Barr Engineering and Environmental Science Canada Ltd. opened in Calgary, AB, in 2010
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Barr’s Ali Ling authors new study on microbiomes and wastewater treatment

January 2, 2018

The communities of microbes within the reactors of wastewater treatment facilities have long been studied, but information about these microbiomes is seldom used to improve facility design and operations. A new company named Microbe Detectives wants to change that. They chose Barr environmental engineer Ali Ling to lead a first-of-its-kind study that used DNA sequencing to analyze the microbiomes within industrial and municipal wastewater-treatment reactors. Microbiome data were then linked to design and operating conditions to make results more useful to engineers and plant operators. 

The study involved evaluating samples from 21 reactors as a first step in understanding the microbes present and their effects on treatment performance. Click here for the executive summary of the resulting report, Performance Comparison of Biogas Anaerobic Digesters Using DNA Sequencing, for which Ali was the principal author.