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Recovering carbon from contaminated matrices by exploiting the nitrogen and sulphur cycles

Project description

Novel treatment technologies recover added-value products from waste treatment facilities

Waste and wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse not only help mitigate adverse environmental impacts, but also contribute to alleviating water scarcity and fostering more sustainable resource management. So far, recovery of resources from wastes is limited. Funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, the aim of RECYCLES is to simultaneously recover energy and several organic and inorganic added-value products – carbon, nitrogen and sulfur – out of liquid and gaseous effluents by integrating novel bioreactor configurations. The project brings together researchers from different fields including environmental chemistry, bioinformatics and mathematics, as well as companies specialised in reactor design and construction. The proposed technology will represent a paradigmatic shift in waste and wastewater management, and will be well aligned with circular economy principles.


The objective of the project is to exploit the integration of the carbon, nitrogen and suflur cycles in bioreactors to design optimal treatment trains to recover added-value products out of liquid and gaseous effluents. The strategy will be to combine interdisciplinary approaches to:

- investigate innovative unit processes based on partial nitrification for nitrogen recycle, autotrophic denitrification for biosulfur recovery and multienzyme-based bioreactors for CO2 valorization;
- apply technologies that are novel in this field such as moving bed bioreactors, membrane biofilm reactors and enzimatic reactors
- combine biological processes in to innovative treatment trains for wastewater treatment and biogas upgrading.

The topic will be addressed from the point of view of circular economy by exploring the potential synergies of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycles in wastewater and biogas treatment trains to reduce treament costs and to te increase production of added-value products. From a methodological point of view, the project targets the improvement of existing knowledge of innovative technologies based on immobilized biocatalysts as well as the demonstration of the viability of innovative treatment trains at in-silico, lab- and pilot-scale levels.

The project is interdisciplinary and intersectorial; in fact, the research teams involved include environmental and chemical engineers, biologists and bioinformatics and mathematical modellers, while the companies are complementary being specialised in reactors design and construction and in bioprocess design and control. Finally, the involvement of the industry will allow to receive feedbacks on the solutions needed from pilot case studies using real effluents and to effectively translate novel scientific outcomes into suitable technologies.


Net EU contribution
€ 395 600,00
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 395 600,00

Participants (4)

Partners (3)