Our Laboratory is focusing its research on three areas :

Biological treatment of industrial effluents by free and immobilized biomass

This research area comprises two interactive topics :

  • The first one is the selection, adaptation, and stabilization of microbial consortia able to degrade different xenobiotic organic pollutants present in industrial wastewaters and waste-gases.
  • The second one is the design and development of novel treatment systems. Here we study the metabolic behavior and kinetics of the specific microbial consortia in controlled bioreactors, in particular in an immobilized state. This research also includes fundamental aspects such as mechanisms of microbial attachment to surfaces, interactions between carrier material, substrates and biomass, and mathematical modeling of the microbial processes. The composition and the dynamics of microbial consortia are investigated by molecular ecology techniques.

Bioremediation of soils and aquifers

The main objective of this research is to develop treatment technologies to remediate soils and aquifers polluted with different organic pollutants where the metabolic activity of bacteria as well as plants and their rhizosphere is used. Fundamental aspects such as characterization of the microorganisms and microbial communities involved, their molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology, as well as applied aspects such as the design of monitoring tools are investigated.

Integrated microbial processes for the treatment of solid organic wastes

Organic waste contains valuable resources such as energy. Depending on the composition of organic matter, the waste can be transformed into biogas and the residual organic matter into compost, or valuable compounds such as acetate or ethanol can be produced based on tailored fermentation processes.