Dr Robert Lovitt
Telephone: (01792) 295709
Room: Open Plan Office - C_202
Second Floor
Engineering Central
Bay Campus

Specialist Subjects:

Biochemical Process Engineering
Biological Reactors
Separation Processes
Membrane Technology
Environmental Engineering
Aquaculture Engineering

Over 25 year research experience in the field of microbial physiology, microbial technology and biochemical engineering.

Algae production and process systems in particular the use of membranes for harvesting, cell disruption and cell component fractionation and purification. MF,UF NF and RO
lgae for waste remediation, the pre-treatment of waste materials to optimise algae utilisation and the use of algae to absorb metals and nutrients at low concentrations

Framework 7 Bioalgeasorb, Enalgea (intereg)

Algae cell disruption and processing
Digester fluid processing using membranes for the recovery of fatty acids, phosphorus and nitrogen
Sludge treatment systems and processing for detoxification, nutrient and metal recovery using MF UF and RO

LCRI project H2 Cymru

High affinity recovery systems for selective metals recovery at low using membrane and membrane integrated processing, Period 4 metals, rare earths and precious metals. Using MF. UF, NF and RO
Membrane bioreactors for anaerobic fermentations, fatty acid production including lactic acid bacteria
Membrane processing in food and beverages using MF and NF
Membrane processing of natural products using NF

Areas of Expertise

  • Bioprocessing
  • membrane technology
  • fermentation technology
  • environmental technology
  • algal production technology
  • effluents treatment systems and resource recovery
  • Acetic acid
  • nanofiltration
  • waste water engineering
  • algea processing technology
  • cell disruption
  • separation in biotechnology
  • resource recovery
  • rare earths and precious metals recovery
  • novel low energy recovery processes
  • PUFA
  • algal pigments
  • bioprocess integration
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • process integration


  1. Silkina, A., Zacharof, M., Ginnever, N., Gerardo, M., Lovitt, R. Testing the Waste Based Biorefinery Concept: Pilot Scale Cultivation of Microalgal Species on Spent Anaerobic Digestate Fluids Waste and Biomass Valorization
  2. Lovitt, R. Enriching the culture of ammonia oxidizing bacteria from soil and fishpond with bio-filters Journal of Engineering Science and Technology 13 6 1562 1572
  3. Stiles, W., Styles, D., Chapman, S., Esteves, S., Bywater, A., Melville, L., Silkina, A., Lupatsch, I., Grünewald, C., Lovitt, R., Chaloner, T., Bull, A., Morris, C., Llewellyn, C., Fuentes Grunewald, C. Using microalgae in the circular economy to valorise anaerobic digestate: Challenges and Opportunities Bioresource Technology
  4. Jang, N., Yasin, M., Park, S., Lovitt, R., Chang, I. Determination of volumetric gas–liquid mass transfer coefficient of carbon monoxide in a batch cultivation system using kinetic simulations Bioresource Technology 239 387 393
  5. Silkina, A., Zacharof, M., Hery, G., Nouvel, T., Lovitt, R. Formulation and utilisation of spent anaerobic digestate fluids for the growth and product formation of single cell algal cultures in heterotrophic and autotrophic conditions Bioresource Technology

See more...


  • 'The Roleo of Anaerobic Digestion in a Circular Economy' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr David Isaac
  • A Comparative study of Deep Bed Filtration using sand and filtralite (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Paul Williams

Key Grants and Projects

  • PI (Swansea) on the LCRI H2 Cymru project looking at recovery processes from anaerobic digesters. 2003

    Responsible for the development of several work packages of this successful bid, £389,000

  • CI on the recently awarded Bioalgeasorb 2003

    Acts as work package leader for downstream processing of algea, €2,300,000

  • INTEREG grant - Enalgea (CI) 2006

    Responsible for process engineering aspects of the research within the Project, €14,000,000

External Responsibilities

  • Associate Director, Surface Science and Membrane Technology KTC

    2003 - Present

  • Associate Director, Algal Biotechnology KTC in the College of Science

    2003 - Present