Miguel Mauricio Iglesias

• Assistant Professor
• Department of Chemical engineering
• School of Engineering (USC)
• Research Group: Environment Biotechnology (BIOGROUP)
• Tel.: +34 8818 16800
• Email:
• Research Group Website:
• Personal Website:

I am assistant professor of Chemical engineering at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. By training, I am a Chemical Engineer (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 2006) and hold a PhD in Food Technology (Université de Montpellier, 2009). After a 4-year postdoctoral period at the Technical University of Denmark, I joined the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela as a Marie Curie IEF fellow in 2014.
My research career has consistently focused on modelling approaches for solving real problems in chemical, process and bioprocess engineering. I strongly believe in the importance of joining modelling and experimentation; models orientate the experimenter and interpret results while experiments are the ultimate test for a model, algorithm or design. A big part of my research deals with the biological production of chemicals from organic waste, relies both on metabolic modelling and experimental fermentation to achieve a viable biorefinery process and, ultimately, a real circular bioeconomy.

Research Lines
Waste to chemicals. Selective production of VFA from wastes
Mixed-culture open fermentations can potentially convert residues into chemicals, such as acidogenic fermentation to yield carboxylic acids. Due to the complexity of the open fermentations, the product spectrum is very uncertain when varying the substrate and operational conditions. This research line integrates closely experimental work and modelling at metabolic level in order to engineer real waste-to-chemical processes.

Data analysis in efficiency and LCA-decision making
Data analysis can be exploited and integrated with models in order to assess efficiency and environmental impacts in complex processes. As an example, using tools such as data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) led to an identification of the causes of inefficiency in wastewater treatment and the quantification of corrective measurements. Other developments include the integrated application of metabolic models in biorefinery design, such as the whole biopolymer production value chain.
This research line applied to energy efficiency in wastewater treatment plants gave place to the ENERWATER methodology, which became in December 2020 the European standard CEN/TR 17614:2021 ”Standard method for assessing and improving the energy efficiency of waste water treatment plants

Current Projects
• ALQUIMIA – Computer-aided design of innovative bioprocesses for the sustainable production of chemicals

• CELL4CHEM – Engineering microbial communities for the conversion of lignocellulose into medium-chain carboxylates

• ECOVAL – Management, coordination and valorization strategies of sludge and organic waste

• CONSERVAL –  Recovery of by-products and waste water from the canning industry in the POCTEP space

• USABLE-PACKAGING – Unlocking the potential of Sustainable BiodegradabLe Packaging

• RUN4LIFE – Recovery and utilization of nutrients 4 low impact fertilizer

• PROTECT – Predictive mOdelling Tools to evaluate the Effects of Climate change on food safety

Some selected publications:

Regueira, A., Lema, J.M., Mauricio-Iglesias, M. (2021) Microbial inefficient substrate use through the perspective of resource allocation models, Current Opinion in Biotechnology,

Regueira, A., Bevilacqua, R., Lema, J.M., Carballa, M., Mauricio-Iglesias, M. (2020) A metabolic model for targeted volatile fatty acids production by cofermentation of carbohydrates and proteins, Bioresource Technology

Bevilacqua, R.,  Regueira, A.,  Mauricio-Iglesias, M. Lema, J.M.,  Carballa, M. (2021), Steering the conversion of protein residues to volatile fatty acids by adjusting pH, Bioresource Technology

Gonzalez-Gil, L., Mauricio-Iglesias, M., Carballa, M., Lema, J.M. (2018). Why are organic micropollutants not fully biotransformed? A mechanistic modelling approach to anaerobic systems. Water Research

Longo S., Mauricio-Iglesias M., Soares A., Campo P., Fatone F., Akkersdijk E., Stefani L., Cingolani D. and Hospido A. (2018). ENERWATER – A standard method for assessing and improving the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment plants. Applied Energy.

Mauricio-Iglesias, M., Vangsgaard, A. K., Gernaey, K. V., Smets, B. F., & Sin, G. (2015). A novel control strategy for single-stage autotrophic nitrogen removal in SBR. Chemical Engineering Journal, 260, 64-73.