Research Projects

Our group’s research endeavours to address the complex challenges facing wastewater treatment systems in Canada and around the world. We strive to ultimately help reduce the release of harmful substances to our natural waters. We study biological wastewater treatment technologies using a multi-scale approach founded in modern microscopic and molecular methods to improve current and innovative technologies with a focus on biofilm treatment technologies.

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Low temperature ammonia removal​

15 years of research by Dr. Delatolla and his team have recently demonstrated that the highly temperature sensitive process of nitrification can be achieved at 1°C by nitrifying biofilms under the right engineered environment. This research has led to the first installation of a low temperature nitrifying wastewater treatment system being built in Casselman, ON, Canada. This work is in collaboration with Veolia Water.

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Partial nitritation design

This research is investigating the potential of a design strategy to achieve stable and robust partial nitritation. The application of this research is not only for sidestream treatment but also mainstream anammox treatment.

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Anammox start-up​​

New strategies to reduce the start-up time of anammox treatment systems are being studied with an emphasis on attached growth anammox treatment. This work is in collaboration with AnoxKladnes and Veolia Water.

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Low temperature denitrification optimization

This research studies design and operational conditions to optimize denitrification at temperatures of 1°C. The application of this work is to upgrade passive wastewater treatment systems in temperate, northern cold climate regions.

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Characterisation of biofilm produced solids​

The number of attached growth treatment technology installations is increasing around the world. This research characterises the produced solids and studies their settling.

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Hybrid biological treatment systems

This research studies the performance of newly a hybrid biofilm technology, the Bio-Styr Duo, that combines the Bio-Styr and MBBR technologies. This work is in collaboration with Veolia Water.

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Hydrogen sulfide in stormwater ponds​

Climate change has resulted in the requirement for larger stormwater management ponds. Hydrogen sulfide production is a consequence of this requirement in some ponds. This research studies the mechanisms of production and means of mitigation.

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Industrial wastewaters treatment

Mining impacted wastewaters, food and beverage wastewaters along with other industrially produced waters present complex challenges to treat. This research studies decentralized, on-site treatment solutions.

Research Approach

Our group’s research philosophy is to use modern microscopic and molecular analytical tools to study innovative biological treatment systems at the macro, meso, micro and molecular-scales. We apply the gained in-depth knowledge to the design and operation of suspended growth and biofilm technologies to meet the critical challenges facing wastewater treatment systems in Canada and around the world.