Investigation of a Novel Biotechnological Approach to the Removal of Phosphates and Nitrates from Irish Food Industry Wastewater

Investigation of a Novel Biotechnological Approach to the Removal of Phosphates and Nitrates from Irish Food Industry Wastewater

Funding Body (EPA, FP7, etc):          Department of Agriculture and food, FIRM initiative

Project type (PhD, post-doc, etc):       Postdoctoral researcher

Period (start to end):                           January 2007

Researcher: Christina Forbes

Project Description 

The removal of inorganic phosphates and nitrates from Irish food industry wastewater prior to release into natural water bodies is essential to prevent destructive eutrophication of the latter due to inorganic nutrient accumulation.  The current project seeks to investigate a novel approach to biological nutrient removal in microbial sludge.  This process occurs during aerobic growth and is not dependent on VFA substrates and therefore offers greater potential versatility and robustness than traditional biological phosphate removal (BPR) technologies.  This study aims to characterise both the biotechnological potential of this mechanism and the microbial ecology supporting this technology for application in the remediation of nutrients from a dairy food industry wastewater stream unsuited to conventional BPR technologies.  

Publications

Hernon, F., Forbes, C., Colleran, E. (2006) Identification of mesophilic and thermophilic fermentative species in anaerobic granular sludge. Water Science and Technology 54(2): 19-24

Ryan, P., Forbes, C., Colleran, E. (2008) Investigation of the diversity of homoacetogenic bacteria in mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic sludges using the formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase gene. Water Science and Technology 57(5): 675-680

Forbes, C., O’Reilly, C., Gilleran, C., McLaughlin, L., Tuohy, M., Colleran, E. Application of high rate, high temperature anaerobic digestion to fungal thermozyme hydrolysates from carbohydrate wastes. Water Research 43(9): 2531-2539

Forbes, C.M., O’Leary, N.D., Dobson, A.D., Marchesi, J.R. The contribution of 'omic'-based approaches to the study of enhanced biological phosphorus removal microbiology. FEMS Microbial Ecology 69(1): 1-15

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork

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