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Environmental Biotechnology

The environmental biotechnology research focus is on resource recovery, organic waste and water treatment, combined with biofilm research.


Environmental Biotechnology is a joint research activity at University College of Southeast Norway and the research institute Tel-Tek, directed by Professor PhD Rune Bakke. International activities include cooperation with: University of Moratuwa, Sri LankaHuazhong University of Science and Technology, China; Harbin Institute of Technology, China. Laboratory facilities include: Biogas and Water treatment.

Fundamental research

Fundamental research activities include:

Studying suspended and fixed biological aggregates

  • Transport phenomena, chemistry, biology, ecology, mathematical modelling

Suspended and fixed biological aggregates are studied as an important support for our applied research. We regard transport phenomena, chemistry, biology, ecology and mathematical modelling as the most important disciplines to be applied to get a better grasp of the fundamental mechanisms involved in bioreactors and in the aquatic environment.

Applied research acitivities include:

  • Biogas research http://eng.tel-tek.no/Energy/Biogas
  • Monitoring: Samples, sensors, etc. related to bioreactors, biogas and water treatment processes
  • Biofouling: Industrial and medical biofouling, focused on how biofilms form and behave, and how they can be influenced, limited, removed and monitored
  • Ecology: How we can develop and improve technology to make society more sustainable, as well as studying and optimizing treatment processes to improve the ecology of aquatic environments
  • Pollution treatment & recovery of resources: Our activity is focused on waste treatment processes that can be optimized both in the local perspective and in a global environmental perspective. Advanced model (computer) based monitoring and control concepts represent the core of our technology platform. Anaerobic bioreactors developed to recover energy, nutrients and water from organic waste is the main activity at the moment with 1 Post Doc and 4 PhD positions involved. Several full scale applications are based on our research: Generation and co-generation plants, based on food waste, sludge, manure, industrial wastewater and landfills.

Ph.D. dissertations at our institute:

  • Roald Kommedal "Degradation of polymeric and particulate organic carbon in biofilms" February 2004 (presently associate prof. at University of Stavanger)
  • P.G. Rathnasiri ”Anaerobic digestion process using membrane integrated micro aeration” October 2009 (presently professor at University of Moratuwa)
  • Carlos Dinamarca "Homoacetogenic H2 Consumption in Fermentative Hydrogen Production Processes" October 2010 (presently associate prof. in our faculty)
  • P. Deshai C. Botheju defended his PhD thesis ”Effects of Free Oxygen on Anaerobic Digestion” November 2010 (presently Agility Group ASA)
  • Finn Haugen "Optimal design, operation and control of anaerobic digestion reactor" March 2014 (associate prof. in our faculty
  • Wang Shuai "Anaerobic degradation of industrial carbon capture reclaimer MEA waste" April 2014 (presently industrial research)

Contact information:

Prof. Rune Bakke