The laboratory of environmental biotechnology is specialized in research and development of water and wastewater bio-treatment processes. Our laboratory team is motivating to create new water treatment methods that are able to reduce treatment infrastructure and some of the operational activities, as well, challenging with hard degradable molecules and polymers. Our vision is to increase water viability and quality for humanity and nature.
We are specializing on microorganism’s macro-encapsulation methods in particularly, within a confined environment, and consequences, exploring the effect of bacterial encapsulation in a confined environment on various parameters and applications such as, selective contaminants bioremediation efficacy and the secretion of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes. Extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, encases a great potential for water treatment industry sector, enabling expanding and amplifying the biological treatment thus, may reduce the need for associated infrastructure and others operational byproducts such as, an excess sludge formation.
One of our major studies is to develop an adequate cost-effective bio-treatment for water contamination by micro-pollutants, emphasis on sexual steroidal hormones. A steroidal hormones mechanism of action is starting by the DNA level, and therefore projecting at very low concentration (ng/L), a significant effect on life. The presence of sexual steroidal hormones in aquatic environment transverse the gender of fish and ambient larva into female, therefore, may be the responsible for species extinction. We are working to adjust an innovative encapsulation technology, the SBP technology, to treat steroidal hormones in domestic wastewater treatment plants, which considering the origin of contamination. A collaboration was established together with Tel Aviv University (Prof. Avisar and Prof. Mamane), and Haifa University (Dr. Kurzbaum), to develop an innovative bioreactor (OBR – oxidative bioreactor) that combines biological treatment along with a physical treatment to challenge resistance molecules for degradation in a relative short hydraulic retention time (HRT).