My students and I work on the area of Environmental Biotechnology within Environmental Engineering. The current major areas of research are (i) bioenergy, (ii) biological nutrient removal during wastewater treatment, and (iii) anaerobic digestion.
Within a multidisciplinary setting at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, my bioenergy research is related to the engineering of microorganisms to produce valuable chemicals from renewable resources such as lignin and several other agroindustrial residues.
Our research on biological nutrient removal seeks to develop new treatment processes with reduced energy requirements. We are primarily focused on the development of efficient enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) and simultaneous nitrification/denitrification under low dissolved oxygen conditions.
Research on anaerobic digestion focuses on modifying the microbial communities to improve the quality of biogas generated during methanogenesis, and on using anaerobic fermentation to gain value out of organic residues.