University of Surrey - Updates of the advancements of work

The University of Surrey (USUR) has been involved inmetabolic modelling of microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in polluted soils.The models developed describe the metabolism of aliphatic and aromatichydrocarbons by a synthetic microbial community (designed based on metagenomicanalysis of natural communities) and the metabolic interactions between membersof the community. The results allowed a detailed insight into the division oflabour within a microbial community remediating hydrocarbon-pollutedenvironments, and deciphered the major players in the degradation of specificcompounds. The modelling framework has been applied to three different communitiesand can potentially be applied for modelling the remediation of otherpollutants, such as pesticides.


USUR was also involved in the combination of two technologiespreviously developed under the GREENER project. In this phase of the project, dyepolluted wastewaters were treated with microalgae, and the toxic microalgaebiomass was used as a substrate in microbial bioelectrochemical systems,generating electricity and potentially further reducing the toxicity of thewastewater. We demonstrated that the microalgae biomass produced in thedye-polluted wastewater (therefore enriched in toxic compounds) can be used indownstream processes such as anaerobic digestion and bioelectrochemicalsystems. The demonstration of a proof-of-concept for this hybrid technologyinvolving sequential treatment of dye wastewaters can serve as a basis forfurther developing this unique technology.