The thesis deals with the study of fungal, rotating-cage biological contactors for the treatment of tannery wastewaters. Fungi are rarely applied as biological agent in environmental biotechnology. In fact, bacteria exhibit higher performance. However, fungi are a valuable complement in situations of bacterial malfunction; thanks to their biochemical and ecological capacity to degrade recalcitrant compounds. Some fungal strains have shown the ability to tolerate and degrade tannins, highly recalcitrant compounds.
Francesco will stay at UAB for a period of nine months starting April 2016 developing a setup with twin rotating-cage biological reactors to treat quebracho, the most representative tannin used in the tannery industry, using Aspergillus Tubingensis MUT 990as main fungal biomass in a rotating biological contactor, a novel bioreactor concept. After his stay at UAB Francesco will continue his PhD in Florence.
Good luck Francesco!!