Anaerobic digestion based technologies have great potential for converting the enormous amounts of organic waste generated in urban environments into valuable resources. Yet few urban organic waste streams are currently treated by anaerobic bioprocesses, suggesting that new approaches are needed.
This presentation will show the development of novel anaerobic bioprocesses for resource recovery from urban organic waste streams by applying knowledge of microbiomes from habitats as diverse as arctic sediments and the gastrointestinal tract of ruminant animals and sustainable technology design practices. Examples will include: (i) Biofilm-enhanced anaerobic membrane bioreactor designs to treat low-strength urban wastewater at low temperatures to achieve high quality water, reduced green house gas emissions and net positive energy production, and (ii) Dynamic anaerobic membrane bioreactor designs inspired by the physiology and microbiome of the rumen (stomach of ruminant animals) to overcome slow hydrolysis of urban organic wastestreams with high lignocellulosic content to produce short-chain carboxylic acids that can be used for the production of biomethane and other bioproducts. While the role of microbiomesin developing these anaerobic bioprocesses will receive most attention, the presentation will also show how the advancement of these technologies is driven by lifecycle cost and environmental assessments to enable financially viable, environmentally sustainable waste management.
Lutgarde(Lut) Raskin is a pioneer in molecular microbial ecology applied to water quality control and anaerobic bioprocesses. Her research focuses on managing the microbiome of drinking water systems and developing anaerobic bioprocesses for resource recovery from waste streams. She has published nearly 130 peer-reviewed journal papers and 350 conference proceedings, papers and abstracts. She is passionate about graduate education and has mentored nearly 15 post-doctoral students and 90 graduate students including 25 Ph.D. students. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the KU Leuven in Belgium and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2005, Raskin was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Water Environment Federation. Past honors include the University of Michigan Rackham distinguished graduate mentor award, the International Society for Microbial Ecology-International Water Association biocluster award, the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors frontier award in research, the American Society of Civil Engineers Walter L. Huber civil engineering research prize, the Water Research Foundation Paul L. Busch award, and a U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She is an associate editor for Environmental Science & Technology and serves on the board of directors of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.
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