Research Lab

Biochemical Engineering

Research Interests

The Biochemical Engineering (BIOENG) lab is devoted to the areas of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology with main focus on: Micropollutants, Biological Nutrient Removal and Recovery; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Production and Characterization of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), Microbial Polysaccharides and Bulk Chemicals. Learn more about our projects at “Noite Europeia dos Investigadores 2020 - atividade “De resíduos a bioplásticos”.

Research Highlights
USABLE Packaging: Bioplastics for the Circular Economy

USABLE PACKAGING will develop high performance plastic packaging through a sustainable and fully circular value chain, where the biomass raw material sourcing derives from food processing side streams, to obtain, via a low footprint biochemical processing, bio-based biodegradable building block materials that will enable the realisation of:

1) complex packaging structures, including laminates and multilayer films, to match key functional requirements of commercial petrochemical plastics, such as gas/ liquid barrier properties, mechanical resistance, cold temperature resistance, hot tack, among others,

2) a full set of packaging items from rigid to semi rigid and flexible by tuning the functionalisation of base resins through bio-synthesis and the compound processing.


To know more visit our project website page.


highlight 2020

Representative Projects

  • “AFTERLIFE: Advanced Filtration TEchnologies for the Recovery and Later conversIon of relevant Fractions from wastewater” EC-H2020, Total funding: €3,9M, Unit funding: €247,000, Maria Reis (Collaborator-PI in Portugal).
  • “YPACK: High performance polyhydroxyalkanoates based packaging to minimise food waste” EC-H2020, Total funding: €5,9M, Unit funding: €410,187, Maria Reis (Collaborator-PI in Portugal).
  • “NoAW: Innovative approaches to turn agricultural waste into ecological and economic assets” EC-H2020, Total funding: €6,9M, Unit funding: €175,000, Maria Reis (Collaborator-PI in Portugal).
  • “RES-URBIS: REsources from URbanBIo-waSte” ECH2020, Total funding: €2,9M, Unit funding: €234,762, Maria Reis (Collaborator-PI in Portugal).
  • “GLOPACK: Granting society with LOw environmental impact innovative PACKaging” EC- H2020, Total funding: €5,6M, Unit funding: €335,305, Maria Reis (CollaboratorPI in Portugal).

Selected Publications

Pereira, JR; Araujo, D; Freitas, P; Marques, AC; Alves, VD; Sevrin, C; Grandfils, C; Fortunato, E; Reis, MAM; Freitas, F. 2021. Production of medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates by Pseudomonas chlororaphis subsp. aurantiaca: Cultivation on fruit pulp waste and polymer characterization. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES, 167, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.11.162
Nguyen, PY; Carvalho, G; Reis, MAM; Oehmen, A. 2021. A review of the biotransformations of priority pharmaceuticals in biological wastewater treatment processes. WATER RESEARCH, 188, DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116446
Valerio, R; Bernardino, ARS; Torres, CAV; Brazinha, C; Tavares, ML; Crespo, JG; Reis, MAM. 2021. Feeding strategies to optimize vanillin production by Amycolatopsis sp. ATCC 39116. BIOPROCESS AND BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING, DOI: 10.1007/s00449-020-02482-7
Concordio-Reis, P; Pereira, CV; Batista, MP; Sevrin, C; Grandfils, C; Marques, AC; Fortunato, E; Gaspar, FB; Matias, AA; Freitas, F; Reis, MAM. 2020. Silver nanocomposites based on the bacterial fucose-rich polysaccharide secreted by Enterobacter A47 for wound dressing applications: Synthesis, characterization and in vitro bioactivity. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES, 163, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.07.072
Santos, JMM; Martins, A; Barreto, S; Rieger, L; Reis, M; Oehmen, A. 2020. Long-term simulation of a full-scale EBPR plant with a novel metabolic-ASM model and its use as a diagnostic tool. WATER RESEARCH, 187, DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116398