I am Associate Professor (tenure track) in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Biotechnology. I am member of the Materials Science and Environmental Engineering Group that focuses on new functional materials and technologies based on bio- and circular economy technologies and processes. I have a deep understanding of biorefinery and bioeconomy concepts, bioprocesses, biomass conversion/fermentation (bioethanol, biosuccinic acid, etc.), anaerobic biotechnology and microbiology and biofuels. I have conducted multidisciplinary research in more than 15 national and international projects.
Biorefinery concepts to produce value products (succinic acid, lactic acid etc.) and bioenergy.
Bioeconomy concepts using specialized microbial consortia to improve biological processes.
Bioaugmentation strategies of ammonia tolerant methanogenic consortia to alleviate the ammonia toxicity effect.
Microbiology and biochemistry of the anaerobic digestion process (methanogenic pathways, microbial ecology etc.) for biogas and bio-hydrogen production.
Enrichment, isolation, and application of microorganisms in biotechnological processes.
Advanced microbiological analyses of the anaerobic microbiome (High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis, DGGE, fluorescents in-situ hybridization etc.).
Optimization of anaerobic digestion processes.
Batch and continuous (CSTR and UASB) anaerobic reactors operation
Associate Professor (tenure track), Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University 2021-Present
Visiting Professor, School of Civil Engineering Southeast University Nanjing, China, 2019-Present.
Associate Professor (tenure track), Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2018-2021.
Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2016-2018,
Researcher Scientist, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2014-2016.
Post-doc, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2010-2014.
Research Assistant, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2006-2009
Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2011.
Master of Science, Department of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece, 2012.
Master of Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2008.
Master of Engineering and Bachelor, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2004.
Schneider, C., Oñoro, A.E., Hélix-Nielsen, C., Fotidis, I. A.* (2021). Start-up of forward-osmosis anaerobic-membrane bioreactors for brewery wastewater remediation. Separation and Purification Technology, 257, 117786. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2020.117786
Yan, M., Treu, L., Zhu, X., Fotidis, I. A., Tian, H., Campanaro, S., Angelidaki, I., (2020). Insights into ammonia adaptation and methanogenic precursor oxidation by genome-guided analysis. Environmental Science & Technology, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c01945.
Yan, M., Treu, L., Campanaro, S., Tian, H., Zhu, X., Khoshnevisan, B., Tsapekos, P., Angelidaki, I., Fotidis, I. A.* (2020). Effect of ammonia on anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste: inhibitory performance, bioaugmentation and microbiome functional reconstruction. Chemical Engineering Journal, 401, 126159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.126159.
Letelier-Gordo, C.O., Mancini, E., Pedersen, P.B., Angelidaki, I., Fotidis, I. A.* (2020). Saline fish wastewater in biogas plants - Biomethanation toxicity and safe use. Journal of Environmental Management (IF: 5.647), 275, 111233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111233.
Yan, M., Fotidis, I.A.*, Jéglot, A., Treu, L., Tian, H., Palomo, A., Zhu, X., Angelidaki, I., (2020). Long-term preserved and rapidly revived methanogenic cultures: Microbial dynamics and preservation mechanisms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 121577. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121577
Garcia-Aguirre, J., Alvarado-Morales, M., Fotidis, I.A., Angelidaki, I., (2020). Up-concentration of succinic acid, lactic acid, and ethanol fermentations broths by forward osmosis. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 155, 107482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bej.2019.107482
Tian, H., Yan, M., Treu, L., Angelidaki, I., Fotidis, I. A.*, (2019). Hydrogenotrophic methanogens are the key for a successful bioaugmentation to alleviate ammonia inhibition in thermophilic anaerobic digesters. Bioresource Technology, 293, 122070. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122070
Tian, H., Mancini, E., Treu, L., Angelidaki, I., Fotidis, I.A.*, (2019). Bioaugmentation strategy for overcoming ammonia inhibition during biomethanation of a protein-rich substrate. Chemosphere, 231, 415-422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.05.140
Yan, M., Fotidis, I.A.*, Tian, H., Khoshnevisan, B., Treu, L., Tsapekos, P., Angelidaki, I., (2019). Acclimatization contributes to stable anaerobic digestion of organic fraction of municipal solid waste under extreme ammonia levels: Focusing on microbial community dynamics. Bioresource Technology, 286, 121376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.121376
I am Associate Professor (tenure track) in Bio and Circular Economy. I lead a research group Microbial Electrochemical Technologies and am also part of research groups Wastewater and Waste Engineering for Circular Economy and Water Engineering. The research of these groups focuses on environmental biotechnology and industrial biotechnology applications that enable environmental protection as well as resource recovery. My research currently focuses on microbial electrosynthesis and biomethanisation of chemicals and biofuels from carbon dioxide, anodic electrofermentation, nutrient recovery from wastewaters with, e.g. (bio)electrochemistry or hydrothermal carbonisation, and characterisation of microplastics in sludge samples. I am also doing multidisciplinary research in research projects CICAT2025 and UPCE.
Material Science and Environmental Engineering / Bio and Circular Economy
Associate Professor (tenure track), Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University (10/2020 -)
Assistant Professor (tenure track), Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University (01/2019 – 10/2020) and Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (09/2016 – 12/2018)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (06-09/2016)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Germany (06/2014 – 05/2016)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (03/2013 – 04/2014)
Postgraduate Student, Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (10/2008 – 02/2013)
Research visit, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan (09-11/2011)
MSc student, Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (09/2007 – 09/2008)
Teaching and research in Environmental Engineering
Field of expertise
Experienced in following fields: drinking water, raws water characterization and treatment processes, disposal of hazardous materials, remediation of contaminated environment, applications of online measurements in environmental engineering
I'm teaching topics related to sustainable development, water supply and sanitation services, hydrology, and environmental regulation and legislation. My biggest interest is learning for sustainable development.
I graduated with a Bachelor (2011) and Master of Science (2014) in Chemical Biology from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. My Master thesis incorporated a six-month internship at the Centre for Microbial Electrochemical Systems at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, with a focus on cathodic electro-fermentation. Following my passion for microbial electrochemical technologies, I enrolled for a Ph.D. programme at Advanced Water Management Centre at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in 2015. After recieving my Ph.D. in 2019, I joined as a postdoc the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the Tampere University in Tampere, Finland with a research focus on microbial electro-conversion of the greenhouse gas CO2 into chemicals and biofuels.
Field of expertise
Expertise in: Advanced Electrochemical and Microbial Electrochemical Technologies, Bioreactor Design and Development, Environmental Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology, Microbiology, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Biology
Micobial electrosynthesis of chemicals and biofuels from CO2.
Cathodic and anodic electro-fermentation, drive the cellular metabolic carbon flow toward the synthesis of target products.
Vassilev, I., Kracke, F., Freguia, S., Keller, J., Krömer, J. O., Ledezma, P. and Virdis, B., (2019). “Microbial electrosynthesis system with dual biocathode arrangement for simultaneous acetogenesis, solventogenesis and carbon chain elongation.”Chemical Communications.
Vassilev, I., Hernandez, P. A., Batlle-Vilanova, P., Freguia, S., Krömer, J. O., Keller, J., Ledezma, P. and Virdis, B., (2018). “Microbial electrosynthesis of isobutyric, butyric, caproic acids and corresponding alcohols from carbon dioxide.” ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 6(7): 8485-8493.
Krieg, T., Phan, L.M., Wood, J.A., Sydow, A., Vassilev, I., Krömer, J. O., Mangold, K.M. and Holtmann, D., (2018). “Characterization of a membrane separated and a membrane‐less electrobioreactor for bioelectrochemical syntheses.” Biotechnology and bioengineering. 115(7): 1705-1716.
Vassilev, I., Gießelmann, G., Schwechheimer, S. K., Wittmann, C., Virdis, B., and Krömer, J. O., (2018). “Anodic electro‐fermentation: Anaerobic production of L‐Lysine by recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum.” Biotechnology and bioengineering. 115(6): 1499-1508.
Halan, B., Vassilev, I., Lang, K., Buehler, K. and Schmid, A., (2016). “Growth of Pseudomonas taiwanensis VLB120∆ C biofilms in the presence of n‐butanol.”Microbial Biotechnology. 10(4): 745-755.
Kracke F.*, Vassilev I.* and Krömer J. O., (2015). “Microbial electron transport and energy conservation – the foundation for optimizing bioelectrochemical systems.” Frontiers in Microbiology. 6:575. *These authors contributed equally to this work.
D’Aquino, A., Hajdu-Rahkama, R., & Puhakka, J. A. (2021). Elemental sulphur production from thiosulphate under haloalkaline conditions in a Thioalkalivibrio versutus amended fluidized bed bioreactor. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 108062.
Mahmood, M., Taki, S., Nakai, S., Gotoh, T., Nishijima, W., Umehara, A., ... & Puhakka, J. A. (2021). Increase in sedimentary organic carbon with a change from hypoxic to oxic conditions. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 168, 112397.
Hajdu-Rahkama, R., Özkaya, B., Lakaniemi, A. M., & Puhakka, J. A. (2020). Kinetics and modelling of thiosulphate biotransformations by haloalkaliphilic Thioalkalivibrio versutus. Chemical Engineering Journal, 401, 126047.
Hajdu-Rahkama, R., Ahoranta, S., Lakaniemi, A. M., & Puhakka, J. A. (2019). Effects of elevated pressures on the activity of acidophilic bioleaching microorganisms. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 150, 107286.
1. Payam Rasoulnia, Robert Barthen & Aino-Maija Lakaniemi: A critical review of bioleaching of rare earth elements: The mechanisms and effect of process parameters, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, (2020), DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2020.1727718
2. P. Rasoulnia, S.M. Mousavi, Maximization of organic acids production by Aspergillus niger in a bubble column bioreactor for V and Ni recovery enhancement from power plant residual ash in spent-medium bioleaching experiments, Bioresource Technology, 216 (2016) 729-736.
3. P. Rasoulnia and S. M. Mousavi, V and Ni recovery from a vanadium-rich power plant residual ash using acid producing fungi: Aspergillus niger and Penicillium simplicissimum, RSC Advances, 6 (2016) 9139-9151.
4. P. Rasoulnia, S.M. Mousavi, S.O. Rastegar, H. Azargoshasb, Fungal leaching of valuable metals from a power plant residual ash using Penicillium simplicissimum: Evaluation of thermal pretreatment and different bioleaching methods, Waste Management, 52 (2016) 309-317.
5. Payam Rasoulnia and Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi, Bioleaching of Precious Metals from an Oil-Fired Ash Using Organic Acids Produced by Aspergillus Niger in Shake Flasks and Bioreactor, International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications, Vol. 7, (2016), No. 6.
6. M. Arshadi, S.M. Mousavi, P. Rasoulnia, Enhancement of simultaneous gold and copper recovery from discarded mobile phone PCBs using Bacillus megaterium: RSM based optimization of effective factors and evaluation of their interactions, Waste Management, 57 (2016) 158-167.
7. Payam Rasoulnia, Seyyed Mohamad Mousavi, A comparison between spent-medium bioleaching and chemical leaching of V and Ni from an oil-fired ash produced in power plant furnaces, The 9th International Chemical Engineering Congress & Exhibition (IChEC 2015) Shiraz, Iran, 26-28 December.
8. Payam Rasoulnia and S. Mohammad Mousavi, Bioleaching of Precious Metals from an Oil-Fired Ash Using Organic Acids Produced by Aspergillus niger in Shake Flasks and Bioreactor, 7th International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering – ICCCE 2016, Porto, Portugal.