Recycled-Membrane Biofilm Reactor: A sustainable biological alternative for microcystin removal

Published On: October 4, 2019

Jesús Morón, researcher at the IMDEA Water Institute, has defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Alcalá

Jesús Morón López, researcher at the IMDEA Water Institute, has defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Alcalá.

The thesis, framed within the Doctoral Program in Hydrology and Water Resources Management, has the title "Recycled-Membrane Biofilm Reactor (R-MBfR). A sustainable biological alternative for microcystin removal" and has been directed by Dr. Serena Molina, also a researcher at IMDEA Water. This doctor's degree is granted by the University of Alcalá and the Rey Juan Carlos University.

Jesús Morón, investigador del Instituto IMDEA Agua, ha defendido su tesis doctoral


The doctoral thesis focused on the study of a new advanced biological system that allows to enhance the microbial metabolic capacities to efficiently eliminate microcystins, compounds produced by the outcrops of cyanobacteria in fresh water and highly toxic to animals, including humans. In addition, the development of an economic and sustainable system was a priority in this work; therefore, recycled materials were used as supports for bacterial growth. Specifically, reverse osmosis membranes were used at the end of their useful life, which were discarded by desalination plants. The proposed innovative system was based on the technology of membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR), used in wastewater, and which in this work was called a recycled-membrane biofilm reactor (R-MBfR).

Jesús Morón concluded in his thesis that the R-MBfR concept allows addressing the lack of efficient and sustainable technologies to treat water microcystins with different applications, while at the same time contributing to the circular economy, by providing a new recycling alternative for All reverse osmosis modules currently discarded.

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