BIOMATH is proud to announce that Giacomo Bellandi successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis. What started as a BSc. exchange between the University of Florence and Ghent University resulted in a collaborative PhD Degree for Giacomo. This work was performed under the supervision of prof. Ingmar Nopens and prof. Riccardo Gori.
In the coming future, Giacomo will continue working in the water treatment sector. Upcoming personal projects are the EU funded Life project LessWatt and the water technology start-up Strategic Water.
Title: N2O emissions and aeration efficiency in wastewater treatment - Improved monitoring, mechanistic modelling and data mining
Abstract: Due to the growing awareness of climate change, there is a need to quantify GHGs from different sources. The water industry contributes significantly to the global energy consumption and consequently to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. All three main GHGs (i.e. CO2, CH4, and N2O) are emitted from water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs). N2O is currently the GHG of major concern due to its high global warming potential. In addition to this, the aerated compartment of a bioreactor is generally recognized to cause the highest plant’s energy expenditure. Considering both the contribution of N2O emissions and energy expenditure, the biological step of a WRRF represents the large majority of the carbon footprint (CFP) of a WRRF. Hence, the importance of providing reliable emission assessment tools and reduction strategies. This thesis raises the main concerns about N2O and aeration efficiency assessment analyzing major weaknesses and suggesting possible solutions for developing more robust standardized methods. It further provides an overview of different N2O modelling approaches proposing possible developments to enhance capabilities to recognize sources of emission and provide clues for developing CFP reduction strategies.