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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X010260/1
Title: EPSRC-SFI: REducing Greenhouse gas emissions and ENgaging antibactErial Resistance in Anaerobic Treated Effluents (REGENERATE)
Principal Investigator: Lee, Dr PP
Other Investigators:
McDonald, Dr J Myers, Dr RJ Eyice-Broadbent, Dr O
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
City University of Hong Kong Dublin City University Irish Water
National University of Ireland Galway Thames Water Plc Tokyo University of Agriculture & Techno
University of Washington
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2023 Ends: 31 May 2026 Value (£): 509,104
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Oct 2022 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 5 and 6 October 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
REGENERATE is to support the rapidly growing waste-to-energy anaerobic treated effluent industry. To this end, we will be the first to apply an energetics-driven engineering method in wastewater treatment systems to improve ammonia removal capacity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate antibiotic resistance. Therefore, paradigm-shifting innovation is necessary to advance the wastewater industry to a more carbon natural, environmental healthy future. Given that the waste-to-energy anaerobic treated effluent is rich in ammonia and antibiotics, the state-of-the-art energy-efficient Partial Nitrification-Anammox (PN-A) system is incapable to address the increasing greenhouse gas emission (N2O emission) and environmental health demands (antibiotic resistance), albeit its high ammonia removal efficiency. REGENERATE will respond to this challenge, taking advantage of energetics fundamental in a multiple-scale investigation. Microbial energetics drives metabolic pathways and determinates specific end-products and regulates gene expression. Specifically, evidence shows energetics-driven aeration supply can regulate N2O emission reduction and improve antibiotics biodegradation. Multiple combination of engineered aeration strategy is possible; therefore, we will develop a coupled dissolved oxygen level and aeration setpoint energetics-driven approach to investigate microbial consortia found in the PN/A system. The effects of aeration-driven energetics using industrially relevant metrics and analytical chemistry and genomic biology will be examined crossing a lab-, bench-, and full-scale experimentation in this project. Accordingly, a key feature of REGENERATE is to up-scale and achieve rapid industrial adoption of the upgraded PN-A technology by liaising the Project Scholars from Academia and Partners from the Water Industry to implement the research outcomes for operational sites. The other innovation is to introduce microbial energetics as the first principle to current water industry practices. This will be done by using high throughput chemical and genomics analyses to collect an unprecedented engineering and genomics dataset including the lab-, bench-, and full-scale experiments. Further, the dataset will be trained and analysed by the machine learning pipelines developed in the project. Finally, we will access a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental and economic benefits of the PN-A system for the waste-to-energy anaerobic treated effluent industry. Therefore, we will conduct transformative research by including bench-, lab-, and full-scale investigation and apply interconnected research areas including Environmental Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Microbial Genomics, and Machine Learning Computer Science, Water Infrastructure Planning and Engineering, and bring together an interdisciplinary team with 9 scholars and 2 stakeholders. REGENERATE will, thus, encourage deployment and speedy acceptance of the proposed PN-A technology into a more sustainable, healthy waste-to-energy paradigm.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk