Guest Lecture: Popi Karaolia

Mar 11 2019 04:00 PM - Mar 11 2019 05:00 PM

Guest Lecture

Monday, March 11, 2019 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Bldg. 2, Level 5, Room 5209


Ms. Popi Karaolia


TITLE: Evaluation of the efficiency of the combination of a membrane bioreactor with selected advanced oxidation processes for the removal of antibiotic-related microcontaminants 


There are various currently open questions regarding the removal of antibiotic-related microcontaminants from urban wastewater. This study aimed at investigating the removal of such microcontaminants by a pilot-scale Membrane BioReactor (MBR) process combined with: (i) heterogeneous TiO2 photocatalysis, ii) photocatalysis with novel TiO2-reduced graphene oxide (TiO2-rGO) composites using a photocatalytic (hereby denoted TiO2-rGO-PH) or hydrothermal synthesis method (hereby denoted TiO2-rGO-HD) and, iii) homogeneous photo-Fenton oxidation, which was later examined at a pilot-scale setup under real solar irradiation (solar photo-Fenton oxidation). The examined parameters included: the removal of antibiotics, the inactivation and re-growth of total and antibiotic-resistant indicator bacteria (ARB), the removal of selected antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), taxon-specific markers, and the reduction of genomic DNA, followed by insights into bacterial community structure changes using 16S rRNA sequencing and DGGE. Overall, the combined MBR-solar photo-Fenton process was shown to be the most effective method for the removal of antibiotic-related microcontaminants from urban wastewater. 


Ms. Popi Karaolia is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a researcher at the Nireas-International Water Research Center (Nireas-IWRC) of the University of Cyprus. She received her first degree in Biology, from the University of Nottingham, UK and an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the same university. Moreover, she received an M.Sc. in Environmental Health from the Cyprus University of Technology in association with the Harvard School of Public Health. Ms. Karaolia’s research focuses on the removal potential of biological and advanced oxidation processes of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. She is actively involved in several collaborative water-related research projects funded by various Cyprus-based, European and international funding bodies. Ms. Karaolia has participated in a number of scientific conferences, has published various refereed journal papers in high-impact international scientific journals, has co-authored 3 book chapters and is a reviewer in various scientific journals. She has taught various university courses and has given seminar presentations on water-related topics, in Cyprus and abroad.