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Giovanni Rusconi talks about his research stay at IMDEA Water

Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your educational background? 
I am Giovanni Rusconi Clerici, a guy of 28 years old which had the opportunity to do a collaboration with the IMDEA Water Institute. I was born in Milano (10/06/93) and I studied at the University of Milano (Agrotechnology for Sustainability) and subsequently, I performed a Master degree in Biotechnology for Sustainability, at the university Nova de Lisboa at the ITQB research Institute 

What does the work / research you do consist of? 
I obtained a grant at the University of Milano entitled: “Electroactive biochar. Study of applications in circular economy technologies and life cycle analysis”. More in detailed, in collaboration with Bioe group I performed experiments using percolation column systems for the oxidation of a specific wastewater coming from an industry specialized in the production of lactic ferments. The main experimental objectives were:

  1. Evaluate the rate of COD oxidation of the column systems;
  2. Compare different types of electroactive materials;
  3. Compare different operation mode (Tidal vs Percolation);
  4. Enhance the columns aeration effect (aerobic electroconductive biofilters);
  5. Evaluate the nutrients recovery especially under the nitrogen forms. 

Why did you choose IMDEA Water for an internship? In what period did you make your internship? 
I have chosen IMDEA Agua because, Bioe group, as far as I know, it is the best group in this area. In addition, once I selected this internship, I thought, that due to iMETland there was the possibility to see or implement the research also on a real scale, something that has been always my focus. 
My internship lasted from August 2021 until January 2022. 

Has this stay been useful to you to advance your research / training? How much? Have you collaborated with other researchers at the IMDEA Water Institute? 
During this period, I have been able to advance in my research considering that I improved the nutrients recovery from the wastewater stream compared to what I was able to achieve during my experiments in Italy. This nice result was achieved also through the support of my colleagues/researchers of Bioe group
Last but not least I received also support and a warm welcome from researchers of the Ecotoxicology group.