Exploiting fungi potential for recalcitrant compounds removal from cellulosic wastewaters

Romania Toscana, Italy

FUNCELL consists is the development of an innovative myco-based tertiary treatment for tannery and paper-mill wastewaters efficient in removing tannins and absorbable organic halogen (AOX), not depleted by consolidated bacterial-based processes. The costs of treatments for m3 of wastewaters will be reduced and qualitative improvements in the treatment of wastewater are envisaged. FUNCELL is based both on modern processes for biological treatment (Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor, MBBR) and on biological non-conventional processes catalyzed by fungi [White-Rot-Fungi-(WRF) and Ascomycota-(ASC)]. An innovative carrier, based on polyethylene supports, will be developed for optimizing the fungal biomass growth in system where bacteria are competitive. A pilot of an innovative MBBR designed for fungi will be set up and tested. An innovative approach to monitor and automatize the reactor, based on a specifically designed differential respirometer, will be constructed. The TRL 6 level will be reached. FUNCELL’s objective is the 15-20% reduction of the investments in wastewater treatment plants, compared to actual technologies, comprising anaerobic treatments dedicated to the depletion of AOX.

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January 2017