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Dan Leicester

Energy recovery from a high strength waste stream using bioelectrochemical systems.


Project supervisors

Project description

Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) have the potential to treat wastewater and recover energy at the same time. But they are far from ready for use by industry. The development of large and pilot scale systems is widely regarded as one of the greatest research challenges in this field. There are several reasons for this. They are expensive. They are difficult to engineer. The data that we can get from them is very limited. They are rarely in duplicate and disproportionate to the time commitment.

Variability occurs when using wastewater as a substrate in identically made reactors. My research will explore this variability.

I will:

  • determine the maximum removal rates of a BES when using wastewater
  • use a pilot-scale microbial electrolysis cell on return sludge liquor to reduce the loading on activated sludge
  • maximise the efficiency of this pilot-scale reactor by determining the ideal operational conditions



  • Professional: Wastewater Engineering, Bioelectrochemical Systems, Resource recovery
  • Personal: Kayaking, Climbing, Snowboarding


  • Environment Engineering MSc – Newcastle University
  • BSc Hons Geography – Newcastle University