UBC Bioreactor Technology Group

UBC Bioreactor Technology Group

Institution
The University of British Columbia
Address

EME 0212, 1213, 0204, 1137 Alumni Avenue

Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7
General contact
Cigdem Eskicioglu
Associate Professor

School of Engineering

T: (250) 807-8544
E: cigdem.eskicioglu@ubc.ca
Research contact
Cigdem Eskicioglu
Associate Professor

School of Engineering

T: (250) 807-8544
E: cigdem.eskicioglu@ubc.ca
Published date: Jan 08, 2014
What the lab/facility does

Wastewater and biosolids treatment/ advanced anaerobic digestion for enhanced energy and nutrient recovery. Facilities operated by the group: Advanced Anaerobic Digestion Facility; Particle Sizing, Zeta Potential and Imaging Facility; Micropollutant Detection Facility.

Sectors of Application
Agriculture, animal science and food; Clean technology; Education; Energy (renewable and fossil); Environmental technologies and related services
Area(s) of expertise

The UBC Bioreactor Technology Group collaborates with  government agencies, municipalities, industries, and researchers within UBC and other institutions with an ultimate goal of waste reduction and resource recovery. The group is operating three CFI/BCKDF-, NSERC- and UBC-funded facilities. The Advanced Anaerobic Digestion Facility focuses on maximizing the waste to biogas (methane) conversion through emerging pretreatments. Bench-scale thermal (microwave and conventional heating), high-pressure homogenization and ultrasonic waste disintegration techniques are evaluated to enhance both the rate as well as the extent of the biodegradation in advanced anaerobic digesters that require smaller volume/footprint. The secondary objective is to produce digested biosolids in compliance with the Organic Matter Recycling (OMR) and Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) fertilizer regulations (concerning pathogenic microorganisms and heavy metals) for reuse as soil amendment. The facility is equipped with automated bench-scale fermenters, temperature controlled shakers and gas chromatographs to culture microorganisms and to evaluate the biogas quantity and quality including odour causing compounds. The group also has a micro- and nano-scale Particle Sizing, Zeta Potential and Imaging Facility to explore the links among particle size distribution, zeta potential and biodegradability of waste samples. Furthermore, a Micropollutant Detection Facility including an LC/MS/MS will soon be added for detection of contaminants of emerging concern (i.e. personal care products, hormones, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides) in wastewater and biosolids samples.

Research Services
  • Bench-scale bioreactor testing,
  • Boreactor design for wastewater and sludge treatment,
  • Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) assays,
  • Anammox process,
  • Analytical services for waste characterization/ particle sizing/ zeta potential/ chemical dose optimization
Specialized labs and equipment

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Advanced Anaerobic Digestion Facility

New Brunswick Scientific Bioflow Fermentors (7.5 L volume) with BioCommand Software

Automated fermentation of organic waste samples for treatment and bioenergy generation

 

New Brunswick Innova 44R Incubator/Shakers

-20oC below ambient to 80oC temperature control within ± 0.1oC

 

Thermotron S-1.5-3200 Temperature Chamber

-73oC to 180oC temperature control within ± 1.1oC

 

Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionization Detector and Flame Photometric Detector

Reactor headspace analysis for quantification of odour causing volatile sulphur compounds and volatile fatty acids in digesters

 

Agilent 7820A Gas Chromatograph with Thermal Conductivity Detector

Reactor headspace biogas composition analysis (CH4, CO2, N2, O2)

 

 

Ethos EZ Microwave Digestion Station with 12 Pressure Sealed Vessels

Microwave heating of samples at high temperature and pressure (1200W, 2450 MHz, 300oC, 35 bars) for waste disintegration

 

Ultrasonic Dismembrator with Sound Proof Cabinet

 

 

Avestin EmulsiFlex C-3 High Pressure Homogenizer

Destruction of microbial cells in wastewater/biosolids samples at high pressures (500-30,000 psi, flowrate of 3 L/hr))

 

Astoria-Pacific 2- Channel Autoanalyzer

Nutrient analysis in water, wastewater and biosolids samples

 

Bio-Tek Synergy HT Multi-detection Multi-plate Reader/Spectrophotometer

Absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence reading capability for samples volumes between 120 µL-4 mL

 

IDEXX Quanti-Tray Sealer/Colilert 24

Total coliform and E.coli counting for wastewater and sludge samples

 

Sorvall Legend XT Macro-centrifuge

Liquid/solid separation

 

Metter Toledo Top Loading and Analytical Balances

Gravimetric analysis

 

Fann Capillary Suction Timer

Dewaterability analysis for wastewater and sludge samples

 

Fume hood

 

Particle Sizing, Zeta Potential and Imaging Facility

BrightWELL DPA 4100 Micro-flow Microscope System

Particle size, shape, count and image analysis (0.75-300 µm)

 

Malvern Mastersizer 3000/Hydro LV and Aero S Modules

Particle sizing in both liquid and solid samples (0.01-3500 µm)

 

Malvern Zetasizer NanoZS-NIB/Autotitrator for chemical dose optimization

Particle sizing (0.3 nm -10 µm), molecular weight (342 - 2 x 107Da) and zeta potential (3.8 nm -100 µm) in both liquid and solid samples

 

Micropollutant Detection Facility

Hei-Vap Rotary Evaporator

Solvent extraction of micropollutants from wastewater or sludge matrix

 

Liquid Chromatograh/Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS/MS)

Quantification of contaminants of emerging concern

Private and public sector research partners
  • City of Kelowna
  • BC Ministry of Environment
  • Paradigm Environmental Technologies Inc.
  • CH-Four Biogas Inc.
  • Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd.
  • Sun-Rype Products Ltd.
  • Fortis BC
  • Quesnel River Pulp Co.
  • Urban Systems

Pilot-scale bioreactor studies are conducted to scale-up

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager


Automated anaerobic fermenters used for process optimization for organic waste to biogas conversion

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager


Small scale digesters are fed manually in a semi-batch mode while automated fermenters are fed continuously by pumps

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager


Temperature/mixing controlled incubator and shakers provide optimum conditions for microbial culture growth

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Gas Chromatograph with FID and FPD detectors is used for volatile fatty acids and volatile organic sulphur compound analyses in liquid and gas phases of anaerobic digesters, respectively.

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Centrifugation is used for solid and liquid separation for analytical testing

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Micro-flow Microscope System used for particle size, count and image analysis in liquid samples before and after waste disintegration

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Microplate reader with absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence capabilities to quantify biopolymers and cell damage in wastewater and sludge samples

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Particle size analysis in both liquid and solid samples in a dynamic range of 0.01-3500 µm

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Nano-scale particle sizing and zeta potential measurements can be done for the same sample simultaneously with Zetasizer

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


High temperature/pressure microwave irradiation is applied for waste disintegration for enhanced biogas (methane) recovery

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager


Ultrasound is another alternative for waste disintegration

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Gas Chromatograph with TCD used for reactor headspace biogas composition analysis (CH4, CO2, N2, O2)

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager


Treated biosolids samples are categorized under Class A and B depending on their coliform concentrations quantified by Quanti-Tray/ Colilert method.

Credit: UBC Bioreactor Technology Group


Destruction of microbial cells in wastewater/biosolids samples is achieved at high pressures prior anaerobic digestion

Credit: ErinRose Handy, UBC Communications Manager

Additional Information

Title

URL

UBC Ingenuity 2012, “Harvesting energy, creating fertilizer from sludge”

http://engineering.ubc.ca/sites/apsc.ubc.ca/files/Ingenuity_SS2012%20-%20single%20pages_s.pdf

Castanet.net, “Federal funds for strategic engineering research at UBC’s Okanagan Campus”

http://www.castanet.net/news/Campus-Life/59645/Federal-funds-for-strategic-engineering-research-at-UBC-s-Okanagan-campus

City of Kelowna, News Release, “UBCO, City work on biosolid energy research”

http://www.kelowna.ca/iNews/scripts/nws002.cfm?News_ID=2384

North of 50, “Regional Attitude Cigdem Eskicioglu”

http://www.northof50.com/pdf/apr10okweb.pdf

University –Industry Liason Office,” Building Successful Partners”

http://www.uilo.ubc.ca/annual-reports/ar2011/ie2.html

UBC Public affairs, “UBC Okanagan Researcher Wants to Turn Waste into Renewable Energy”

http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2010/03/04/ubc-okanagan-researcher-wants-to-turn-waste-into-renewable-energy/