Institute of Global Innovation Research



Institute of Global Innovation Research



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Yearly archive

[ENERGY] Terada Team

A new nitrogen management system in water/wastewater treatment  

Team Head

Akihiko Terada

Affiliation Institute of Engineering
Division / Department Division of Applied Chemistry
Position Professor

Foreign Researcher(s)

Barth F. Smets

Affiliation Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)
Division / Department Department of Environmental Engineering
Position Professor

Kartik Chandran

Affiliation Columbia University(U.S.A.)
Division / Department Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Position Professor

Susanne Lackner

Affiliation Technical University Darmstadt (Germany)
Division / Department Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Position Professor

Shan-Li Wang

Affiliation National Taiwan University (Taiwan)
Division / Department Department of Agricultural Chemistry
Position Professor

Sukhwan Yoon

Affiliation Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) (Korea)
Division / Department Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Position Associate Professor


Yohey HASHIMOTO (Institute of Agriculture / Associate Professor), Shohei RIYA (Institute of Engineering / Associate Professor) , Toshikazu Suenaga (Institute of Global Innovation / Assistant Professor)


To ensure sufficient amount of freshwater resource in the 21st century, reclamation of used water, resource recovery and energy harvesting from used water streams have become more important. Recently, water generated after human activities is not called “wastewater” anymore but “enriched” and/or “resource” water, potentially possessing resources and energy. Given the paradigm shift from removing contaminants in wastewater streams to harvesting energy/resources, of importance are to discover novel microorganisms and to promote an innovation allowing efficient energy/resource recovery. The research team aims at development of a management system of nitrogen, which mainly causes water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, based on the concepts of energy-saving and energy/resource recovery.


In wastewater streams, there exist various forms of nitrogen compounds, which are transformed into nitrogen gas by multiple reactions mediated by different microorganisms. For removal of nitrogen compounds, substantial amount of energy has been provided. We explore ways to turn such an energy-intensive nitrogen-removing technology into energy/resource recovery counterparts. Concretely, we tackle on (1) development of a cost-effective nitrogen removal technology achieving high rate conversion and low emission of greenhouse gas, i.e. nitrous oxide (N2O), (2) exploration of novel microorganisms and understanding of their potentials for energy recovery and protein production, and (3) development of an energy harvesting technology by accumulating N2O.


1. Acceleration of partial nitritation-anammox reaction
Partial nitritation-anammox is of promise as an energy-saving and cost-effective nitrogen removal process. This work package focuses on comprehensive understanding of physiology and phylogeny of bacteria responsible for partial nitritation and anammox. Furthermore, bacteria producing and consuming N2O are explored.

2. Exploration of novel N2O-assimilating algae and application to a resource recovery system
Freshwater N2O-assimilating algae are enriched and isolated. Their physiological potentials for production of valuable compounds are investigated.

3. Energy recovery based on N2O
It has been perceived that N2O is a nitrogen compound to be reduced. On the contrary, it could be an excellent combustion gas for CH4. A way to attain high N2O yield during nitrogen conversion is investigated.

4. Protein recovery from nitrogen-enriched water
Exploration of bacteria synthesizing protein from ammonia in wastewater is performed.


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