestion and up-grading biogas quality by desulfurization. This work combined aspects from WP4 and WP6.

Seventeen short secondments of experienced researchers took place throughout the project period (nine from Europe to US and eight from US to Europe). These visits were either coupled to co-supervision of doctoral or graduate students, lecturing or contributing to the summer school, mini-symposium or international workshop organized by the consortium.