Valorisation of end of use biomass

Researchers involved
Maurizio Bettiga, Docent-Researcher
Valeria Mapelli, Project Leader
Nikolaos Xafenias, Post Doc
Helén Olsson, Research Engineer

For the realization of an efficient and sustainable biorefinery, the concept of biomass cascading muss be applied. Different component of the raw material are used in different process steps. At the end of the process cascade, process streams such as high carbon content wastewaters have to be treated before being released to the environment.

Our research on this area focuses on Anaerobic Digestion and Bioelectrochemical systems

End of use biomass streams can be valorized with suitable technology, such as anaerobic digestion and treatment through bioelectrochemical systems.

Integration of a final anaerobic digestion step into a biorefinery can be considered almost as a default option. The organic loading of the waste streams is reduced and an energy carrier (methane) is produced. Similarly, bioelectrochemical systems have the capacity of extracting carbon and energy from diluted streams, allowing to produce added value chemicals or fuels. Finally, besides carbon-containing compounds other chemicals such as the soil nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous can be recovered.

Our projects currently focus on enhancing the methane yield of anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic materials and on developing bioelectrochemical systems approaches for the synthesis of added value chemicals from waste streams.


Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for sustainable industrial production
Researchers: Nikolaos Xafenias, Valeria Mapelli
In this project we are feeding bacteria with electricity, wastewater and carbon dioxide, to produce valuable products needed in industrial applications.

Published: Fri 05 Jun 2015. Modified: Thu 08 Dec 2016