Cristina Cagnetta


Cristina CagnettaCristina graduated as Master in Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology Industrial option, Bologna University (2010-2013) after which she started her PhD at Ghent University (2013-present).

Her research interests are wastewater biovalorization through anaerobic digestion and fermentation, membrane bioreactors/ FO and A-stage (adsorption-bioxidation process).

Capturing the energy present in wastewater could avoid the annual consumption of ~260 billion kWH of primary energy for the USA alone. While the largest flow of wastewater is domestic, energy recovery is difficult mainly due to the low concentrations of organics in the wastewater. Even better than recovering the energy could be the recovery of the organics, such as acetate, as these compounds have high economic value. The aim of this project is the development of a membrane A-stage to concentrate the wastewater and then the conversion of this concentrate via fermentation to a stream that can be used for production of bioenergy. Our approach thus makes domestic wastewater available as a source for energy and products in a true biorefinery context.


Joint PhD with LabMET, Department of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Ghent University