In this research, we aim to establish design rules for continuous extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production process combined with wastewater treatment and to investigate potential applications of these EPS. To that end possibility of using wastewaters with various organic contaminants for EPS production will be explored and effects of parameters, such as organic loading rate (OLR), sludge residence time (SRT) will be investigated. Also, EPS-producing microbial community enrichment strategies from various seeding sludges will be researched. While optimizing the process for high yield EPS production, genomic material of the community will be collected to elucidate the function of the microbial community in terms of EPS production. The EPS produced at various reactor operational conditions and with several wastewaters will be characterized for their physical-chemical properties, such as molecular weight distribution, charge density and functional groups. Finally, flocculation efficiency of these EPS for various applications will be compared with their synthetic commercial counterparts.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.