CV / Scientific Career
Research interestsPollution of the environment by chemical compounds is a matter of concern around the world. Biodegradation is the primary mechanism for removal of these pollutants. But environmental pollutants’ degradation is strongly limited by the presence of a suitable electron acceptor to sustain microbial respiration except the environmental factors, such as temperature, pH, concentration and so on. In recent years, Microbial Electrochemical Technologies (MET) have offered the possibility to overcome the common lack of suitable electron acceptors in anoxic environments by providing electrodes as TEA. The electrodes sustain and stimulate microbial respiration, providing not only an unlimited electron acceptor but also a solid surface to facilitate biofilm formation. The MET systems have shown high versatility assisting bioremediation processes in wastewater, sediments and soil. Furthermore efficient removal of nitrates, chlorinated hydrocarbons, antibiotics, herbicides and petroleum hydrocarbons was demonstrated. Among them, BTEX degradation has been enhanced with electrode´s assistance in different matrixes, as sediment and groundwater.
At present, the interaction and electron exchange with the electrodes have been thoroughly studied only primarily in two bacteria: Shewanella oneidensis and Geobacter sulfurreducens. Similarly, no deep insight has been studied regarding the roll of DIET in the bioremediation processes. And also the biodegradation of recalcitrant compounds requires a set of redox reactions that can be played by different strains, which the conductive material would help these redox reactions to occur.
Thus further studies I want to elucidate whether direct impacts, indirect impacts or both take place under the presence of electrodes.