The Sustainable Environment Research Centre undertakes national and world-leading research into waste treatment and the sustainable production of energy from waste and grown biomass.
It brings together leaders from biology, engineering, chemistry, and physics in a single academic team combining their resources and skills in order to address major energy and environmental R&D challenges.
Team members have experience in operating lab scale, pilot scale and full-scale biological process plants, and have participated in a number of large national and international collaborative projects, both Research Council and EU funded.
SERC has already established itself as one of the most forward-looking institutions in Europe by achieving large grants for research projects in many key areas.
SERC has laboratory facilities at Glyntaff and Baglan and works with partners and institutions from across the world.
We welcome UK and international applications for postgraduate research, such as PhD and Masters by Research, in one of our areas of expertise.
Considerable investment has been made into the facilities available to researchers and students
Waste Water Treatment and Fermentative Hydrogen Production Laboratory: This is a dedicated laboratory for the development and testing of lab scale bio-reactors. Research undertaken includes the optimisation of hydrogen and methane production from various waste substrates, and has been key to the successful development of several field-scale systems.
Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Laboratory: SERC is one of only a handful of sites in the UK to be undertaking environmental research using state-of-the-art Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS). This analytical method provides highly accurate results to nano-gram concentrations. The equipment is currently being used to determine the nature and concentrations of breakdown products of a range of organic chemicals such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides, and how these may impact the environment or the operation of waste water treatment plants.
General Analytical Laboratory: SERC has a wide range of equipment to analyse soils, liquids and gases. This includes gas chromatography, ass spectrometry, automatic solid phase extraction (SPE), solid phase micro extraction (SPME), ion exchange chromatography, and a full range of ‘wet chemistry’ techniques. Our own lab technicians are available to help with method development, sample preparation and analysis.
Molecular Microbiology Laboratory: SERC is currently developing an in house molecular microbiology laboratory that will allow a range of molecular microbiological procedures to be undertaken. These include DNA/RNA isolation, Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real Time – PCR), DNA/RNA sequencing and genetic fingerprinting. Research undertaken in the facility will allow us to track the development of specific microbial species within bioreactors and other biological waste treatment facilities, and this knowledge will enable significant design and performance improvements to be made.
The Wales Centre of Excellent for Anaerobic Digestion (The AD Centre): The AD Centre was established at the University of South Wales in 2008 with the aim of providing a mechanism through which academic knowledge could benefit the development of the emerging AD industry. The AD Centre delivers industry led research projects focussed on the development of biological processes that can be integrated with industrial operations such as renewable energy generation, waste and wastewater treatment, recovery processes or manufacturing processes to deliver a range of benefits such as material and economic efficiencies and reduction of environmental impacts.
Professor Alan Guwy
Head of SERC
George Knox Building
Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion
University of South Wales
Tel: +44 (0)1443 483 688
Baglan Energy Park
Tel: +44 (0)1639 814 510