Madalena Alves

Full Professor


  • Since  2013: Full Professor, Universidade do Minho
  • 2010 - 2013: Associate Professor with Habilitation, Universidade do Minho
  • 2005 - 2010: Associate Professor, Universidade do Minho


  • 1998: PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Universidade do Minho

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Since  2016: Member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Research Unit, Centre of Biological Engineering
  • Since  2015: Member of Program Studies Steering Committee, PhD Program in Waste Management and Treatment
  • 2013 - 2015: Program Director, PhD Program in Waste Management and Treatment
  • 2010 - 2016: Associate Diretor of Research Unit, Centre of Biological Engineering
  • Since  2009: Member of the Editorial Board of "Environmental Engineering and Management Journal"

Honors and Awards

  • 2009: Honorary doctorate from Technical University of IASI, Romania
  • 2006: Prémio Nacional de Inovação ambiental
  • 2005: BES Inovação 2005 (60 000 €)
  • 2004: Lettinga Award 2004 (25 000 €)


  • Chemical Reaction Engineering I ( Integrated Master in Biological Engineering )

Research Interests

    I am interested to design and characterize microbial systems for waste, wastewater and soil remediation strategies. The main achievements of my research in the past decade that impacted or will impact the scientific community concern:

    • The discovery about the potential of anaerobic communities to degrade efficiently FOG and Long Chain Fatty Acids;
    • The development of an high rate anaerobic reactor for the treatment of effluents with high lipid content (IASB reactor, patent granted, 1st full scale application commissioned by a spinoff company)
    • The isolation and description of novel species of anaerobic microorganisms: Syntrophomonas zehnderi (LCFA degrading in co-culture with methanogens) and Moorella stamsii (CO degrading thermophilic bacteria);
    • The demonstration and optimization of strategies to improve the anaerobic conversion of recalcitrant wastes, by combining pre and co- physico-chemical and biological treatments (enzymatic and whole cell);
    • The demonstration of positive effects of carbon materials and composites of carbon materials and magnetic nanoparticles on microbial reductive processes.


Research Students

Recent Publications

Synthesis, characterization and application of magnetic carbon materials as electron shuttles for the biological and chemical reduction of the azo dye Acid Orange 10
  • Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 212, 175-184, 2017
Carbon nanotubes accelerate methane production in pure cultures of methanogens and in a syntrophic coculture
  • Environmental Microbiology, 19(7), 2727-2739, 2017
Investigating bacterial community changes and organic substrate degradation in microbial fuel cells operating on real human urine
  • Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, 3(5), 897-904, 2017
Influence of nutritional and operational parameters on the production of butanol or 1,3-propanediol from glycerol by a mutant Clostridium pasteurianum
  • New Biotechnology, 34, 59-67, 2017
  • Holliger, Christof; Alves, M. Madalena; Andrade, Diana; Angelidaki, Irini; Astals, Sergi; Baier, Urs; Bougrier, Claire; Buffière, Pierre; Carballa, Marta; Wilde, Vinnie de; Florian Ebertseder; Belén Fernández; Elena Ficara; Ioannis Fotidis; Jean-Claude Frigon; Hélène Fruteau de Laclos; Dara S. M. Ghasimi; Gabrielle Hack; Mathias Hartel; Joern Heerenklage; Ilona Sarvari Horvath; Pavel Jenicek; Konrad Koch; Judith Krautwald; Javier Lizasoain; Jing Liu; Lona Mosberger; Mihaela Nistor; Hans Oechsner; Oliveira, João V.; Mark Paterson; André Pauss; Sébastien Pommier; Isabella Porqueddu; Francisco Raposo; Thierry Ribeiro; Florian Rüsch Pfund; Sten Strömberg; Michel Torrijos; Miriam van Eekert; Miriam van Eekert; Jules van Lier; Wedwitschka, Harald; Wierinck, Isabella
Towards a standardization of biomethane potential tests
  • Water Science and Technology, 74(11), 2515-2522, 2016
Rhodococcus opacus B4: a promising bacterium for production of biofuels and biobased chemicals
  • AMB Express, 6(35), 1-11, 2016
Boosting dark fermentation with co-cultures of extreme thermophiles for biohythane production from garden waste
  • Bioresource Technology, 219, 132-138, 2016
Response surface design to study the influence of inoculum, particle size and inoculum to substrate ratio on the methane production from Ulex sp.
  • Renewable Energy, 96, Part B, 1071-1077, 2016
Ciprofloxacin wastewater treated by UVA photocatalysis: contribution of irradiated TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles on the final toxicity as assessed by Vibrio fischeri
  • RSC Advances, 6(98), 95494-95503, 2016
A design of experiments to assess phosphorous removal and crystal properties in struvite precipitation of source separated urine using different Mg sources
  • Chemical Engineering Journal, 298, 146-153, 2016
Comparative analysis of carbon monoxide tolerance among Thermoanaerobacter species
  • Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(1330), 1-9, 2016
Toxicity of long chain fatty acids towards acetate conversion by Methanosaeta concilii and Methanosarcina mazei
  • Microbial Biotechnology, 9(4), 514-518, 2016
Effect of different carbon materials as electron shuttles in the anaerobic biotransformation of nitroanilines
  • Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 113(6), 1194-1202, 2016
Continuous fungal treatment of non-sterile veterinary hospital effluent: pharmaceuticals removal and microbial community assessment
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100(5), 2401-2415, 2016
Valorization of lubricant-based wastewater for bacterial neutral lipids production: Growth-linked biosynthesis
  • Water Research, 101, 17-24, 2016
Removal of Erythrosine B dye from water effluents using crop waste pumpkin seed hulls as adsorbent
  • Desalination and Water Treatment, 57(47), 22585-22608, 2016
Conversion of Cn-Unsaturated into Cn-2-Saturated LCFA Can Occur Uncoupled from Methanogenesis in Anaerobic Bioreactors
  • Environmental Science & Technology, 50(6), 3082-3090, 2016
Perspectives on carbon materials as powerful catalysts in continuous anaerobic bioreactors
  • Water Research, 101, 441-447, 2016
Biohythane production from marine macroalgae Sargassum sp. coupling dark fermentation and anaerobic digestion
  • Bioresource Technology, 190, 251-256, 2015
Metallic nanoparticles: microbial synthesis and unique properties for biotechnological applications, bioavailability and biotransformation
  • Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 35(1), 114-128, 2015
Full List