SYMBIOSE team

Microbial ecosystems and bioprocesses for purification and recovery

Study the bioconversion processes

Within the TBI, the SYMBIOSE team studies bioconversion processes carried out by microbial communities under controlled conditions (bioreactors).

The main objective of the team's research activities is the treatment and valorization of urban, industrial and agricultural liquid and solid waste. They are declined around three axes: the development and the optimization of bioprocesses for the reduction of the environmental impact of the organic residues and their valorization. For this, the team is particularly interested in the production of biosourced molecules from carbon and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, metals) and in the reduction of health risks related to micropollutants and organic contaminants.

This objective is part of a global evolution of the wastewater treatment sector to reduce its impacts and to associate a recovery approach (material and energy), with for example the production of biosourced polymers and fertilizers from resources such as wastewater or organic waste.

The team has adopted an approach based on the combination of analysis and understanding of microbial ecosystems and modeling.

Our challenges are to describe, understand and predict processes at different scales:

Microbial functions at the cellular level...

...and physical, physico-chemical and chemical processes in the microenvironment (bioreactor) in order to understand and control the response of microbial communities implemented in bioprocesses.

The dynamics of microbial populations...

...within aggregates (microreactor) and bioreactors.

The coupling of processes...

...and their integration into industries to meet technological, environmental and economic objectives. 

The team's topics

  • Entreprises :  Total, Veolia, Suez, Saint Gobain / Pont à Mousson et avec un tissu de PME.
  • National : collectivités territoriales, avec les agences de l’eau ce qui lui confère un fort ancrage au niveau territorial.
  • International, l’équipe a développé un axe fort de partenariat avec plusieurs pays en Europe : Finlande, Danemark, Suède, Suisse, Italie, Espagne, Allemagne, Suisse… en Asie : Japon, Australie et en Amérique : Etats Unis, Canada…

Thèses récentes

  • Dumond, L., 2021. Dégradation de la lignine par des consortia microbiens issus de termites : Enrichissement et caractérisation des communautés par des approches (bio-)chimiques et métagénomiques. Doctorat Université de Toulouse.
  • Etcheberry, T., 2021. Analysis of the selective removal processes of ammonium and manganese in industrial groundwater-fed Rapid Sand Filters. Doctorat Université de Toulouse.
  • Flajollet, E., 2021. Vers la compréhension du fonctionnement des consortia microbiens lignocellulolytiques : contribution des approches méta-omiques et biostatistiques. Doctorat Université de Toulouse.
  • Giroudon, M., 2021. Evaluation des interactions entre biodéchets en digestion anaérobie et matériaux cimentaires à base de différents liants en vue d’une meilleure durabilité des structures de méthanisation. Doctorat Université de Toulouse.
  • Gonzalez Vazquez, B., 2021. Etude de la biofiltration en assainissement : Recherche des conditions optimales pour limiter le colmatage irréversible et les émissions de protoxyde d’azote. Doctorat Université de Toulouse.