Dr Denys Villa Gomez

Lecturer

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Overview

Dr Denys Villa-Gomez joined UQ in October 2015 as Lecturer of Civil Engineering. She had previously worked at The National Polytechnic Institute campus Zacatecas (Mexico) as a Lecturer in Environmental Engineering. Dr Villa-Gomez received her PhD at the Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE-The Netherlands).

Dr Villa-Gomez expertise focuses on: i) resource recovery from wastewaters (energy, metals and nutrients); (ii) anaerobic wastewater treatment systems; (iii) process control and optimization of bioreactors; (iv) microbial population dynamics in bioreactors; and (v) speciation of metals in sulphate reducing bioreactors. Her past research carried out on anaerobic sulphate reduction in bioreactors for metal recovery from acid mine drainage. She focused on the metal removal mechanisms that affect metal recovery. This work was partly carried out using ground-breaking spectroscopic methods (XAS/XANES-EXAFS) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. She also evaluated strategies to control the sulphide concentration in bioreactors using an ion selective electrode for the direct measurement of the sulphide species (S2-). The outcome of this research have provided baselines for the application of control strategies in these systems.

Dr Villa-Gomez has also been working in the application of anaerobic digestion (AD) for the production of renewable energy from agricultural residues. For this, the assessment of the AD under different pre-treatments of the agricultural residues and inoculum sources are the main focus.

Research Interests

  • Sulphate reduction based bioprocesses for treatment of mine waste
  • Anaerobic digestion of agricultural residues for bioenergy production
  • Application of bioleaching processes to recover metals from mine and electronic waste

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Available Projects

  • The main theme of the research directive is the development of sustainable technologies to obtain valuable resources from wastes. Current projects focuses on:

    • Sulphate reduction based bioprocesses for acid mine drainage treatment and metals recovery.
    • Bioenergy production from anaerobic digestion of ligno-based agriculture residues.
    • Understanding microbial metabolic pathways in anaerobic systems as a key to develop sustainable waste/wastewater treatment technologies and novel bioprocess technologies.

    The above listed projects involve the development of innovative technologies that allow for practically and economic feasible recovery of valuable compounds from solid waste and wastewater. All projects are in close collaboration with other research groups at the University of Queensland as well as with industry and international research institutes.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Villa-Gomez, D. K. and Lens, P. N. L. (2017). Metal recovery from industrial and mining wastewaters using sulphate-reducing bioreactors. In Eldon R. Rene , Erkan Sahinkaya , Alison Lewis and Piet Lens (Ed.), Sustainable Heavy Metal Remediation: Volume 2: Case studies (pp. 50-70) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-61146-4_3

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The main theme of the research directive is the development of sustainable technologies to obtain valuable resources from wastes. Current projects focuses on:

    • Sulphate reduction based bioprocesses for acid mine drainage treatment and metals recovery.
    • Bioenergy production from anaerobic digestion of ligno-based agriculture residues.
    • Understanding microbial metabolic pathways in anaerobic systems as a key to develop sustainable waste/wastewater treatment technologies and novel bioprocess technologies.

    The above listed projects involve the development of innovative technologies that allow for practically and economic feasible recovery of valuable compounds from solid waste and wastewater. All projects are in close collaboration with other research groups at the University of Queensland as well as with industry and international research institutes.