The Bioprocessing and Environmental Technology community of practice tackles the ever-growing challenges of environmental stewardship and sustainability in the context of the water-soil-waste nexus.

Global trends of rapid urbanisation and climate change pose serious threats to sustainable development and sustainable resource management. The nexus approach recognises that water, soil and waste are inextricably intertwined and therefore integrated management of these environmental resources is necessary in order to achieve sustainable development in the face of these global trends. 

It is this need for an integrated approach that has propelled us to establish this community of practice for transdisciplinary research, within which knowledge is shared between researchers whose focus is on different nodes. This will facilitate and support a full nexus approach to our work in order to advance integrated and sustainable resource management. 

For more information, contact Professor Frederic Coulon:

Our focus areas

  • Aeromicrobiology;
  • Environmental biotechnology;
  • Environmental monitoring for sustainable energy systems (including bioenergy, shale gas and CCS);
  • Industrial ecology;
  • Environmental pollution and remediation risk management;
  • Water-soil-waste systemengineering and modelling;
  • Resource recovery and circular economy.

Analytical expertise

Analytical expertise Examples of techniques
Volatile organic
compounds (microbial
VOCs and VOCs)
Detection and
Teenax, Tedlar bags,
wind tunnel, thermal desorption-gas
chromatography mass spectrometry
(TD-GC-MS), selected-ion flow-tube
mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS)
Gas sensors Optical and quartz crystal microbalance
(QCM)/node wireless sensor network
Extractions Ultrasonic, Soxhlet, solid phase extraction (SPE),
accelerated solvent extraction (ASE),
microwave-assisted solvent extraction (MSE)
Inorganic analytical
Atomic absorbtion spectrometry (AAS),
inductively coupled plasma mass 
spectroscopy (ICP-MS), ion chromatography
Organic analytical
Gas/liquid chromatography coupled to mass
spectrometry (GCMS and LCMS), gas
chromatography with flame-ionization 
detection (GC-FID), HPLC (high performance
liquid chromatography), gas chromatography
with electron capture detection (GC-ECD)
Microbial ecology
and toxicology
PLFA/PLEL profiling, Q-PCR, next-gen
sequencing (NGS), flow cytometry, biosensors,
seed germination, earthworm survival, 
catabolic profiling, respiration
Modelling Fugacity, GoldSim Monte Carlo Simulation
, COMSOL Multiphysics® Modeling
Pilot hall/wasterwater
treatment plant and 8m3
anaerobic digester
Gas testing, media beds, MBRs, ponds, upflow
anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB), feedstock
biodegradation, biomethane potential (BMP), 
fate and transport of chemicals in genuine
effluents, gas cleanup
Remediation pilot trial Biopiles, turn windrows, mesocosms,

Recent relevant publications

Ferguson R.M.W., Garcia-Alcega S., Coulon F., Dumbrell A.J., Whitby C., Colbeck I. 2019.
Bioaerosol biomonitoring: Sampling optimization for molecular microbial ecology. Molecular Ecology Resources. 19: 672-690

Cipullo S., Nawar S., Mouazen A.M., Campo-Moreno P., Coulon F. 2019.
Predicting bioavailability change of complex chemical mixtures in contaminated soils using visible and  near-infrared spectroscopy and random forest regression. Nature Scientific Reports, 9: 4492-

Temple T., Cipullo S., Galante E., Ladyman M., Mai N., Parry T., Coulon F. 2019.
The effects of soil type on the extraction of insensitive high explosive constituents using four conventional methods. Science of the Total Environment, 668: 184-192

Maco B., Bardos P., Coulon F., Erickson-Mulanax E., Hansen L.J., Harclerode M., Hou D., Mielbretch E., Wainwright H.M., Yasutaka T., Wick W.D. 2018.
Resilient remediation: Addressing extreme weather and climate change, creating community value. Remediation, 29:7-18

Cipullo S., Negrin I., Claveau L., Snapir B., Tardif S., Pulleyblank C., Prpich G., Campo P., Coulon F. 2019.
Linking bioavailability and toxicity changes of complex chemicals mixture to
support decision making for remediation end point of contaminated soils. Science of the Total Environment, 650: 2150-2163

Kumar V., Longhurst P. 2018.
Recycling of Food Waste into Chemical Building Blocks. Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, 13:118-122

Nasir Z.A., Hayes E., Williams B., Gladding T., Rolph C., Khera S., Jackson S., Bennett A., Collins S., Parks S., Attwood A., Kinnersley R.P., Walsh K., Garcia Alcega S., Pollard S.J.T., Drew G.,
Coulon F., Tyrrel S. 2018.
Scoping studies to establish the capability and utility of a real-time bioaerosol sensor to characterise emissions from environmental sources. Science of the Total Environment, 648: 25-18

Canopoli L., Fidalgo B., Coulon F., Wagland S.T. 2018.
Physico-chemical properties of excavated plastic from landfill mining and current recycling routes. Waste Management. 76: 55-67

Whitton R., Fane S., Jarvis P., Tupper M., Raffin M., Coulon F., Nocker A. 2018.
Flow cytometry-based evaluation of the bacterial removal efficiency of a blackwater reuse treatment plant and the microbiological changes in the associated non-potable distribution network. Science
of the Total Environment. 644: 954-962

Garcia-Alcega S., Nasir Z.A., Ferguson R., Withby C., Dumbrell A.J., Colbeck I., Gomes D., Tyrrel S. & Coulon F. 2017.
Fingerprinting outdoor air environments using microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs): A review, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 86 75-83

Kumar V., Park S. 2017.
Potential and Limitations of Klebsiella pneumoniae as Microbial Cell Factory Utilizing Glycerol as Carbon Source. Biotechnology Advances, 36:150-167

Eduok S., Ferguson R., Jefferson B., Villa R. & Coulon F. 2017.
Aged-engineered nanoparticles effect on sludge anaerobic digestion performance and associated microbial communities, Science of the Total Environment, 609 232-241

Kumar V., Durgapal M., Park S., Yang T.H., Lee H.J., Seung D., Park S. 2016. Effect of mutation of 2,3-butanediol formation pathway on glycerol metabolism and 1,3-propanediol production by
Klebsiella pneumoniae J2B. Bioresource Technology, 214:432-440

Fontanille P., Kumar V., Christophe G., Nouaille R., Larroche C. 2012.
Biovalorization of volatile fatty acids into microbial lipids by oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Bioresource Technology, 114:443-449

Joah Bramhall

I decided to come to Cranfield because Cranfield has a renowned and excellent water department working on sanitation. Sanitation is one of the most important factors in the development of countries and communities world-wide.

Joah Bramhall, Current PhD student