Francisco Javier Lafuente

Francisco Javier Lafuente
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Department of Chemical Engineering

PhD

About

209
Publications
32,103
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5,395
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January 1987 - December 2012
Autonomous University of Barcelona

Publications

Publications (209)
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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...
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
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...
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
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...
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
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...
Article
Background: Chlorine by-products may irritate the eyes, nose, skin and airways of swimmers and may cause chronic airway inflammation. Objective: To assess the salutary effects on swimmers health of a new method of water disinfection. Methods: Recreational (n=320) and competitive swimmers (n=53) participated in the study. The first part of the...
Article
Gaseous emissions and chemical compounds responsible for odor nuisance are the most common social concerns arising from modern municipal mechanical-biological waste treatment (MBT) facilities. Regarding to this, an inventory of indoor concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) along with odor analyses were carried out...
Article
In this work, limits and capacities of biotrickling filtration as a technique to compete with chemical scrubbing for the treatment of ammonia loads above 40 gN m⁻³ h⁻¹ are investigated. Long-term operation of a lab-scale biotrickling filter under different inlet NH3 concentrations (100 to 1400 ppmv) and gas contact times (2 to 46 sec) was performed...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrogen sulfide removal from biogas was studied under anoxic conditions in a pilot-scale biotrickling filter operated under counter- and co-current gas-liquid flow patterns. The best performance was found under counter-current conditions (maximum elimination capacity of 140 gS m−3h−1). Nevertheless, switching conditions between co- and counter-cur...
Article
Full-text available
A dynamic model describing physical-chemical and biological processes for the removal of high loads of H2S from biogas streams in biotrickling filters (BTFs) was developed, calibrated and validated for a wide range of experimental conditions in a lab-scale BTF. The model considers the main processes occurring in the three phases of a BTF (gas, liqu...
Conference Paper
The goal of this study is to compare, by means of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the environmental impact of four common desulfurization technologies in sewage treatment plants (STP) for the removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in biogas considering their operation, emissions, infrastructures and infrastructures disposal. Furthermore, an extra scenari...
Conference Paper
In addition to a range of S-rich effluents from industrial wastewaters, exhaust flue gases obtained from fossil fuels combustion or other industrial activities may contain large amounts of SOx which must be removed before their emission to the atmosphere since affect adversely human health, livestock and plants among others. After chemical absorpti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The H2S loading rate (LR) in biotrickling filters (BTFs) varies due to diurnal and seasonal biogas flow and H2S inlet ([H2S]in) concentration variations, thus affecting the BTF performance in terms of H2S removal efficiency (RE) and sulfate selectivity. The airflow rate (AFR) and the trickling liquid velocity (TLV) constitute potential control hand...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Biological oxidation in biotrickling filters of high H2S loads contained in biogas streams still requires further study to reduce elemental sulfur accumulation due to limited gas-liquid oxygen mass transfer inside biotrickling filters bed. Reduction of elemental sulfur accumulation may be improved by regulating the main manipulated varia...
Article
Full-text available
Respirometry was used to reveal the mechanisms involved in aerobic biological sulfide oxidation and to characterize the kinetics and stoichiometry of a microbial culture obtained from a desulfurizing biotrickling filter. Physical-chemical processes such as stripping and chemical oxidation of hydrogen sulfide were characterized since they contribute...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ammonia (NH3) emissions at loads above 30-40 gm-3h-1 are often found in several industrial facilities. Scrubbing processes under acidic conditions, which are expensive and produce ammonium sulfate as by-product, are used as pretreatment of biofiltration units because biofilters cannot stand ammonia loads above 15-20 gm-3h-1 due to biological inhibi...
Poster
Full-text available
Biological hydrogen sulfide (H2S) removal in biotrickling filters (BTFs) has been widely proved to be an efficient technology in order to clean biogas for upstream energy recovery processes . However further research is needed in order to optimize biological desulfurization processes to enhance process reliability and therefore a greater applicatio...
Conference Paper
A mathematical dynamic model describing biological removal of high loads of H2S from biogas streams through a biotrickling filter (BTF) was developed, calibrated and validated to a range of specific experimental conditions of a lab-scale BTF. This model takes into account the main processes occurring in the three phases of the desulfurizing BTF (ga...
Conference Paper
A mathematical dynamic model describing biological removal of high loads of H2S from biogas streams through a biotrickling filter (BTF) was developed, calibrated and validated to a range of specific experimental conditions of a lab-scale BTF. This model takes into account the main processes occurring in the three phases of the desulfurizing BTF (ga...
Article
The anoxic-oxic (A/O) municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Manresa (Catalonia, Spain) was studied for a possible conversion to an anaerobic/anoxic/oxic (A(2)/O) configuration to promote enhanced biological phosphorus removal. The control structure had to be redesigned to satisfy the new necessity to control phosphorus concentration, besid...
Article
The elimination capacity of gaseous H2S biofiltration can be limited either by mass transfer or bioreaction in the biofilm. Assessment of the biological activity of immobilized cells (biofilm) usually implies morphological and physiological changes during the adaptation of cells to respirometric devices operated as suspended cultures. In this study...
Article
BACKGROUND The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology transforms the chemical energy present in substrates into electricity. Starting-up these systems, i.e. enriching the anodic community in exoelectrogenic bacteria, is a lengthy process or requires expensive equipment. RESULTSAn easy and low-cost procedure based on a sediment MFC was developed to se...
Article
Full-text available
tBiotrickling filters for biogas desulfurization still must prove their stability and robustness in the longrun under extreme conditions. Long-term desulfurization of high loads of H2S under acidic pH wasstudied in a lab-scale aerobic biotrickling filter packed with metallic Pall rings. Reference operating con-ditions at steady-state corresponded t...
Article
This work presents a new control system for the nitritation of high-strength ammonium wastewater as reject water from sludge dewatering. It is based on three independent feedback control loops: (i) DO control by manipulating the aeration flow-rate, (ii) pH control with the addition of solid Na2CO3 and (iii) control of NH4+–N concentration in the re...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring the biological activity in biotrickling filters is difficult since it implies estimating biomass concentration and its growth yield, which can hardly be measured in immobilized biomass systems. In this study, the characterization of a sulfide-oxidizing nitrate-reducing biomass obtained from an anoxic biotrickling filter was performed thr...
Article
The present work developed a model for the description of a full-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) (Manresa, Catalonia, Spain) for further plant upgrades based on the systematic parameter calibration of the activated sludge model 2d (ASM2d) using a methodology based on the Fisher information matrix. The influent was characterized for the appl...
Article
Pall rings, a common random packing material, were used in the biotrickling filtration of biogas with high H2S. Assessment of 600d of operation covered the reactor start-up, the operation at neutral pH and the transition from neutral to acid pH. During the start-up period, operational parameters such as the aeration rate and the trickling liquid ve...
Article
Full-text available
The reliability of partial nitrification coupled with heterotrophic denitrification for the treatment of real anaerobic digester centrate produced in a wastewater treatment plant was technically and economically assessed in two sequencing batch reactors. Removal efficiencies above 90% were consistently achieved at N-ammonium loads above 1.2 g N L(-...
Article
A systematic study of the enantioselective resolution of ibuprofen by commercial Rhizomucor miehei lipase (Lipozyme® IM20) has been carried out using isooctane as solvent and butanol as esterificating agent. The main variables controlling the process (temperature, ibuprofen concentration, ratio butanol:ibuprofen) have been studied using an orthogon...
Article
The mass transfer in a jet-Venturi scrubber has been studied experimentally Data have been obtained for the absorption of sulphur dioxide into aqueous sodium hydroxide solutions. The effect of the throat length and diameter has been studied. Two types of atomizers have also been tested. The experimental values have been compared with the prediction...
Article
The performance of ejector-Venturi scrubbers has been studied experimentally. Data have been obtained on overall pressure drop, axial pressure profiles and droplet sizes. The effect of throat diameter, length and spray angle was investigated. Empirical models for pressure drop across Venturis have been tested against the data. Only when the model i...
Article
Abstract The results obtained in the design and calibration of a deterministic water quality model from the Llobregat River (Spain) are presented. The water quality indicators studied are dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and heterotrophic bacteria. The factors which describe the rates of the transfo...
Article
A novel method to analyze beta-galactosidase by Flow Injection is Analysis is presented with a linear working range extended to at least 2150 U/mL, being the detection limit 25 U/mL with 55 samples per hour frecuency and a RSD of 0.954% versus 2.4% obtained by manual assay. The method was tested with optimal results with samples from Escherichia co...
Article
Full-text available
The temperature effect on denitrification rate of a two-sludge system has been studied. An industrial high-strength wastewater and an industrial by product containing mainly methanol, as external carbon source, were used in this study. The maximum denitrification rate (MDR) was determined at six different temperatures 6, 8, 10, 15, 20 and 25degrees...
Article
The air self-entrainment by a liquid jet is investigated in an industrial scale ejector-venturi scrubber. A mathematical model based on steady-state macroscopic mechanical energy balances is formulated and arranged in order to obtain simple equations useful for design purposes. Experiments are carried out in order to evaluate empirical values for t...
Article
Liquid distribution along an ejector-Venturi scrubber was determined experimentally in an industrial-scale pilot plant. The effects of geometry as well as flow rates were studied. The results showed that a significant fraction of the liquid travels as a film. Therefore, it should be taken into consideration in mass transfer studies, where usually i...
Article
The influence of the drop size of oleic acid on extracellular lipase production by Candida rugosa was studied. The specific interfacial area was determined under different experimental conditions and the drop populations obtained were compared on the basis of the Kruskal-Wallis statistical test. Lipase production was found to increase with increasi...
Article
Ammonium oxidation to nitrite nitratation and nitrite oxidation to nitrate (nitratation) were studied in a suspended biomass system (SBS) and an immobilised biomass system (IBS). Nitritation and nitratation rates at several substrate concentrations were obtained through respirometry. Process kinetics were evaluated by comparing different substrate...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Treatment of a mixture of NH3, H2S, and ethylmercaptan (EM) was investigated for more than 15 months in two biotrickling filters packed with poplar wood chips and polyurethane foam. Inlet loads ranging from 5 to 10 g N-NH3 m-3 hr-1, from 5 to 16 g S-H2S m-3 hr-1, and from 0 to 5 g EM m-3 hr-1 were applied. During startup, the biotrickl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The application of "bio-omics" has been crucial to the development of environmental microbiology mostly for its comprehensive coverage. In this work, the 454 Roche platform was applied for massive sequencing of nucleic acids for studying metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of a biotrickling filter for H 2 S desulfurization under aerobic conditions...
Article
Biomass accumulation was studied in a biofilter packed with an organic/inorganic, hybrid packing material made of clay pellets plus clay pellets covered by a thin layer of compost and inoculated with activated sludge from a municipal WWTP. Operating conditions under high loads of toluene were selected to force plant failure by clogging. The biofilt...
Article
In this work, a dynamic model describing volatile organic compounds abatement and the corresponding biomass accumulation is developed, calibrated and validated. The mathematical model is based on detailed mass balances which include the main processes involved in the system: advection, absorption, adsorption, diffusion, biodegradation and biomass g...
Article
Full-text available
The main objective of this study is to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the effect of starvation periods in the biodegradation capacity of microorganisms when the support media is a material with high sorption capacity. Pollutant sorption and biodegradation, which occur simultaneously in the biofilter, describe the overall behavior of the...
Article
Full-text available
The present work discusses the startup and operation of different biotrickling filters during the simultaneous removal of NH3, H2S, and ethyl mercaptan (EM) for odor control, focusing on (a) the impact of pH control in the stability of the nitrification processes during reactor startup and (b) the crossed effects among selected pollutants and their...
Article
Partial nitrification of a high-strength ammonium wastewater (1150 +/- 150 mg N-NH4(+) L(-1)), mimicking reject water, was achieved in an activated sludge pilot plant with a configuration of three continuous reactors in series plus a settler. Stable and robust partial nitrification was maintained during 800 days of operation at 30 degrees C with a...
Data
The main objective of this study is to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the effect of starvation periods in the biodegradation capacity of microorganisms when the support media is a material with high sorption capacity. Pollutant sorption and biodegradation, which occur simultaneously in the biofilter, describe the overall behavior of the...
Poster
The use of biogas as a renewable energy source requires pre-treatment operations to remove contaminants, such as hydrogen sulfide, for the further usage of biogas in cogeneration engines. Biogas desulfurization can be performed efficiently in biotrickling filters under both aerobic and anoxic conditions. However, there is still a lack of knowledge...
Article
Biological removal of reduced sulfur compounds in energy-rich gases is an increasingly adopted alternative to conventional physicochemical processes, because of economical and environmental benefits. A lab-scale biotrickling filter reactor for the treatment of high-H(2)S-loaded gases was developed and previously proven to effectively treat H(2)S co...
Article
The starvation process of a high-rate partial nitrification system during 30 days and its controlled recovery were studied in an activated sludge pilot plant. Four ammonium-starved reactors under anoxic, aerobic and two different alternating aerobic/anoxic conditions were evaluated. The highest and the lowest decay rates of ammonia oxidizing bacter...
Article
Biological processes have proved to be suitable for desulphurization of energy-rich gases containing high loads of H2S(g). However, monitoring devices for assessing such bioreactors performance are still scarce. In this work, an analytical system consisting in a flow injection analyser (FIA) for total dissolved sulphide (H2S(ag) + HS- + S2-) (TDS)...
Article
The presence of water in a biofilter is critical in keeping microorganisms active and abating pollutants. In addition, the amount of water retained in a biofilter may drastically affect the physical properties of packing materials and packed beds. In this study, the influence of water on the pressure drop and sorption capacities of 10 different pac...
Article
The bacterial composition of a lab-scale biotrickling filter (BTF) treating high loads of H(2)S was investigated by the rRNA approach. Two 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were established 42 and 189 d after reactor startup, while fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) with DNA probes was performed throughout 260d of reactor operation. Diversity, co...
Article
Carbon dioxide is seldom used as pH reducer in swimming pools. Nevertheless it offers two interesting advantages. First, its use instead of the usual hydrochloric acid avoids the characteristic and serious accident of mixing the disinfectant with that strong acid, which forms a dangerous chlorine gas cloud and, second, it allows the facility to bec...