The UCIBIO pilot plant’s mission is to be a key enabler of training and education to produce highly skilled graduate students in the field of Biotechnology/Biochemical Engineering. To be responsible for conducting world-class research and innovation in key areas of bioprocess technology and providing state-of-the-art pilot plant facilities for conducting research, development and training. The pilot plant enables to develop biotechnological processes up to the 100L working volume and to obtain products (such as biopolymers) up to the kg-scale.



  • 2 up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors with up to 100L operating volume, to perform acidogenic fermentation;
  • 2 sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) type with up to 200L operating volume equipped with aeration and stirring systems, to perform the microbial selection;
  • 1 fed-batch reactor type with up to 50L operating volume equipped with aeration and stirring system, to perform the production of biopolymers;
  • 1 feeding tank with up to 500L operating volume;
  • 1 feeding tank with up to 300L operating volume;
  • 1 buffer tank with up to 300L operating volume;
  • 1 buffer tank with up to 200L operating volume;
  • 4 water baths;
  • Feeding and recirculation pumps to UASB reactors;
  • Pressure transmitter for UASB reactor;
  • Feeding and macronutrient pumps to SBRs;
  • Feeding pump to biopolymer production reactor;
  • Biomass purge pump to inoculate biopolymer production reactor;
  • Anti-foam system coupled to one of the SBRs.
  • Air compressor for SBRs, production reactor and anti-foam system;
  • Accessories needed for pilot plant operation: pH dosing pumps, gas and liquid flowmeters, level controllersand sensors for online monitoring;
  • 3 computers;
  • Control hardware and software;
  • CEPA® Z 41 High-Speed Tubular Centrifuge;
  • ITYS PROv UPS Monofásica eTrifásica de 10 a 20 kVA;



Maria Reis

PhD in Biochemical Engineering, 1991, FCT NOVA

Habilitation in Biochemical Engineering, 2003, FCT NOVA Full Professor, FCT NOVA


Post-docs fellows

  • Bruno Marreiros
  • Mónica Carvalheira
  • Yen Nguyen


PhD fellows

  • Mariana Matos
  • Fernando Silva


Research assistants

  • Bruno Pereira
  • Cláudia Henriques
  • Cláudia Ralo
  • Daniela Pequito



  • H2020-IND-CE-2016 –730349 (RES-URBIS)REsources from URbanBIo-waSte. (2016-2019). Maria A.M. Reis (PI).
  • H2020-SFS-2017-1-773872 (YPACK) High Performance Polyhydroxyalkanoates Based Packaging To Minimize Food Waste (2017-2020). Maria A.M. Reis (PI).
  • H2020-SFS-2017-1 773375 (GLOPACK) Granting society with LOw environmental impact innovative PACKaging (2018-2021)Maria A.M. Reis (PI).
  • MarNoruega/0001/2016 - Valorização biológica de materiais residuais de origem marinha em produtos com base em polihidroxialcanoatos. (2017-2020) Maria A.M. Reis (PI).



Pilot plant