Agro-industrial waste treatment and valorization

Contact: Pietro Carlozzi (Unit of Firenze)
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The main goal of the research group is the valorization and the protection of the natural environment. To achieve this goal the group studies different relevant topics. Physical and chemical processes for the removal of organic load from waste as, for example, olive mill wastewater. The recovery of bioactive molecules as biophenol compounds. Adsorbing and desorbing processes of biophenols using different matrices are being investigated, because they affect the economic interests of pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Applied microbial photosynthesis for green energy production as biohydrogen and biodiesel from different wastewater feedstock. Purple non-sulfur photosynthetic bacteria (PNS) are studied for hydrogen photo-production from culture broth added with feeding waste, which have zero costs. Different PNS bacteria species able to carry out photofermentative process are studied for a coproduction of green energies (hydrogen and biodiesel) using photobioreactors.

agro1a agro1b agro1c


  1. Agro-industrial wastewater purification through physical and chemical pre-treatment to attain cheap feedstock for photosynthetic microorganisms growth.
  2. Development of innovative and eco-tenable processes for the recovery of biomolecules as polyphenols from olive mill wastewater using adsorbing vegetable matrices as a dry aquatic fern (Azolla) and a granular active carbon or synthetic resin. The performance of a single or multiple matrices are studied to improve the efficiency of the full process in removing biophenols from OMW.
  3. Design of new photobioreactor shapes suitable to grow purple non-sulfur photosynthetic bacteria for chemical and biomass productions.
  4. Photoproduction of green energies (biohydrogen and biodiesel) from synthetic medium and culture broths added with wastewater.
  5. Setting up of different growth strategies to improve the hydrogen production yield and the biomass (rich in oil) output rate.
  6. Growth kinetic of non-sulfur photosynthetic bacteria and light conversion efficiency improvements under indoor and outdoor light conditions