David Gabriel

David Gabriel
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering

Doctor of Engineering
Targeting biomethanation of CO2-rich effluents and autotrophic denitrification of S/N-containing effluents

About

193
Publications
49,621
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Introduction
Scientific interests: Design, optimization, monitoring, control and modeling of biological processes. In particular, seeking the intensification of biological processes for water and waste gases treatment. Sulfur cycle is of primary interest. Brief history: PhD thesis in monitoring, modeling and control of urban WWTP. In 2001-02, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California under the supervision of Prof. Marc Deshusses. In January 2005, I became associate professor at UAB.
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - September 2019
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2002 - December 2011
Universitat de Barcelona
April 2001 - September 2002
University of California, Riverside
Education
September 1994 - June 2000
September 1989 - June 1994

Publications

Publications (193)
Article
Full-text available
Different environmental and social concerns can arise due to the generation of gaseous emissions during the treatment of urban wastewater. However, there is not an extensive knowledge about which are the main potential odour and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and their variability. In this study, a mult...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, a new generation of waste treatment plants based on biological treatments (mainly anaerobic digestion and/or composting) has arisen all over the world. These plants have been progressively substituted for incineration facilities and landfills. Although these plants have evident benefits in terms of their environmental impact and...
Article
Glycerol can be converted to ethanol, 1,3-propanediol, formate, acetate, propionate, and inorganic carbon under anaerobic conditions through oxidative and reductive pathways in the absence and presence of sulfate. A structured mathematical model considering multiple pathways of glycerol fermentation combined with sulfate reduction was set up in thi...
Article
Platinum is one of the most widely used catalysts in the cathode of Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs) to overcome the relatively slow kinetics of hydrogen evolution, even though it is not economically feasible on a large scale. This work aims at developing, applying, characterizing, and optimizing two novel Pt-functionalized inks with promising c...
Article
Partial denitrification is emerging as a valuable solution for NO2⁻ supply in Anammox systems. When reduced sulphur compounds are used as electron donors, S-driven Partial Autotrophic Denitrification (PAD) can also be achieved, allowing for an integrated autotrophic nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) removal from liquid and gaseous streams. The aim of th...
Article
When treating wastewaters prone to inert precipitation with granular sludge systems, mineral formation needs to be properly controlled to ensure system’s long-term stability. In this work, an extensive study on mineral precipitation on the surface of anammox granular sludge is presented. A 7-L reactor was inoculated with one-year stored biomass and...
Article
Air‐cathode microbial fuel cells (AC‐MFC) use gas diffusion layers (GDL) coating based on polytetrafluoroethylene applied to the cathode to prevent electrolyte leakage. However, this type of GDL can also lead to a decrease in MFCs performance due to electron transfer limitation, mass transfer limitation or catalyst availability. This study provides...
Article
Full-text available
Sulfate-reducing bioreactors for sulfide production are the initial stage of processes targeting elemental sulfur recovery from sulfate-rich effluents. In this work, the principal reactions involved in glycerol fermentation and sulfate reduction using glycerol and its fermentation products as electron donors were assessed together with their specif...
Article
Full-text available
This study demonstrated that a microbial community dominated by fungi can be selected and maintained in the long-term under non-sterile conditions, in a pilot-scale packed-bed reactor fed with tannery wastewater. During the start-up phase, the reactor, filled with 0.6 m3 of polyurethane foam cubes, was inoculated with a pure culture of Aspergillus...
Article
Full-text available
Flue gases contain SO2 and NOx that can be treated together for elemental sulphur recovery in bioscrubbers, a technology that couples physical-chemical and biological processes for gaseous emissions treatment in a more economic manner than classical absorption. Sequential wet absorption of SO2 and NOx from flue gas is thoroughly studied in this wor...
Article
This study assesses the technological, environmental and economic feasibility of biodrying to valorise cellulosic sludge as a renewable energy source. Specifically, three different aeration strategies were compared in terms of biodrying performance, energetic consumption, gaseous emissions, quality of end-products and techno-economic analysis. Thes...
Article
Full-text available
Bio-electrochemical systems (BES) are a flexible biotechnological platform that can be employed to treat several types of wastewaters and recover valuable products concomitantly. Sulfate-rich wastewaters usually lack an electron donor; for this reason, implementing BES to treat the sulfate and the possibility of recovering the elemental sulfur (S0)...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, the long-term performance and microbial dynamics of an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor targeting sulfate reduction in a SOx emissions treatment system were assessed using crude glycerol as organic carbon source and electron donor under constant S and C loading rates. The reactor was inoculated with granular sludge obta...
Article
Full-text available
Biotrickling filters are one of the most widely used biological technologies to perform biogas desulfurization. Their industrial application has been hampered due to the difficulty to achieve a robust and reliable operation of this bioreactor. Specifically, biotrickling filters process performance is affected mostly by fluctuations in the hydrogen...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems provide a promising tool for the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD). Biological sulphate reduction powered with electrical energy consumes acidity and produces sulphide, which can precipitate metals. However, the produced sulphide and the changes in pH resulting from the biological processes affect the efficiency and t...
Article
Ammonia emissions are found in a wide range of facilities such as wastewater treatment plants, composting plants, pig houses, as well as the fertilizer, food and metallurgy industries. Effective management of these emissions is important for minimizing the detrimental effects they can have on health and the environment. Physical-chemical (thermal o...
Article
Background Biological treatment of effluents containing H2S and ammonium are of great interest as both compounds can trigger serious environmental problems when disposed of. The aim of this study was to optimize the production of biosulfur from the partial oxidation of sulfide in sulfide‐ and ammonium‐containing streams. Biological performance was...
Article
In environmental biotechnology applications for wastewater treatment, bacteria-based bioprocesses are mostly implemented; on the contrary, the application of fungi-based bioprocesses, is still challenging under non-sterile conditions. In a previous lab-scale study, we showed that, when specific tannins are used as sole carbon source, fungi can play...
Article
A heterogeneous respirometer (HR) was coupled for the first time to a microelectrode monitoring system specifically designed for dissolved oxygen (DO) measuring within the biofilm. Monitoring of the oxygen concentration in the gas and liquid phases was complemented with pioneer monitoring of DO performed simultaneously and continuously at multiple...
Article
A bioscrubbing process named SONOVA has been developed, tested and assessed herein to valorize flue gases containing SOx. The process consists in a first scrubbing stage, to absorb and oxidize SO2 to sulfate, followed by a two-step biological stage. It consists of (1) an up-flow anaerobic sludge (UASB) reactor to reduce sulfate to sulfide with crud...
Article
Full-text available
Many different alternatives exist to manage and treat sewage sludge, all with the common drawback of causing environmental and odour impacts. The main objective of this work is to present a full inventory of the gaseous and odorous emissions generated during the bench-scale composting of conventional sewage sludge, aiming at assessing the process p...
Article
Full-text available
A novel sensing device for simultaneous dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH monitoring specially designed for biofilm profiling is presented in this work. This device enabled the recording of instantaneous DO and pH dynamic profiles within biofilms, improving the tools available for the study and the characterization of biological systems. The microsensor...
Article
Bioscrubbers are an environmental-friendly alternative to valorize SO2 contained in flue gases to obtain elemental sulfur as final value-added product. The bottleneck of a SO2 bioscrubber relies on the heterotrophic reduction of the absorbed SO2 to obtain sulfide. In this study, the performance and stability of a sulfidogenic Upflow Anaerobic Sludg...
Article
Nitrogen-based chemicals represent one of the most important family compounds in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Nitrogen cycle is responsible of spread nitrogen compounds all over the environment in an equilibrium manner. Industrial human’s activities have harshly contributed to the disruption of nitrogen cycle and its consequences have severely...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies show that the process of extraction of olive oil results in a large amount of waste. Around 20% the oil is obtained in the process and the remaining 80% corresponds to mainly two types of waste, known as orujo and alperujo. These residues were stored in pools for 6 months in an uncontrolled environment. The reservoirs are open and ge...
Article
SOx contained in flue gases and S-rich liquid effluents can be valorized to recover elemental sulfur in a two-stage bioscrubbing process. The reduction of sulfate to sulfide is the most crucial stage to be optimized. In this study, the long-term performance of an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor using crude glycerol as electron donor...
Article
Use of agroindustrial wastes helps productive processes to have a more sustainable development. In this work, the physical-chemical characteristics of alperujo and orujo residues were studied, demonstrating that both can be combined for pellet production. For this purpose, 12 types of pellets based on different combinations of alperujo, orujo, Pinu...
Article
Several industrial activities produce wastewater with high sulfate content that can cause significant environmental issues. Although bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) have recently been studied for the treatment of sulfate contained in this wastewater, the recovery of elemental sulfur with BESs is still in its beginnings. This work proposes a new r...
Article
A crucial challenge to address in environmental and biotechnological fields is the development of automated devices for real-time monitoring of chemicals involved. An alternative to conventional manufacturing of flow analysis-based devices is the use of cost-effective printing technologies. Herein, the production of a 3D-printed microfluidic platfo...
Article
Full-text available
In the industrial production of olive oil, both solid wastes and those produced from their incineration are a serious environmental problem since only 20% w/w of the fruit becomes oil and the rest is waste, mainly orujo and alperujo. A key aspect to transforming these wastes into an important source of energy such as pellets is to recognize the mos...
Article
Full-text available
Titrimetry is a well-established technique that has not been previously used in bioreactors for waste gas treatment. This work explored the information behind titrimetric data such as the proton production (HP) and the proton production rate (HPR) to evaluate their suitability for the on-line monitoring of the biological activity of an aerobic biot...
Preprint
In the industrial production of olive oil, both solid wastes and those produced from their incineration are a serious environmental problem since only 20% w/w of the fruit becomes oil and the rest is waste, mainly orujo and alperujo. A key aspect to transform these wastes into an important source of energy such as pellets is to recognize the most a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The main impact of olive mill wastes stored in open reservoirs is the emanation of unpleasant odorous substances. This manuscript focuses on the study of Alperujo and Orujo, two wastes that behave as sediments when stored in open pools. The aim was to monitor the changes in then physical-chemical parameters (ash. humidity, phenols. pH, proteins, fi...
Article
Sulfur oxide emissions can lead to acidic precipitation and health concerns. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems treat these emissions generating a wastewater with high-sulfate content. This work is the first attempt to treat this effluent with bioelectrochemical systems (BES) in order to recover elemental sulfur, a technology that allows the tr...
Article
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ammonia are some of the compounds present in gaseous emissions from waste treatment facilities that contribute to odour pollution. In the presentwork, the effect of the residence time on the biological stability of rawsludge (RS) composted in dynamicwindrows and the gaseous emissions generated were studied at a...
Article
Tannins are polyphenolic compounds produced by plants that are used in the vegetable tanning of leather at industrial scale. Quebracho tannin and Tara tannin are intensively used by the tanning industry and are two of the most recalcitrant compounds that can be found in tannery wastewaters. In this study two reactors fed with Quebracho tannin and T...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) are an emerging technology that combines biological and electrochemical processes. Transfer of electrons driven by anode-respiring bacteria has been widely used in microbial fuel cell and microbial electrolysis cell. Recently, a growing interest exists in the use of BES for the treatment and potential elemental sulf...
Article
Full-text available
Biological desulfurization has proven to be a process that is technically and economically feasible on using biotrickling filters that can be performed under aerobic and anoxic conditions. However, microbial communities are different mainly due to the use of different final electron acceptors. The analysis of microbial communities in these systems...
Article
Effluents containing great amounts of oxidized sulfur compounds, such as sulfate or sulfite, can be valorized as elemental sulfur from a sequential reduction-oxidation biological process. However, the most important, challenging step to be optimized is the reduction of sulfate. The present study aimed at seeking out the optimal conditions to promot...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the characterization and optimization of biosensors based on graphite-epoxy which incorporates the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). By means of advanced electrochemical techniques, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV), the characterization and optimization of graphite-epoxy-AChE bio...
Article
Biogas desulfurization can be carried out by physical-chemical or biological technologies. Biological technologies are generally described as more environmentally friendly than physical-chemical techniques, although it is difficult to find studies in which the associated environmental burdens are compared. Therefore, the aim of the work described h...
Article
Feedforward control was implemented at lab-scale in an aerobic and an anoxic biotrickling filter (BTF) operating under fluctuating H2S loading rate (LR) conditions in order to show the capabilities and added value of this control strategy. Dynamic, long-term tests with variable H2S LR were performed to simulate disturbances in the inlet gas concent...
Article
The removal of problematic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from polluted gas (toluene, iso-octane and hexane) has been investigated in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) by adapting a commercial capillary microporous polypropylene membrane. The MBR performance was measured under several operational conditions. The influence of the empty bed residence ti...
Article
Full-text available
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ammonia are some of the compounds present in gaseous emissions from waste treatment installations that contribute to odour pollution. In the present work, a characterisation of the VOCs emitted during the biological treatment of raw sludge (RS) by composting in dynamic windrows followed by a curing phase in a f...
Poster
The treatment of SOx contained in flue gases generates S-rich liquid effluents that can be valorized through a two-stage biological process. The first stage consists of reducing sulfate to sulfide to be partially oxidized to sulfur in a second stage. The first biological stage is catalyzed by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and can be performed und...
Article
Inkjet printing technology has emerged as an alternative manufacturing method for low-cost production of electrodes. De-spite significant progress, there is still a lack in the production of ion-selective electrodes. Herein, the two-step fabrication of the first inkjet-printed sulfide-selective electrode (IPSSE) is described. The two-step fabricati...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) are being studied as an alternative technology for the treatment of several kinds of wastewaters with a lack of electron donor such as high-strength sulfate wastewaters. This study evaluates different parameters that influence the simultaneous sulfate reduction and sulfide oxidation in an autotrophic biocathode: io...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a new application of BES for the treatment of high-strength sulfate wastewaters (usually lacking of electron donor) and the potential recovery of sulfate as elemental sulfur without adding any external electron donor. The process lays on the simultaneous occurrence in a biocathode of: i) autotrophic sulfate reduction to sulfide and ii) p...
Article
Biotrickling filters for waste gas treatment are often packed with expensive, inert packing materials. In this work, poplar and pine wood chips were evaluated as low-cost packing materials in two biotrickling filters for the simultaneous treatment of a mixture of organic and inorganic volatile compounds. Bioreactors were operated at gas contact tim...
Article
There is a global concern about the environmental impact of pollutants derived from their widespread use and subsequent persistence in the environment. In this context, attempts to develop novel methods/technologies for detection of pollutants in real-time have attracted much attention. The ever-increasing demand of remote autonomous field deployab...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work aims at developing a new software tool for the monitoring, control and mitigation of the carbon footprint of WWTPs, called C-FOOT-CTRL. GHG emissions are emitted from various stages of treatment in a WWTP. Currently, in developed countries the energy required for wastewater treatment accounts for approximately 3% of the total electricity...
Conference Paper
Biological treatment of sulfate-laden wastewater consists of two separate reactors to reduce sulfate to sulphide and to oxidize sulphide to sulfur. The first biological step catalyzed by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) was performed in a UASB in which sulfate was reduced with crude glicerol. The process was studied during 250 days with different su...
Conference Paper
Biological desulfurization has been studied during the last decades as a good option to treat sulfide rich streams as those generated for example from biogas desulfurization, anaerobic digestion of sulfate-rich wastewater or wastewater from sewer systems. These streams cause negative environmental impacts and it is necessary to implement efficient...
Conference Paper
An improved monitoring technique of biofilm activity, named heterogeneous respirometry (HR) was applied to characterize sulfide-oxidizing biofilms. In the HR, the aerobic oxidation of sulfide can be studied directly within the colonized packing material. The HR can also be mathematically described considering the gas, liquid and biofilm phases. Nev...
Chapter
Gas emissions from wastewater treatment plants are highly complex in composition and emission rates largely depend on plant configuration and operating conditions. Consequently, containment and treatment of such emissions is highly challenging. A range of classical technologies based on physical-chemical treatment such as absorption has been implem...
Article
The Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) forces European States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled to 35% of 1995 levels. Mechanical-Biological Treatment (MBT) plants are the main alternative to waste incineration and landfilling. In this work, the waste treatment efficiency of six full-scale MBT facilities has been analyse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flue gas desulfurization systems for the treatment of SO2 and several industries generate high-sulphate content wastewaters that may lead to several environmental issues and to sulphide formation (Lens and Pol, 2015). Sulphate pollution is commonly treated with biological processes based on sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB), which use sulphate as a...
Conference Paper
The project C-FOOT-CTRL develops a standalone software tool composed by different modules. An on-line data module is in charge of communicating to different on-line data providers and sending these data to the Database module. Model predictions based on on-line input data and mechanistic models including N2O emission calculation will provide on-lin...
Poster
Two upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors were used to treat sulfate with crude glycerol as carbon source. UASB-1 was operated for 260 days with a SLR of 135±16 mg S L-1 h-1 an a TOC/S ratio ranging from 0.8 to 2.8. A sharp diminishment of the OLR followed by a pH shock caused a complete degranulation of the biomass which was not recovered in 4...
Conference Paper
In this study, respirometry of biofilms grown on an heterogeneous media is advised as a valuable technique for characterizing mass transport and biological activity. H2S-oxidizing biofilms grown attached to Pall rings in a biotrickling filter bed were used. Controlled flows of liquid and H2S-containing air were recirculated through a closed, batch...
Article
he Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) forces European States to reduce the amount of biodegradable munic- ipal waste landfilled to 35% of 1995 levels. Mechanical-Biological Treatment (MBT) plants are the main alternative to waste incineration and landfilling. In this work, the waste treatment efficiency of six full-scale MBT facilities has been analys...
Book
Full-text available
This book addresses the obtention and use of biogas as an energy source, which is produced by anaerobic digestion of organic material from various sources (landfills, municipal waste treatment plants, agro-industrial waste and energy crops among others). The European Union, China and to a lesser extent North America are currently the main producers...