Professor Noguera’s research group works on environmental biotechnology with a focus on bioenergy and sustainability. The work with biological wastewater treatment is primarily related to minimizing energy needs in activated sludge processes by harnessing the ability of microorganisms to perform nitrogen and phosphorus removal under low dissolved oxygen conditions. The Noguera lab also works in biofuel and biochemical production by modifying aerobic and anaerobic aromatic degradation pathways.
“My students and I work on the area of Environmental Biotechnology within Environmental Engineering. The current major areas of research are (i) bioenergy, (ii) biological nutrient removal during wastewater treatment, and (iii) fundamental studies of DNA/RNA hybridizations in whole cells and bioinformatics.
Bioenergy research is related to maximizing biofuels and biofuel precursors with photoheterotrophic bacteria and biological transformation of lignin to biofuel precursors.
Our research on biological nutrient removal seeks to develop new treatment processes with reduced energy requirements. We are primarily focused on the development of efficient enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) and simultaneous nitrification/denitrification under low dissolved oxygen conditions.
Our studies with DNA/RNA hybridizations aim at developing a mechanistic approach for the design of probes for fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and primers for qPCR. We are also engaged in the development of bioinformatic tools of relevance in microbial ecology studies within environmental engineering.”
Professor Noguera’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), the Office for Naval Research (ONR), The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), and by industrial collaborators.