• Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering
• Department: Chemical Engineering
• Center: Escola Técnica Superior de Enxeñaría (USC)
• Research Group: Environmental Biotechnology (BIOGROUP)
• Tel .: +34 8818 16793
• Email:
• Group Web: BIOGROUP
• Personal website:
• Scientific Profiles: Orcid, Research Gate

Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Its research activities are located in: i) Elimination of micro-contaminants (pharmaceuticals) from wastewater; ii) Anaerobic digestion and co-digestion; iii) Enzymatic reactors for the degradation of recalcitrant compounds and iv) Biorefinery.

Director of 51 Doctoral Theses, author of more than 350 articles in international magazines and book chapters. More than 100 invited conferences in National and International Congresses. His H index is 47. Author of 15 patents
(4 of them European).

Person in charge or participant in 36 research projects financed by the European Union (14), the National Science and Technology Plan (14) and the Galician R&D Plan (8). More than 20 relevant projects with companies (budget over € 100,000). He has been responsible for the Novedar_Consolider project. He is currently the Chair of the COST Water 2020 action, which coordinates research activities in 32 European and North African countries.

Academic of the Royal Galician Academy of Sciences (2016), Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Valparaiso (2015), Fellow of the International Water Association (2014), Gold badge of the University of Santiago de Compostela (2013), award “Martinez Moreno”, from the García Cabrerizo Foundation, to Research and Innovation (Madrid, 2011), Gold Medal for Chemical Engineering from the University of Valladolid (2010), Innovation Award from the Babcock Foundation (2004), European Prize of Industrial Enzymes (Barcelona, ​​1993), Comerma Engineer Prize (Ferrol, 1989).

Lines of investigation
• (co) Anaerobic digestion of wastewater and residues: Modeling, Control and Microbiology
• Elimination of microcontaminants in wastewater in treatment plants; Cometabolism
• Tertiary treatment of microcontaminants by enzymatic reactors.
• Production of bioplastics from lignocellulosic waste.
• Nanoparticles in water treatment plants. Current projects
• The Potential of Innovative Technologies to Improve Sustainability of Sewage Treatment Plants. EU Program WaterWorks (2016 2019). € 524. IP: Juan M. Lema
• Fate and Effect of Engineered Nanoparticles in Wastewater Treatment Plants. GAIN, Xunta de Galicia (2015-2017). € 150,000. IP: Juan M. Lema
• Conceiving Wastewater Treatment in 2020. Energetic, environmental and economic challenges Cost Action (ES-1202). (01.10.2012-01.10.2016). Budget: € 650,000 IP: Juan M. Lema
• Green fertilizer upcycling from manure: Technological, economic and environmental sustainability demonstration. European Commission. FP7 (ENV.213.6.3-2), (01.11.2013-31.2016). € 310,528. IP: Marta Carballa
• Holistic technology with a low environmental footprint for wastewater treatment aimed at minimizing greenhouse gases, micro and nanocontaminants (HOLSIA). MINECO. (CTM2013-46750-R). (01.01.2014-31.12.2016). € 242,000 IPs: Juan M. Garrido, Francisco Omil
• Reactor with enzymatic magnetic nanoparticles for advanced oxidation of microcontaminants in wastewater. (CTQ2013-44762-R). (01.01.2014-31.12.2016). € 279,510. IPs: Maite Moreira, Gumersindo Feijoo
• Smart Green Gas. FCC-Aqualia (01.06.2015- 3.12.2018). € 620. IP: Juan M. Lema

Main Indicators (2005-2015)
• SCI research publications: 133 (324 since 1985)
• H index: 46
• SCOPUS Citation: 7737
• Book chapters: 7 (15 since 1985)
• International participation: (congresses, presentations): 16 plenaries or keynotes
• Patents: 11

Most relevant publications
Gonzalez-Cabaleiro, J.M. Lema, J. Rodriguez (2015). “Microbial catabolic activities are naturally selected by metabolic energy harvest rate”. ISME J. 9 (12): 2630-2641

Carballa, L. Regueiro, J.M Lema. (2015). “Microbial management of anaerobic digestion: exploiting the microbiome-functionality nexus” Current Opinion in Biotechnology 33: 103-111

Garcia-Gen, J. Rodriguez, J.M. Motto (2015). Control strategy for maximum anaerobic co-digestion performance. Water Research 80: 209-216

J.E. Mendez-Hernandez, G. Eibes, A. Arca-Ramos, T. Lu-Chau, G. Feijoo, MT Moreira, J.M. Motto (2015). “Continuous Removal of Nonylphenol by Versatile Peroxidase in a Two-Stage Membrane Bioreactor”. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 175: 3038-3047

López-Abelairas, M.Garcia-Torreiro, T. Lú-Chau, J.M. Motto, A Steinbuchel (2015). “Comparison of several methods for separation of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) from Cupriavidus necator cultures”. Biochemical Engineering Journal 93: 250-259

Fernández-Fontaíña, M. Carballa, F. Omil, J.M. Motto (2014). “Modeling cometabolic biotransformation of organic micropollutants in nitrifying reactors”. Water Research. 65: 371-383