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Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology

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Complex organic matter and bioprocess engineering (MaXIP)

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The ‘MaXIP’ Team gathers scientists and technicians from different fields (Microbial Engineering, Process Engineering) with a common goal: qualify the complex and diverse organic matter and optimize its bioconversion into various services rendered.

In the global context of an environmental biorefinery, the various services rendered can be divided as follows:

  • Treatment of residual organic matters, associated nutrients (N and P) and organic contaminants,
  • Production of energy vectors: CH4, H2, biohythane,
  • Production of organic amendments and fertilizers,
  • Production of biomolecules.

We propose a targeted characterization of the complex organic matter encountered in waste valorization management, based on a combination of specific methodologies (i.e. fractionation, spectral techniques, biodegradation tests…). Moreover, the evaluation of the biodegradability and bioavailability of these wastes is also taken into account, by considering both the process inlets (liquid and solid organic matter) and outlets (e.g., digestates…).

Research in bioprocess engineering is also conducted, to identify the key mechanisms involved in targeted processes (i.e. anaerobic digesters, pretreatments, bioelectrochemical processes or autotrophic/heterotrophic systems for microalgae culture) and its relation with the biochemical and the physical structure of organic materials. The final objective is to propose multiple ways to optimize waste streams by integrating pretreatment/co-treatment processes, an active management of bioprocesses (codigestion, abiotic parameters) or process coupling. The global scientific approach combines a systemic procedure to analyse biotic and abiotic processes and a bottom-up approach (reverse engineering) to identify the impact of substrate characteristic and the operating conditions of the bioprocess on the valorization of both energy and matter.

More information on some research questions of the ‘MaXIP” is given through the links below:

  • Characterisation to predict the biodegradability and the bioconversion potentials of organic matters
  • Bioremediation of organic contaminants
  • Pretreatments to modify the biodegradability and bioavailability of organic matter and the associated organic contaminants
  • High-solid anaerobic digesters
  • Bioprocesses for the production of bioH2 and/or platform molecules
  • Bioelectrochemical processes
  • Autotrophic/heterotrophic systems for microalgae culture.