Gianluigi Buttiglieri

Research Scientist, Technologies and Evaluation Area


Contact Details

Catalan Institute for Water Research, ICRA
email: gbuttiglieri@icra.cat
Ph: +34 972 183 380
F: +34 972 183 248


Short Biography

MSc Degree in Environmental Engineering (2004) and a PhD in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (2008) from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy (PhD dissertation “Water micropollutants: presence in the environment and removal”).

Postdoctoral experience at Politenico di Milano (2008-2010, on surfactants, pharmaceuticals removal and technologies comparison) and at ICRA since 2010 leading the multidisciplinary research line on micropollutants monitoring in the environment and removal by means of different treatment technologies.

Currently he is the scientific coordinator of the European project demEAumed (www.demeaumed.eu) from the call WATER-INNO-DEMO of the 7th EU Framework Programme.

Since January 2016 he is research scientist (Ramón y Cajal) at ICRA.


Research interests

- Environmental process engineering: wastewater, greywater and water reuse treatment by means of conventional and enriched activated sludge systems, membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems and wetlands at bench, pilot and full-scale

- Fate of organic micropollutants (pharmaceutical trace substances, illicit drugs, pesticides, surfactants, endocrine disrupting compounds and UV filters) in the environment and in wastewater treatment plants

- Proteomics and biodegradation mechanisms of pharmaceuticals trace substances

- Decision Support Systems in MBR, fouling of membranes


Current projects

Scientific coordinator of the European project demEAUmed (Demonstrating integrated innovative technologies for an optimal and safe closed water cycle in Mediterranean tourist facilities) from the call WATER-INNO-DEMO of the 7th EU Framework Programme. 2014-2017. FP7-ENV-2013-Water-Inno-Demo (619116). www.demeaumed.eu 

Key publications

A. Rubirola, M. Llorca, S. Rodriguez-Mozaz, N. Casas, I. Rodriguez-Roda, D. Barceló, G. Buttiglieri (2014). Characterization of metoprolol biodegradation and its transformation products generated in activated sludge batch experiments and in full scale WWTPs. Water Research 63: 21-32.

N. Collado, S. Rodriguez-Mozaz, M. Gros, A. Rubirola, D. Barceló, J. Comas, I. Rodriguez-Roda, G. Buttiglieri (2014). Pharmaceuticals occurrence in a WWTP with significant industrial contribution and its input into the river system. Environmental Pollution 185: 202-212.

N. Collado, G. Buttiglieri, E. Marti, L. Ferrando-Climent, S. Rodriguez-Mozaz, D. Barceló, J. Comas, I. Rodriguez-Roda (2013) Effects on activated sludge bacterial community exposed to sulfamethoxazole. Chemosphere 93 (1): 99-106.

N. Collado, G. Buttiglieri, B.A. Kolvenbach, J. Comas, P.F.X. Corvini, I. Rodríguez-Roda (2013). Exploring the potential of applying proteomics for tracking bisphenol A and nonylphenol degradation in activated sludge. Chemosphere 80 (8): 2309-2314.

N. Collado, G. Buttiglieri, L. Ferrando-Climent, S. Rodriguez-Mozaz, D. Barceló, J. Comas, I. Rodriguez-Roda (2012). Removal of Ibuprofen and its Transformation Products: Experimental and Simulation Studies. Science of the Total Environment 433, 296-301.

H. Monclús, G. Buttiglieri, G. Ferrero, I. Rodriguez-Roda, J. Comas (2012). Knowledge-based control module for start-up of flat sheet MBRs. Bioresource Technology 106, 50-54.

H. Monclús, G. Ferrero, G. Buttiglieri, J. Comas, I. Rodriguez-Roda (2011). Online monitoring of membrane fouling in submerged MBRs. Desalination 277, 414–419.

G. Ferrero, H. Monclús, G. Buttiglieri, J. Comas, I. Rodriguez-Roda (2011). Automatic control system for energy optimization in membrane bioreactors. Desalination 268: 276-280.

G. Buttiglieri, H. Bouju, F. Malpei, E. Ficara, R. Canziani (2010) Microcalorimetry: a tool to investigate aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic autotrophic and heterotrophic biodegradation. Biochemical Engineering Journal 52 (1): 25-32.

G. Buttiglieri, M. Peschka, T. Frömel, J. Müller, F. Malpei, P. Seel, T.P. Knepper (2009). Environmental presence and degradation studies of the herbicide n-chloridazon. Water Research 43 (11), 2865-2873.

G. Buttiglieri, T.P. Knepper (2008). Removal of Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater Treatment: Conventional Activated Sludge Treatment. Chapter in the book “The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, volume: Emerging contaminants from industrial and municipal wastewaters”. Editors Barceló D., Petrovic M. Springer. Volume 5S/1, p 1-35. ISBN 978-354079209-3.

H. Bouju, G. Buttiglieri, F. Malpei (2008). Perspectives of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) removal in an MBR pilot plant. Desalination 224 (1-3), 1–6.

G. Buttiglieri, F. Malpei, E. Daverio, M. Melchiori, H. Nieman, J. Lightart (2005). Denitrification of drinking water sources by advanced biological treatment using a membrane bioreactor. Desalination 178 (1-3), 211-218.



Neus Collado Alsina (completed in 2013): Multi-scale investigation of occurrence, fate, removal and biodegradation of pharmaceutical contaminants in wastewater treatment and river systems. University of Girona (Spain).

Elissavet Kassotaki (on-going): Micropollutants biodegradation through activation of the cometabolic pathways in bacteria. University of Girona (Spain).

Lucia Gusmaroli (on-going). University of Girona (Spain).