Department: Tecnologías del Medio Ambiente

Research institute: Instituto de Investigación Vitivinícola y Agroalimentaria (IVAGRO)

Area: Environmental Technologies

Research group: Ingeniería aplicada a Bioprocesos


Áreas PAIDI: Tecnologías de la Producción

Doctor by the Universidad de Cádiz with the thesis Caracterizacion cinetica de la degradacion anaerobia termofilica seca de la forsu. Efecto de diferentes pre-tratamientos sobre la biodegradabilidad del residuo 2008. Supervised by Dr. Luis Isidoro Romero García, Dr. Diego Sales Márquez.

The specialization subject of the researcher has been focused on the application of biological treatments to organic solid waste and wastewater, with special emphasis on aspects of recovery through the energy vectors (methane and hydrogen) production associated with anaerobic technologies. This specialization derives mainly from the topic of his doctoral thesis, which was centred in the possibilities of optimizing the anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) by carrying out different process improvements. The results of his research work have been published in several international journals with a high impact index. Among these works, new start-up strategies for anaerobic reactors, new indirect control parameters for anaerobic reactors to avoid destabilization episodes as well as new parameters to determine the optimal pretreatment from the point of view of improving methane production through anaerobic digestion have been published. Both the optimization studies of the biomethanization processes of OFMSW generated in industrial MSW treatment plants, as well as the application of different pretreatments (precomposting) to OFMSW, has constituted one of the four patents derived from his work. This patent has a great importance to promote the use of this technology for the rational and sustainable management of OFMSW. This aspect is directly related to the objectives of the integrated national waste plan, which prioritizes the generation of renewable energy from waste compared to its destination in landfills. Another milestone of marked innovative character and enormous practical importance that encompasses the activity of the researcher is the development of bio-hydrogen production by acidogenic anaerobic digestion (Dark fermentation) followed by biomethanization and composting of the fluid and solid fractions of the generated effluent. This alternative supposes an integral treatment of the OFMSW that integrates the production of renewable sources of energy - hydrogen and methane - and the production of compost that can be used in agricultural. Therefore, the global process would generate a significantly lower amount of waste destined for landfill and would contribute to closing the cycle of use of OFMSW, contributing decisively to promoting sustainable development. This integral treatment process described for OFMSW is applicable to any other type of organic waste such as solid waste and / or wastewater generated in important industrial sectors such as food and agro-industrial sectors. In this sense, the applicant is working lately in the coupled production of bio-hydrogen and bio-plastics precursors (polyhydroxyalkanoates -PHAs-) from agri-food waste and seaweed throught the sequential treatment of the waste by dark fermentation and in specific reactors for the PHA production. All the aforementioned research activity has resulted, mainly, in 22 projects, 18 contracts with companies, more than 30 papers (28 indexed in first and second quartile magazines of JCR), 4 books and 12 book chapters.