88139 - MICROBIOLOGY APPLIED ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION AND BIOENERGY

Scheda insegnamento

SDGs

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.

Salute e benessere Acqua pulita e servizi igienico-sanitari Energia pulita e accessibile Lotta contro il cambiamento climatico

Anno Accademico 2020/2021

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

At the end of the course, students will have their knowledge in micorbiology topics broadened with details on the main microbial groups involved in bioenergy production from biomasses and in the biodegradation of environmental pollutants. students will be able to apply acquired knowledge in the management of plants for bioenergy production and for the bioremediation of contaminated habitats.

Contenuti

A) Background information

Students approaching this teaching activity should have a good preparation in General Microbiology and in Biochemistry. The course is trained in English.

B) Teaching Units

The course is composed of 2 Teaching Units, each one having a theoretical part, performed via usual class teaching, and a practical part, performed via laboratory activity or visits to farms/factories.

 1) Application of microorganisms in bioenergy and bioplastic production (25 hours)

 1.1 Biogas production: methanogenesis from microorganisms in anaerobic habitats. Substrates for methanogenesis. Most used bioreactor configuration for methanogenesis: free- and immobilized-cell reactors, expanded bed reactors, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors, two stage-reactors. Mesophylic and thermophylic biogas producing process.

 1.2 Bioethanol production: Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zymomonas mobilis as biological agents, advantages and disadvantages of the two processes. First and second generation bioethanol. Pre-treatment of starch and of lignocellulosic materials. Bioethanol producing process from sugars and starch using yeasts: batch and continuous processes.

 1.3 Biohydrogen production: microorganisms employed in this process, hydrogenases. Hydrogen production via dark fermentation: mixed-acid fermentation and butirric fermentation, bioreactors used for this process. Hydrogen production via photosynthetic microorganisms: green microalgae, cyanobacteria, purple non-sulfur bacteria. Brief information on photobioreactors for microalgae production.

 1.4 Bioplastic production: synthetic plastics, biodegradable plastics. The concept of biodegradability and compostability. Polylactic acid: production, the role of lactic acid bacteria, properties. Starch based biopolymers: production and uses. Polyhydroxyalkanoates: production from pure and mixed cultures and from waste.

 1.5 Visit to a biogas producing plant fed with waste products and biomasses (8 hours).

Knowledge acquired in Teaching Unit 1: Knowledge of the main microbial groups involved in bioenergy production. Basic knowledge of plants for bioenergy production. Knowledge of the main processes for bioplastic production.

 2) Application of microorganisms for environmental remediation (15 hours) 

2.1 Soil: feasibility of bioremediation technologies, biodegradability and toxicity of organic and inorganic pollutants, soil distribution of pollutants, potentiality ofmicroorganisms in soil pollutants degradation. In situ, on site and ex situ bioremediation technologies: natural attenuation, accelerated bioremediation, bioaugmentation, bioventing, biosparging, landfarming , biopiles, phytoremediation, treatment in bioreactors. 
2.2 Water and wastewater: feasibility of bioremediation technologies, biodegradability of water pollutants, primary, secondary and tertiary treatments with a particular reference to secondary biological treatments. Microbiology of activated sludge and role of microorganisms in the process. Free- and immobilized-cells processes: percolation filters and beds, biofilters. Treatment of sludge and anaerobic digestion.

2.3 Microbial indicators in water pollution and decontamination. Lab activity and training (8 hours)

Knowledge acquired in Teaching Unit 2: Knowledge of the main microbial groups involved in environmental remediation. Basic knowledge of the technologies that exploit microorganisms for the treatment of wastewater and contaminated soils. Capability of performing a microbiological analysis of water.

Testi/Bibliografia

Students have to study on the teaching materials used during classes (available to students) and on notes taken in class.

Metodi didattici

The course is composed of 2 Teaching Units. Each Unit has a theoretical part, performed via usual class teaching, and a practical part, performed via laboratory activity or visits to farms/factories.

1) Class teaching: students will be familiar with the microbiological processes involved in bioenergy and bioplastic production and in the biodegradation of environmental pollutants. They will also apply the acquired knowledge in the management of plants for bioenergy production and for the remediation of contaminated habitats (water and soil).

2) Lab training and visits: students will get to know real situations to which theoretical knowledge in the field of applied microbiology can be used.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

The assessment method of the course Microbiology Applied to the Environmental Remediation and Bioenergy is through a final written test consisting of 20 multiple choice questions (1.5 points each). Questions will be given in English. Questions will be focused on the topics illustrated during class activities and practical activities and will regard all the Teaching Units (Application of microorganisms in bioenergy and bioplastic production, Application of microorganisms for environmental remediation).

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Class teaching will be via slide projection and writing on the multimedia board. An internet connection is available in all teaching rooms. Lab training will take place in the teaching labs at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. The IOL Platform will be used.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Diana Di Gioia