Juan Antonio Baeza

Juan Antonio Baeza
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Department of Chemical Biological and Environmental Engineering

Professor

About

169
Publications
30,958
Reads
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4,452
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - October 2019
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Full)
December 2004 - present
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • MSc in Environ. and Biological Eng.: Design of WWTP; CFD, modelling and optimization. Chem. Eng.: Computer Applications for Chem. Eng.; Control and Instrumentation of Chemical Processes. Environ. Sciences: Clean technologies and Industrial Effluents
July 1994 - present
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Education
February 1996 - October 1999
July 1994 - February 1996
September 1989 - June 1994

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
Full-text available
The recovery of valuable materials from municipal water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) is a promising option to implement circular economy in wastewater treatment. Different technologies are being evaluated at different WRRF to recover products such as struvite, bioplastics and cellulose. However, the quality of these recovered products remain...
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
In this study, a plant-wide model describing the fate of C, N and P compounds, upgraded to account for (on-site/off-site) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, was implemented within the International Water Association (IWA) Benchmarking Simulation Model No. 2 (BSM2) framework. The proposed approach includes the main biological N2O production pathways an...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted during biological nitrogen removal from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Some modelling tools have been proposed to predict N2O emissions during the design and operation of WWTPs. In this study, the novel ASM2d-N2O model, which accounts for the production of N2O in nutrient removal WWTPs, wa...
Article
Full-text available
Phosphorus (P), an essential nutrient for all organisms, urgently needs to be recovered due to the increasing demand and scarcity of this natural resource. Recovering P from wastewater is a feasible and promising way widely studied nowadays due to the need to remove P in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). When enhanced biological P removal (EBPR)...
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
The water-energy nexus has changed the concept of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), which should move from energy consumers into energy neutral or even energy positive facilities. The A/B process aims at achieving self-sufficient energy WWTPs: organic matter is removed in the first step (A-stage) and derived to biogas production whereas autotrop...
Article
Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is an efficient and sustainable technology to remove phosphorus from wastewater. A widely known cause of EBPR deterioration in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is the presence of nitrate/nitrite or oxygen in the anaerobic reactor. Moreover, most existing studies on the effect of either permanent aero...
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
Recovering energy from wastewater in addition to its treatment is a hot trend in the new concept of water resource recovery facility (WRRF). High-rate systems operating at low solid retention time (SRT) have been proposed to meet this challenge. In this paper, the integration of Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) in an anaerobic/aerobic...
Article
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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
A systematic comparison framework for selecting the best retrofitting alternative for a water resource recovery facility (WRRF) is proposed in this work. The procedure is applied comparing different possible plant configurations to retrofit an existent anoxic/oxic (A/O) WRRF (Manresa, Spain) aiming to include enhanced biological phosphorus removal...
Article
The design of new wastewater treatment plants with the aim of capturing organic matter for energy recovery is a current focus of research. Operating with low sludge residence time (SRT) appears to be a key factor in maximizing organic matter recovery. In these new configurations, it is assumed that phosphorus is chemically removed in a tertiary ste...
Chapter
ABSTRACT This chapter describes one of the most emerging and promising technology to recover the energy contained in the wastewater: Microbial Electrolysis Cells. These bioelectrochemical devices can produce hydrogen from wastewater through the enrichment of the anode with electroactive bacteria or anode respiring bacteria, which can only consume a...
Article
Background Cyclic voltammetry (CV) has become a standard tool in the study of bioelectrochemical systems (BES) because it is a nondestructive technique that provides useful information on the electron transfer capacity of these systems. When applied to the large‐surface electrodes typically found in BES, the scan rate must be severely diminished or...
Article
Full-text available
Wastewater treatment systems are nowadays evolving into systems where energy and resources are recovered from wastewater. This work presents the long term operation of a demo-scale pilot plant (7.8 m3) with a novel configuration named as mainstream SCEPPHAR (ShortCut Enhanced Phosphorus and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Recovery) and based on two sequ...
Article
The new paradigm in wastewater treatment aims at diverting as much organic matter as possible to anaerobic digestion to boost energy recovery (i.e. biogas production) and to decrease operational costs (i.e. aeration requirements and sludge generation). To achieve this, short sludge retention time (SRT) systems could be implemented in the first stag...
Article
Crude glycerol is an undesired by-product of biodiesel production with a low commercial value (i.e. a ton of biodiesel results in around 110 kg of crude glycerol) and, thus, glycerol needs valorization. In particular, there is a need of providing a benefit to alkaline wastewaters from biodiesel production with excess of glycerol. Bioelectrochemical...
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
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
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
Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) is based on the enrichment of sludge in polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAO). Candidatus Accumulibacter is the bacterial community member most commonly identified as PAO in EBPR systems when volatile fatty acids (VFA) are the carbon source. However, it is necessary to understand the role of non-Ac...
Article
Phosphorus recovery is usually based on the chemical precipitation of struvite from the supernatant comming from anaerobic digestion of surplus sludge of wastewater treatment plants. However, the recovery of phosphorus from the mainstream would be very beneficial to the operation of the plant. This work represents a step forward in this challenge....
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...
Book
Full-text available
Experimental laboratory methods and techniques have matured to the degree that they have become accepted as reliable tools in wastewater treatment research and practice. For sector professionals, especially the new generation of young scientists and engineers entering the wastewater treatment profession, the quantity, complexity and diversity of th...
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...
Chapter
Bioelectrochemical systems allow the production of electricity or other products of interest, such as hydrogen, by using the electrons from the biological degradation of an organic substrate. Bioelectrochemical systems are an emerging technology in the field of wastewater valorization. The opportunities for methanol as a carbon source in these syst...
Article
BACKGROUND Implementation of microbial fuel cells (MFC) requires high coulombic efficiency (CE) for its operation to be more efficient. However, cathodic environments in air cathode MFC provide both carbon source and oxygen and, therefore, a naturally growing heterotrophic biofilm is developed. A priori this biofilm would decrease the power generat...
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
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important pollutant which is emitted during the biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes of wastewater treatment. Since it has a greenhouse effect which is 265 times higher than carbon dioxide, even relatively small amounts can result in a significant carbon footprint. Biological nitrogen (N) removal conventionally occu...
Article
Nitrous oxide (N2O), a significant contributor to the greenhouse effect, is generated during the biological nutrient removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Developing mathematical models estimating the N2O dynamics under changing operational conditions (e.g. dissolved oxygen, DO) is essential to design mitigation strategies. Based on the a...
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
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...
Conference Paper
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas with a significant global warming potential. A dynamic model was developed to estimate the N2O production and emission in a full-scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Based on the Activated Sludge Model 1 (ASM1), the model considered all known biological and abiotic...
Article
The two-stage A/B WWTP configuration is being studied as a possible wastewater treatment with low energy consumption or even with a net energy generation. The first phase, A-stage, is designed to remove organic matter at very short Sludge Retention Time (SRT), while the B-stage is based on autotrophic nitrogen removal. However, P-removal in the A/B...
Article
Bioelectrochemical hydrogen production has been successfully achieved in laboratory-scale conditions with different substrates. However, scaling up microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) is not straightforward, and reported attempts have not been completely successful. This work presents the design, building, start-up and operation of an MEC pilot pla...
Article
This work proposes a new SBR configuration to recover P from the water line: enhanced biological phosphorus removal and recovery (EBPR²). The main objective is evaluating its feasibility using modelling techniques in view of its optimization. The new EBPR² configuration adds an anaerobic settling phase to the classical anaerobic/aerobic sequence to...
Conference Paper
Nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas with significant contribution to the greenhouse effect, can be generated during the biological nutrient removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Amongst the possible pathways for the N2O production, the autotrophic denitrification of nitrite and the incomplete hydroxylamine oxidation, both activated by A...
Article
A fuel cell sensor was demonstrated as a low cost on-line monitoring tool for hydrogen producing microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) at lab scale. Hydrogen produced in the MEC was oxidized at the anode of the fuel cell generating electricity that could be easily monitored. The total electrical current obtained was proved to correlate with the hydro...
Chapter
Process control is required to obtain the best stability and productivity of any industrial bioprocess. However, bioprocess control described in previous works is mostly focused on instrumentation as online sensors and analyzers available to monitor the process, but there is a lack of information about the control loops available for these processe...
Article
Treatment of high-strength sulfate wastewaters is becoming a research issue not only for its optimal management but also for the possibility of recovering elemental sulfur. Moreover, sulfate-rich wastewater production is expected to grow due to the increased SO2 emission contained in flue gases which are treated by chemical absorption in water. Bio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need to better understand the composition of anodic microbial communities is of great importance in studying Microbial Electrochemical Cells (MXCs). Exoelectrogenic mechanisms in microbial species are still an open field of research, and many different microbial strains can show extracellular electron transfer capacities. Here, we compare the r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The recent appearance of bioelectrochemical systems has opened a plethora of new opportunities in environmental engineering. Among them, bioelectrochemical sulfate reduction is a promising alternative since there is no need of organic matter to drive the process and sulfur can be recovered as elemental sulfur under oxygen limiting conditions. In th...
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
Microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) are a novel technology aiming at producing hydrogen from wastewater. MEC performance gives successful results in lab-scale experiments with well buffered media and synthetically-increased conductivity, thus preventing operational problems and reducing the internal resistance of the cell. This is especially importa...
Article
Microbial electrochemical systems (MXCs) are an emerging technology aiming at recovering energy contained in wastewaters either as electrical energy in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) or as hydrogen in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). Successful results have been reported with readily biodegradable substrates, but its performance with real complex...
Article
This work reports the first successful enrichment and operation of alkaline bioelectrochemical systems (microbial fuel cells, MFC, and microbial electrolisys cells, MEC). Alkaline (pH = 9.3) bioelectrochemical hydrogen production presented better performance (+ 117%) compared to conventional neutral conditions (2.6 vs 1.2 LH2·L− 1REACTOR·d− 1). Pyr...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems need an anode with a high abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria for an optimal performance. Among all possible operational parameters for an efficient enrichment, the role of external resistance in microbial fuel cell (MFC) has gained a lot of interest since it indirectly poises an anode potential, a key parameter for bio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There are many industrial effluents such as acid mining drainage or the effluent of flue gas desulfurization with high sulfate content, which may cause imbalances in the natural sulfur cycle and can be hazardous to human health. Traditionally high-sulfate content wastewaters are treated with physical-chemical processes, which pose many drawbacks su...
Article
The present work aims at understanding the performance of bioelectrochemical systems when subjected to different starvation periods, which is very relevant in view of their industrial application or use as biosensor. The results show that both microbial fuel cells (MFC) and microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) could resist starvation periods up to 10...
Article
A single-chamber microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) aiming at hydrogen production with acetate as sole carbon source failed due to methanogenesis build-up despite the significant amount of 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) dosage, 50 mM. Specific batch experiments and a thorough microbial community analysis, pyrosequencing and qPCR, of cathode, anode and...
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
2-Bromoethanesulfonate (BES) is the most reported chemical inhibitor for methanogenesis in laboratory-scale bioelectrochemical systems. However, there is doubt about BES's long-term effectiveness in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). We observed BES degradation in MFCs, whereas not in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). Our results suggest that BES degr...
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
Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) failure due to nitrate/nitrite presence in the anaerobic reactor is a common problem in full-scale WWTPs aiming at simultaneous C/N/P removal. This work evaluates the performance of two common EBPR configurations (A2/O and JHB) under normal conditions and under two detrimental scenarios: i) increase of...
Article
The use of membranes in microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) is required to obtain high-purity hydrogen and to avoid the consumption of hydrogen by undesired microorganisms. However, its utilization results in pH gradients across the membrane that contribute to potential losses and reduce the efficiency of MEC. Several pH-controlled and noncontrolled...
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
The use of synthetic wastewater containing carbon sources of different complexity (glycerol, milk and starch) was evaluated in single chamber microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) for hydrogen production. The growth of an anodic syntrophic consortium between fermentative and anode respiring bacteria was operationally enhanced and increased the opportun...
Article
This work shows the development and the in silico evaluation of a novel control strategy aiming at successful biological phosphorus removal in a wastewater treatment plant operating in an A(2)/O configuration with carbon-limited influent. The principle of this novel approach is that the phosphorus in the effluent can be controlled with the nitrate...
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...