2014-03-04 07:00

Novel technology for sustainable bioreactors

Retaining of micro-organisms used in processes in bioreactors is now possible with a novel membrane that entraps them.

Photo of Membraneebioreactor.Membrane bioreactors can play a great role for improved productivity in bioprocesses for waste reclamation in the future. In today’s bioreactors the microorganisms used in the continuous processes for biogas and bioethanol production get washed out. With the novel membrane, designed at the University of Borås by the doctoral student Hamidreza Barghi and Professor Mohammad Taherzadeh, these microorganisms can be captured and reused in a longer period. 

Hamidreza Barghi will on Friday, the 7th of March, defend his doctoral thesis on the membrane used in bioprocesses.
−I have focused on designing a membrane for continuous biogas and bioethanol processing. The membrane entraps the microorganisms in the reactor instead of having them washed out. 

The membrane looks like a tea bag or flat sheets, and is designed to capture the fermenting microorganisms for reusing and at the same time let nutrition to pass in and the metabolites out. The cultivation media are fed into the reactor for producing biogas or bioethanol and pumped through the reactor and passes between the membranes.
−The challenge has been to work with the bulk functionalization and the surface functionalization of the membrane. The membrane must be semi-permeable And it must be robust and resistant to harsh environments, explains Hamidreza Barghi.

Photo of Hamidreza Barghi.Hamidreza Barghi

From Teheran, Iran
Degrees: BSc in Applied Chemistry, Teheran University, 1995, MSc in Chemical Engineering – Applied biotechnology, University of Borås, 2009.
Doctoral student at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Chalmers University of Technology and School of Engineering, University of Borås, 2009-2014. Supervisors: Prof. Mohammad Taherzadeh, Prof. Mikael Skrifvars

Text: Solveig Klug
Photo of membranebioreactor: Hamidreza Barghi 


Title: Functionalization of Synthetic polymers for Membrane Bioreactors
Subjects: Chemical Technology, Polymer technology, Material Technology
Opponent: Dr. Wim Doyen, Vito Institute, Belgium
Date: 7 March
Time: 2014-03-07 10:00-14:00
Place: Room KB, Kemihuset, Kemigården 4, Chalmers, Gothenburg

The presentation will be carried out in English.

Read the thesis