Summary of the technology
Biological process to treat waste, effluents and organic by-products with industrial origin characterized by high biodegradability. This process adds value to convention-al biological treatment processes, integrating their assumptions on the concept of biorefinery, simultaneously allowing reducing and eliminating organic matter and incorporating organic components in added-value mate-rials (lipids, gases with energetic potential, volatile organic acids and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), instead of discharging as primary products to the environment. The invention aims to reduce by 96% the organic matter content of the starting substrate allowing generally meet the discharge criteria set out in the legislation.
The present technology intends to solve organic pollution problems through a change in the conventional biological treatment. This process consists in a series of stages in biological reactors operated with mixed cultures in non-sterile conditions, allowing valorizing residues, effluents and organic by-products through the production of chemical precursors (volatile organic acids) and of biodegradable polymers like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Additionally, energetically recoverable materials (methane, hydrogen and lipids usable in biodiesel production) are produced, and the gas streams generated with potential greenhouse effect (CO2) are largely sequestered by the process itself, simultaneously with the nitrogen and phosphorus that may be present in the substrates. This invention allows to handle the hydroxyvalerate content of the copolymer produced by manipulating the composition of the substrates during the acidogenic stage. In addition, the microbial culture selection strategy presented in this invention allows to obtain a culture with a high polymer accumulation capacity, robust and well adapted to organic loading shocks and seasonal variations in substrate compositions.
MATERIAL AND ENERGETIC VALORIZATION: integrated biorefinery and treatment concept.
LOW-COST PHA PRODUCTION, using mixed substrates and operated under non-sterile conditions.
FRAMED IN CIRCULAR ECONOMY CONCEPT: recycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.
HIGH OPERATIONAL ROBUSTNESS to organic load shocks and seasonality of production and composition of organic substrates.
LOW IMPLEMENTATION COMPLEXITY
The technology can be used in waste water treatment plants for treatment of residues, effluents and organic by-products of:
AGROFOOD AND BIOPLASTICS INDUSTRIES
TRL 4 – technology in prototype phase, already tested in the laboratory.
Volatile organic acids
Mixed microbial cultures
Researchers of Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) and of Aveiro Institute of Materials (CICECO) from the University of Aveiro.
Joint further development.
Adaptation to specific needs.
Testing of new applications.
The University of Aveiro seeks partners in transformation industries with high production of organic residues and companies which operate in the field of urban and industrial waste treatment.
Intellectual property status
Technology Transfer Office
Licensing Manager at uacoopera
Additional information (attached documents)