The impact of microbial ecology on operation of biosolids treatment trains

Project 1C

In this project, advanced microbial technologies will be employed together with pioneering approaches that combine bioanalytical tools and advanced mass spectrometry techniques to investigate which microbiological processes directly impact the properties of the biosolids during anaerobic digestion or products from the advanced transformation of biosolids, studied in Theme 2.

This will lead to an understanding of the risk associated with biosolids processing and transformation, informing projects in Theme 3.

One key foci of the research undertaken will be on assessing poor performance of anaerobic digestion during stabilisation of sewage sludge. Arguably the top issues with anaerobic digestion which can influence the activity and diversity of the microbial community is foaming, and this will be a particular focus for this project.

Other factors which will also be examined are acidification, increasing viscosity, increasing volatile fatty acid and alkalinity and low methane yield (volatile solids destruction).

This project investigates the influence of these factors on microbial populations and performance.

Our team


Dist. Prof Andy Ball

Lead Chief Investigator

RMIT University


Prof Stuart Khan

Chief Investigator

University of New South Wales


Prof Denis O'Carroll

Chief Investigator

University of New South Wales


Prof Richard Stuetz

Chief Investigator

University of New South Wales