Irene Jubany


My research at GENOCOV was focused on the biological nitrogen removal of high-strength ammonium wastewater, particularly on the nitrification process (the oxidation of ammonium to nitrate). This two-step reaction, catalysed by two kinds of bacteria (AOB and NOB), can suffer serious inhibition problems due to ammonia and nitrous acid and therefore it requires adequate process control. However, these inhibitions can be used to achieve partial nitrification (the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite), which coupled to a denitrifying or anammox process leads to significant benefits in terms of use of resources.

In this research a pilot plant was operated with automated inflow control based on oxygen uptake rate (OUR). A strategy was developed in order to achieve partial nitrification (NOB wash out) at 25 ºC, 1.1 mg O2 L-1 and pH of 8.3 using the appropriate OUR set point for the automatic controller. Steady partial nitrification was run for 120 days with an averaged nitrogen loading rate of 0.5 g N g-1 VSS d-1. Molecular microbiology tools such as FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) and flow cytometry were used in order to quantify the nitrification population an demonstrate the NOB wash out.

Throughout this work mathematical modelling using Matlab® was used to predict the pilot plant performance and design the controller after a comprehensive model parameters calibration with specific experiments.

Currently researcher at:

Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic

Research topics:

Soil treatment, groundwater treatment, water treatment, biological processes, nitrification, denitrification, nitrate, human health risk assessment, ecological risk assessment, struvite, stripping, water reuse.

Other information:

Member of the Network for the Industrially Contaminated Land in Europe (NICOLE)

Member of Watershare.

Links of interest:


Linked in:

InSiTrate project:

SmartStripping project:

Demoware project:




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