The EcoDesign MBR centre is a multidisciplinary scientific and engineering collaboration developing the next generation of MBR technologies in order to deliver environmental biotechnological solutions. The four main research areas are as follows:
EcoDesign MBR Research areas
Research area 1: Ecological design of microbial populations facilitating enhanced biological phosphorus removal/recovery
Principal investigator: Per Halkjær Nielsen (Section of Biotechnology, AAU)
The aim is the establishment of a comprehensive ecosystem model for the P-removing community. The focus is on the identification and characterization of bacteria involved in biological P-removal and development of a metabolic models. Also, identification of key factors needed for selection of desired populations, to guide development of operational principles for full-scale optimization of P-removal in MBR reactors.
Research area 3: Enrichment and management of nitritation/anammox communities for autotrophic removal of nitrogen in an MBR.
Principal investigator: Barth F. Smets (Department of Environmental Engineering, DTU)
The aim is to identify and characterize communities involved in the autotrophic N removal. The starting point is the N conversion pathways under steady-state and dynamic conditions both at the gene expression level and metabolic level. Also identification of core organisms involved in aggregate extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) is of interest. The management of community architecture, composition, and activity is desired to establish a robust and long-term stable MBR process for autotrophic N removal to validate operational strategies.
Research area 2: Ecological design of microbial populations for detoxification of organic micropollutants
Principal investigator: Jeppe Lund Nielsen (Section of Biotechnology, AAU)
The aim is to identify microorganisms capable of degrading specific micropollutants and to characterize their ecophysiology in MBR systems. Also to develop operational principles for a stable and efficient removal of mircopollutants.
Research area 4: Control of fouling in MBR reactors
Principal investigator: Morten Lykkegaard Christensen, (Section of Chemistry, AAU)
The aim is to study the nature of fouling according to the physiochemical properties of the fouling layer and the foulants. Additional knowledge on the extent of fouling, the microbial populations involved, different membrane types and the hydrodynamics of the reactors. Also the development of a mathematical model describing these parameters and relating fouling extent to operational parameters is needed.