Project #4865

Advancing the Oxygenic Photogranule Process for Energy Positive Wastewater Treatment

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Mr. Ashwin Dhanasekar
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Resource Recovery
Energy Optimization


Wastewater can be a significant energy resource due to the presence of chemical energy originating from organic matter and nutrients. The ability to recover this energy is hindered by the lack of an effective method to harness the energy and the need for a significant amount of energy for aeration. This project developed a new granular bioprocess known as oxygenic photogranules (OPGs) to solve these challenges. OPGs are granular aggregates made up of phototrophic and non-phototrophic microbes. It has been demonstrated via bench-scale systems that OPGs can treat wastewater without aeration, reducing energy demand. OPGs also enabled effective biomass separation, which can further reduce operational costs and capital investment. Through this project, the OPG process was further developed by investigating photogranulation phenomenon, the essential principle of the OPG process and the knowledge necessary to properly design and operate the process. Published in 2020.

Originally funded as WERF project TIRR4C15.