Group of Environmental Biotechnology

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela Campus Vida Cretus

Group of Environmental Biotechnology

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

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Juan M. Lema

Research | Publications | Patents | Projects | Contracts | Doctoral Theses | MS Theses | Awards

Juan M. Lema

Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering

Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Fellow of the International Water Association (IWA). Supervisor of 59 PhD Thesis, author of more than 415 papers and book chapters (H index: 61, Scopus) and 18 patents (8 European or International). Editor of the book: Innovative Wastewater Treatment & Resource Recovery Technologies, published by IWA. 16 Plenaries or Keynotes in international Congresses.

He has coordinated or participated in 57 research projects founded by European Union (24), Spanish Commission of Science and Technology (33) and Galician Regional Government (13). He has been the coordinator of the COST Action ”Conceiving Wastewater treatment in 2020” (Water 2020) and Coordinator of the Spanish network Novedar_Consolider. 16 relevant research projects with companies in the areas of treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater.

Academic (2016) and President (2019) of Royal Galician Academy of Sciences, Dr. Honoris Causa by Catolic University of Valparaíso, Chile (2015), Fellow of International Water Association (2014),Golden Insignia of University of Santiago de Compostela (2013), “Martinez Moreno Award of Innovation (Madrid, 2011), Golden medalo f Chemical Engineering University of Valladolid, (2010), Fundación Babcock to Innovation Award (2004), European Prize of Industrial Enzymes (Barcelona,1993), Ingeniero Comerma Award (Ferrol, 1989).

Most of formers PhD students are at present Professors (9) (in Spain, Mexico, Chile and Colombia); Associated Professors (12) in Spain, Chile and Colombia, Researchers in Technological Centres (Anfaco, Aimen, Ainia, Feuga, Giro, Cetaqua…) or responsible for R&D in several companies (Repsol, Abiasa, Bialactis, Biena, Inditex,…)

Scientific Profiles: Orcid ID, Research Gate


  • Ph.D. in Industrial Chemistry. University of Santiago de Compostela, 1975
  • Graduation in Industrial Chemistry University of Santiago de Compostela, 1971


  • Full Professor, Univ.Santiago de Compostela (USC) 1985-
  • Dean of Environmental Engineering USC (2001-)
  • Head of Department of Chemical Engineering USC (1991-2001)
  • Full Professor, Univ. Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) (1983-85)
  • Associate Professor UAB (1976-83)
  • Assistant Professor USC (1971-1975)

Teaching Activities

  • Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering. (Chemical Engineering Degree, 1st year
  • Bioprocesses (Master in Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses)
  • Research Projects (Master in Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses)

Research Activities

  • Biotransformation of organic micropollutants in wastewater
  • Tertiary treatment of micropollutants in enzymatic reactors with nanoparticles
  • Selective production of VFA by anaerobic fermentation
  • Development of innovative Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Microbial dynamics in anaerobic reactors
  • Bioplastics production from lignocellulosic wastes
Understanding the effect of trace elements supplementation on volatile fatty acids production from proteins
Authors-Ext: R.Bevilacqua
Magazine/book: Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Volume: 9
Issue: 5
Pages: 105934
Date of publication: 01/10/2021
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISBN: 2213-3437
DOI: link
Elimination of SARS-CoV-2 along wastewater and sludge treatment processes
Authors-Ext: Albert Serra Compte, Susana González, Marina Arnaldos, Sabrina Berlendis, Sophie Courtois, Jean Francois Loret, Olivier Schlosser, Adela M.Yáñez, Elena Soria-Soria, Mariana Fittipaldi, Gemma Saucedo, Anna Pinar-Méndez, Miquel Paraira, Belén Galofré, Sabela Balboa, Albert Bosch, Rosa M.Pintó, Isabelle Bertrand, Christophe Gantzer, Carlos Montero, Xavier Litrico
Magazine/book: Water Research
Volume: 202
Pages: 117435
Date of publication: 01/09/2021
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISBN: 0043-1354
DOI: link
The fate of SARS-COV-2 in WWTPS points out the sludge line as a suitable spot for detection of COVID-19
Authors-Ext: Sabela Balboa; Santiago Rodriguez; Lucía Martínez- Lamas; Francisco J.Vasallo; Benito Regueiro;
Magazine/book: Science of The Total Environment
Volume: 772
Date of publication: 10/07/2021
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISBN: 0048-9697
Quartil: 1
Decil: 2
DOI: link
Procedimiento y sistema de eliminación de microcontaminantes mediante reactor con nanopartículas magnéticas y unidad de separación externa
Authors-Ext: Carlos Vázquez Vázquez, Alfonso Fondado Fondado, Jorge Mira Pérez
Date of publication: 08/10/2018
Método y sistema para la eliminación de fósforo, carbono orgánico y nitrógeno mediante biomasa granular aerobia y aeración pulsante
Authors-Ext: José Luis Campos
Date of publication: 27/09/2018
Method and system for eliminating microcontaminants by means of a reactor with an enzyme immobilised in magnetic nanoparticles and an internal separation unit
Authors-Ext: Adriana Arca Ramos, Carlos Vázquez Vázquez, Alfonso Fondado Fondado, Jorge Mira Pérez,
Date of publication: 12/09/2018
Cross-Research in Environmental Technologies (CRETUS) - AGRUPACIÓNS ESTRATÉXICAS 2018
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Financial organism: Xunta de Galicia
Reference: ED431E 2018/01
Amount 600000.00€
Scope: Proyecto autonómico
Date of publication: 24/10/2018
Recovery and utilization of nutrients 4 low impact fertilizer (RUN4LIFE)
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Working Group: Miguel Mauricio, Andrea Arias
Financial organism: European Commission (H2020)
Reference: 730285-1
Amount 434257.00€
Scope: Proyecto europeo
Date of publication: 01/06/2017
Rede Galega de Tecnoloxías Ambientais (REGATA)
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Financial organism: Xunta de Galicia (Galician Government)
Reference: (ED431D R2016/033)
Amount 120000.00€
Scope: Proyecto autonómico
Date of publication: 01/01/2017
Valorización de residuos orgánicos con control avanzado e monitoraxe óptica (ROMEO)
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Reference: CONECTA PYME. IN852A2016/97-2. (2016-2018)
Amount 65785.13€
Scope: Proyecto autonómico
Partners: Roca Roibás, S.A.U., AQUA-NOR Aguas del Noroeste, S.L., Centro de Valorización Ambiental del Norte, S.L., Indutec Ingenieros, S.L.U. y XILOGA, S.L.
Date of publication: 09/12/2016
Improved wastewater treatment in small population centers (MEDRAR)
Main researcher: Marta Carballa, Juan M. Lema
Reference: CONECTA PYME IN852A 2016/12. Otri 2016-CE087. (220/01400)
Amount 78119.78€
Scope: Proyecto autonómico
Partners: Canalizaciones y Construcciones Salnés, S.L., ASM Soft, S.L. y Tratamiento Industrial del Agua, S.A.
Date of publication: 29/01/2016
Co-digestión con valorización de nitrógeno y biogás (Smart Green Gas)
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema, Marta Carballa
Financial organism: Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI). FCC AQUALIA, S.A.
Reference: (2014-CE224)
Amount 147620.00€
Scope: Proyecto nacional
Date of publication: 01/06/2015
Doctoral Theses
Mechanistic understanding of mixed-culture fermentations by metabolic modelling
Authors: Alberte Regueira
Date: 26/06/2020
European doctorate: x
A comparison of novel and conventional sewage treatment plants in terms of energy requirements, operational costs and organic micropollutants removal
Authors: Antón Taboada
Date: 19/12/2019
European doctorate: x
Cum Laude: x
Solvent-based approaches to evaluate the ABE extractive fermentation
Authors: Helena González
Date: 03/12/2019
European doctorate: x
Cum Laude: x
Master Theses
Utilización de biomasa pretratada mediante o proceso Organosolv como sustrato en cultivos Clostridium para a producción de ABE por fermentación extractiva
Authors: Nicolás Botana
Date: 17/02/2017
Produción selectiva de butirato a partir de xilosa mediante un cultivo mixto
Authors: Antón Taboada
Supervisors: Juan M. Lema
Date: 01/02/2015
Eliminación de compuestos farmacéuticos y de cuidado personal (CFCPs) en efluentes anaerobios empleando sistemas biológicos de filtración/adsorción
Authors: Lidia Paredes
Date: 11/07/2013
Outstanding Poster Award: Influence of external microorganism on the microbiome in anaerobic reactors
Date of publication: 17/10/2017
Best Platform Presentation: “Linking thermodynamics and kinetics to assess pathway reversibility in anaerobic fermentations “
Authors-Ext: Robbert Kleerebezem
Date of publication: 25/06/2013
“Feasibility of spent metalworking fluids treatment by anaerobic co-digestion”
Authors-Ext: Rocío Pena, Juan A. Álvarez
Date of publication: 25/06/2013
Cometabolic biotransformation of organic micropollutants under aerobic heterotrophic conditions
Authors-Ext: B. Vogler, K. Fenner
Type: Oral
Magazine/book: 17th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
Date: 01/09/2021
City: Athens (Greece)
Cometabolic microbial activity affects organic micropollutants’ biotransformation kinetics
Authors-Ext: L. González-Gil
Type: Oral
Magazine/book: 5th International Conference on Ecotechnologies for Wastewater Treatment
Date: 21/06/2021
City: Milan (Italy)
A simulation platform for the design, monitoring and optimisation of decentralised resource recovery from wastewater
Authors-Ext: Alberto Liñares-Lamas
Type: Oral
Magazine/book: 5th IWA Specialized International Conference ‘Ecotechnologies for Wastewater Treatment (ecoSTP) 2021
Date: 21/06/2021
City: Milan
Experimental Platform. Validation and dissemination of environment technology equipment
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Financial organism: MEC
Amount 250700.00€
Date of publication: 01/01/2008
Gas chromatograph with mass spectrometry detector
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Financial organism: Xunta de Galicia
Amount 60000.00€
Date of publication: 01/01/2002
Gas analysis system by quadrupole mass spectrometry
Main researcher: Juan M. Lema
Financial organism: Xunta de Galicia
Amount 38945.58€
Date of publication: 01/01/1999