Dr. Francis de los Reyes

Dr. Francis de los Reyes III

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Phone: 919-515-7416
Fax: 919-515-7908
Instructor Website
Research Website

CE 774 Environmental Bioprocess Technology CANCELED for FALL

3 Credit Hours

Principles of microbiological, biochemical, and biophysical processes used in environmental waste treatment and remediation processes, with particular emphasis on water quality control. This course will prepare students to use fundamental microbiological, biochemical, and biophysical principles in the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the major processes used in environmental biotechnology, with particular emphasis on water quality control and water resource recovery processes. While the focus is on fundamental principles, such as kinetics and stoichiometry of biological reactions, the problems and cases are based on real and current challenges in waste treatment and resource recovery.


Graduate classes in Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering (NC State CE 573) AND

Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering (NC State CE 574) OR

Permission from instructor.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the key unit processes in a waste treatment/resource recovery process and explain the functions of each component.
  2. Given a particular wastestream, flow requirements, and treatment standards, be able to:
    • Identify the key design and operation issues for adequate removal of contaminants or recovery of resources;
    • Select an appropriate treatment/recovery process and justify the selection;
    • Provide an initial design of the process by selecting appropriate values for fundamental variables and calculating removal rates, biomass production rates, oxygen requirements, clarifier loadings and sizes, selector sizes, and other key parameters in suspended and attached growth systems.
  3. Model suspended and attached growth processes:
    • Predict the effect of environmental parameters and operational factors on performance;
    • Interpret the results of modeling simulations.
  4. Evaluate a full scale water resources recovery facility (wastewater treatment plant) based on:
    • Design and operation of the biochemical treatment process;
    • Design and operation of solids handling processes;
    • Troubleshooting problems.

Course Requirements

Homework. Homework will generally be due one week after it is assigned. The homework is due during class on the due date. If the homework cannot be turned in during class on the due date, permission from the instructor to change the due date is necessary. Without this permission, the homework will not be graded.

Unless the assignment specifies otherwise, you will be assigned in pairs to work on the homework, and each pair will submit one solution set per assignment. Some homework assignments will include material that has not been covered in class at the time of the assignment, but require reading of papers or books available in Electronic or Print Reserves at the Library.

Writing assignments are required to be typed on 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins, and 12 point font Times or Times New Roman. Writing assignments are primarily evaluated for content, but writing effectiveness is also important (e.g., organization, style, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and neatness).

Examples of references that can be consulted

  • W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. 1979. The Elements of Style. 3 rd ed. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., NY.
  • J. G. Smith and P. A. Vesilind. 1996. Report Writing for Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Lakeshore Press, Woodsville, NH.

Field Trip: Distance students will be required to virtually “visit” a water resources recovery facility (wastewater treatment plant) in their area and prepare a short report (10 pages) that includes their analysis of the WWTP design and operation.

Exams. All exams will be closed-book exams. You can make your own formula sheets for the exams. For exam 1, you can use one double-sided sheet (2 pages); for exam 2, you can use two double-sided sheets (4 pages); for the Final Exam, you can use three double-sided sheets (6 pages). Permission for a make-up exam needs to be obtained before the exam.

Homework (10): 30%
Exam 1 18%
Exam 2 18%
Final Exam 30%
Class Participation 4%

Grades will not be assigned using a curve so that your course grade will depend only on how you do, and not how everyone else in the class does. A weighted grade of 90 and above is typically a course grade of A, 80 or above = B, 70 or above = C, and 60 or above = D.

Course Outline


  1. Contaminants and their measurement
  2. Overview of treatment objectives

Fundamentals of Biochemical Operations

  1. Microbial Groups and Ecosystems
  2. Important Processes

Quantitative Fundamentals

  1. Energetics and Stoichiometry
  2. Kinetics of Growth and Substrate Removal

Theory: Modeling of Suspended Growth Reactors

  1. Basic Model for a CSTR
  2. Extensions of Basic Model
  3. Conventional Configuration
  4. Modeling Complex Systems

Applications: Suspended Growth Reactors

  1. Design Approach
  2. Activated Sludge Process
  3. Modeling of Activated Sludge Systems
  4. Biological Nutrient Removal
    a. Nitrification/Denitrification
    b. Phosphorus Removal
  5. Gas Transfer
  6. Anaerobic Treatment
  7. Clarifier Design
  8. Membrane Bioreactors
  9. Treatment and Disposal of Sludge

Modeling and Applications of Attached Growth Reactors

  1. Substrate Utilization and Transport
  2. Biofilm Kinetics and Mass Balance
  3. Applications


Grady, L., Daigger, G., Love, N., and Filipe, C. Biological Wastewater Treatment, Third Ed. IWA Publishing/CRC. ISBN: 9780849396793.

In addition to the text, several handouts and papers will be used as reading assignments or study material. They will be provided during the semester on the Moodle website.

Additional Resources

Rittmann, B.E. and McCarty, P.L., Environmental Biotechnology, 2000, McGraw-Hill

Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. 2001. Wastewater Engineering: Treatment, Disposal, and Reuse, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, NY. ISBN: 9780070418783.

Henze, M., Harremoes, P., la Cour Jansen, J., and Arvin, E.. Wastewater Treatment, Biological and Chemical Processes, 3rd edition, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.

Eckenfelder, W., Malina, J., and Patterson, J. (eds.) 1992/1998. Water Quality Management Library, Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7. Technomic Publishing Co.

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

Updated 10/2/2020