Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch

Senior Lecturer in Fermentation Biology

Teaching area

My original background is microbiology. Over the years in teaching in biotechnology, I have shifted towards environmental biotechnology and bioprocessing.

Research areas

Environmental Biotechnology. Environmental Engineering. Microbial Bioprocesses. Biological Water Treatment. Anaerobic Digestion. Microbial Fuel Cells. Low Energy Desalination Technology

Current projects

Ongoing projects are:
Novel bio-electro-chemical processes such as microbial fuel cells and biosensors
Energy from waste by microbial processing
Improved biological removal of water pollutants
Commercializing improved nitrogen removal technology wastewater treatment (PND)
Low Energy Desalination using salt brines as energy source


Doctoral and masters supervisions

  • Liang Cheng (PhD 2012) Biocementation by surface application.\
  • Lee Walker (PhD 2011) Optimisation and modelling of the DICOM process, a hybrid reactor for the conversion of solid wastes into biogas and compost”.
  • Ka Yu Cheng (2010) Electrochemically catalysed hydrogen production from acetate in microbial fuel cells.  (50%, with Co-supervisor Dr GE Ho)
  • Mitchell Lever (PhD 2010) An environmentally sustainable process for the production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic waste (50%, with Dr GE Ho as principal supervisor)
  • Donny James – (PhD 2010) Microbial reductive dechlorination of Hexa-Chloro-Butadiene in the presence of organic electron mediations”.
  • Salwa Al-Thawadi (PhD 2009) Optimisation of biocementation by using urease active bacteria”.
  • Leonie Hughes (PhD 2008) Advanced biological nitrogen removal by using a twin biofilm reactor system comprising storage driven denitrification and nitrification”.
  • Gibbs Brenton (PhD 2005) Online control and optimization of simultaneous nitrification of sequencing batch reactor technology for waste water treatment.
  • Herawati Budiastuti (PhD 2004) Intensification of single stage continuously stirred tank anaerobic digestion process using carriers. (Dr Pratap Pullammanapplallil principal supervisor)
  • Katie Third (PhD 2003) Oxygen Management for Optimisation of Nitrogen removal in a Sequencing Batch Reactor.
  • Victoria Whiffin (PhD 2003) Microbial CaCO3 precipitation for the production of  biocement
  • Gunawan Wibisono (PhD 2002) Anaerobic single baffled reactor as an alternative domestic wastewater treatment system in Indonesia. (20% with Dr GE Ho principal supervisor).
  • Andrew Poole (PhD 1999) Biological treatment of highly polluted industrial effluent, with application to the wool scouring industry.
  • Yang Yu (MSc1999) Oxalate Degradation by Anaerobic Bacteria and the Utilization of External Electron Acceptors. (50%, Co-supervised with Dr Graham O’Hara).
  • Choon-Yee Ho (PhD 1996) Modelling and reaction kinetics in anaerobic ecosystems with consideration of thermodynamic principles.
  • Naomi Carnaje (MSc 1995) Development of a control technique for the automated safe operation of anaerobic digesters at high loading rates.



  • Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2000),Microbially Influenced Corrosion of Steel,In: Environmental Microbe-Metal Interactions, ASM Press, pages 159 to 173.


  • Cheng, L., Charles, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2016), Automatic online buffer capacity (alkalinity) measurement of wastewater using an electrochemical cell, Environmental Technology, 37, 19, pages 2467 - 2472.
  • Vitzthum von Eckstaedt, S., Charles, W., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2016), Novel process of bio chemical ammonia removal from air streams using a water reflux system and zeolite as filter media, Chemosphere, 144, , pages 257 - 263.
  • Rabbani, K., Charles, W., Kayaalp, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., (2016), Biofilter for generation of concentrated sulphuric acid from H2S, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23, 16, pages 16781 - 16789.
  • Rabbani, K., Charles, W., Kayaalp, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., (2016), Pilot-scale biofilter for the simultaneous removal of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia at a wastewater treatment plant, Biochemical Engineering Journal, 107, , pages 1 - 10.
  • Rabbani, K., Charles, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., (2015), Recovery of sulphur from contaminated air in wastewater treatment plants by biofiltration: a critical review, Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology, 14, 3, pages 523 - 534.
  • Wong, P., Ginige, M., Kaksonen, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Sutton, D., Cheng, K., (2015), Simultaneous phosphorus uptake and denitrification by EBPR-r biofilm under aerobic conditions: effect ofdissolved oxygen, Water Science and Technology, 72, 7, pages 1147 - 1154.
  • Bee Quek, S., Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2015), In-line deoxygenation for organic carbon detections in seawater using a marine microbial fuel cell-biosensor, Bioresource Technology, 182, , pages 34 - 40.
  • Bee Quek, S., Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2015), Microbial fuel cell biosensor for rapid assessmentof assimilable organic carbon under marineconditions, Water Research, 77, , pages 64 - 71.
  • Flavigny, R., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2015), Organic carbon removal from wastewater by a PHA storing biofilm using direct atmospheric air contact as oxygen supply, Bioresource Technology, 187, , pages 182 - 188.
  • Cheng, L., Shahin, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2014), Bio-cementation of sandy soil using microbially induced carbonate precipitation for marine environments, Geotechnique, 64, 12, pages 1010 - 1013.
  • Bee Quek, S., Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2014), Bio-Electrochemical Sensor for Fast Analysis of Assimilable Organic Carbon in Seawater, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 5, 2, pages -.
  • Bee Quek, S., Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2014), Detection of low concentration of assimilable organic carbon in seawater prior to reverse osmosis membrane using microbial electrolysis cell biosensor, Desalination and Water Treatment: science and engineering, 55, 11, pages 2885 - 2890.
  • Cheng, L., Bee Quek, S., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2014), Hexacyanoferrate-adapted biofilm enables the development of a microbial fuel cell biosensor to detect trace levels of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) in oxygenated seawater, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 111, 12, pages 2412 - 2420.
  • Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2013), Selective enrichment and production of highly urease active bacteria by non-sterile (open) chemostat culture, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 40, 10, pages 1095 - 1104.
  • Moheimani, N., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Raes, E., Borowitzka, M., (2013), Non-destructive oil extraction from Botryococcus braunii (Chlorophyta), Journal of Applied Phycology, 25, 6, pages 1653 - 1661.
  • Charles, W., Ng, B., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Cheng, L., Ho, G., Kayaalp, A., (2013), Enhancement of waste activated sludge anaerobicdigestion by a novel chemical free acid/alkalinepretreatment using electrolysis, Water Science and Technology, , , pages 2827 - 2831.
  • Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2013), Upscaling Effects of Soil Improvement by Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation by Surface Percolation, Geomicrobiology Journal: an international journal of geomicrobiology and microbial biogeochemistry, 31, 5, pages 396 - 406.
  • Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Shahin, M., (2013), Cementation of sand soil by microbially induced calcite precipitation at various degrees of saturation, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 50, 1, pages 81 - 90.
  • Suwannoppadol, S., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2012), Overcoming sodium toxicity by utilizing grass leaves as co-substrate during the start-up of batch thermophilic anaerobic digestion, Bioresource Technology, 125, , pages 188 - 192.
  • Cheng, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2012), In situ soil cementation with ureolytic bacteria by surface percolation, Ecological Engineering, 42, , pages 64 - 72.
  • Charles, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ng, B., Cheng, L., Ho, G., Kayaalp, A., (2012), Enhancement of waste activated sludge anaerobic digestion by a novel chemical free acid/alkaline pretreatment using electrolysis, Water Science and Technology, 67, 12, pages 2827 - 2831.
  • Lever, M., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2012), Simplifying cellulase production by usingenvironmental selection pressures and recyclingsubstrate, Environmental Technology, online, , pages -.
  • Walker, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Sciberras, S., (2012), Performance of a commercial-scale DiCOM demonstration facility treating mixed municipal solid waste in comparison with laboratory-scale data., Bioresource Technology, 126, , pages 404 - 411.
  • Suwannoppadol, S., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2012), Distribution of methanogenic potential in fractions of turf grass used as inoculum for the start-up of thermophilic anaerobic digestion, Bioresource Technology, 117, , pages 124 - 130.
  • Cheng, K., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2012), Energy-efficient treatment of organic wastewater streams using a rotatable bioelectrochemical contactor (RBEC), Bioresource Technology, 126, , pages 431 - 436.
  • Cheng, K., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2011), Novel methanogenic rotatable bioelectrochemical system operated with polarity inversion, Environmental Science & Technology (Washington), 45, 2, pages 796 - 802.
  • Cord-Ruwisch, R., Law, Y., Cheng, K., (2011), Ammonium as a sustainable proton shuttle in bioelectrochemical systems, Bioresource Technology, 102, 20, pages 9691 - 9696.
  • Suwannoppadol, S., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2011), Rapid start-up of thermophilic anaerobic digestion with the turf fraction of MSW as inoculum, Bioresource Technology, 102, 17, pages 7762 - 7767.
  • Charles, W., Carnaje, N., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2011), Methane conversion efficiency as a simple control parameter for an anaerobic digester at high loading rates, Water Science and Technology, 64, 2, pages 534 - 539.
  • Cheng, K., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2010), Cathodic oxygen reduction, Environmental Science & Technology (Washington), 44, 1, pages 518 - 525.
  • Lever, M., Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2010), Ethanol from lignocellulose using crude unprocessed cellulase from solid-state fermentation, Bioresource Technology, 101, 18, pages 7083 - 7087.
  • Lee, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Manefield, M., (2010), A process for the purification of organochlorine contaminated activated carbon: Sequential solvent purging and reductive dechlorination, Water Research, 44, 5, pages 1580 - 1590.
  • Charles, W., Walker, L., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2009), Effect of pre-aeration and inoculum on the start-up of batch thermophilic anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste, Bioresource Technology, 100, 8, pages 2329 - 2335.
  • Mayilraj, S., Kaksonen, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Schumann, P., Sproer, C., Tindall, B., Spring, S., (2009), Desulfonauticus autotrophicus sp. nov., a novel thermophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from oil-production water and emended description of the genus Desulfonauticus, Extremophiles, 13, , pages 247 - 255.
  • Cord-Ruwisch, R., James, D., Charles, W., (2009), The use of redox potential to monitor biochemical HCBD dechlorination, Journal of Biotechnology, 142, 2, pages 151 - 156.
  • Walker, L., Charles, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2009), Comparison of static, in-vessel composting of MSW with thermophilic anaerobic digestion and combinations of the two processes, Bioresource Technology, 100, 16, pages 3799 - 3807.
  • Cheng, K., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., (2009), A new approach for in situ cyclic voltammetry of a microbial fuel cell biofilm without using a potentiostat, Bioelectrochemistry, 74, , pages 227 - 231.
  • Ho, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Cheng, K., (2008), Affinity of Microbial Fuel Cell Biofilm for the Anodic Potential, Environmental Science & Technology (Washington), 42, , pages 3828 - 3834.
  • James, D., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Schleheck, D., Lee, M., Manefield, M., (2008), Cyanocobalamin enables activated Sludge Bacteria to Dechlorinate Hexachloro-1,3-butadiene to Nonchlorinated Gases, Bioremediation Journal, 12, 4, pages 177 - 184.
  • Hughes, L., Lancaster, J., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2006), Multistage wastewater treatment using separated storage driven denitrification and nitrification biofilms, Water Science and Technology, 53, , pages 51 - 58.
  • Charles, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., Costa, M., Spencer, P., (2006), Solutions to a combined problem of excessive hydrogen sulfide in biogas and struvite scaling, Water Science and Technology, 53, 6, pages 203 - 210.
  • Third, K., Paxman, J., Strous, M., Strous, M., Jetten, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2005), Treatment of nitrogen-rich wastewater using partial nitrification and Anammox in the CANON process, Water Science and Technology, 52, 4, pages 47 - 54.
  • Third, K., Gibbs, B., Newland, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2005), Long-term aeration management for improved N-removal via SND in a sequencing batch reactor, Water Research, 39, , pages 3523 - 3530.
  • Poole, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Jones, W., (2005), Mechanism of aerobic biological destabilisation of wool scour effluent emulsions, Water Research, 39, , pages 2756 - 2762.
  • Third, K., Paxman, J., Schmid, M., Strous, M., Jetten, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2005), Enrichment of anammox from activated sludge and its application in the CANON process, Microbial Ecology, 49, , pages 236 - 244.
  • Poole, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2004), Treatment of strongflow wool scouring effluent by biological emulsion destablilisation, Water Research, 38, , pages 1419 - 1426.
  • Gibbs, B., Shephard, L., Third, K., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2004), The presence of ammonium facilitates nitrite reduction under PHB driven simultaneous nitrification and dentrification, Water Science and Technology, 10, , pages 181 - 188.
  • Third, K., Sepramaniam, S., Tonkovic, Z., Newland, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2004), Optimisation of storage driven dentrification by using on-line specific oxygen uptake rate monitoring during SND in a SBR, Water Science and Technology, 10, , pages 171 - 180.
  • Whffin, V., Cooney, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2004), On-line detection of feed demand in high cell density cultures of Escherichia coli by measurement of changes in dissolved oxygen transients in complex media, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 85, , pages 422 - 433.
  • Third, K., Newland, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2003), The effect of dissolved oxygen on PHB accumulation in activated sludge cultures, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 82, , pages 238 - 250.
  • Third, K., Burnett, N., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2003), Simultaneous nitrification and denitrification using stored substrate (PHB) as the electron donor in an SBR, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 83, , pages 707 - 720.
  • Third, K., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Watling, H., (2002), Control of the Redox Potential by Oxygen Limitation Improves Bacterial Leaching of Chalcopyrite, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 78, 4, pages 433 - 441.
  • Johnston, W., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Cooney, M., (2002), Industrial control of recombinant E. coli fed-batch culture: new perspectives on traditional controlled variables, Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 25, , pages 111 - 120.
  • Zhou, H., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Chen, J., (2001), Influence of pH, redox potential and hydraulic retention time on anaerobic fermention of glucose, Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, 1, , pages 180 - 184.
  • Third, K., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Watling, H., (2000), The role of iron-oxidzing bacteria in stimulation or inhibition of chalcopyrite bioleaching, Hydrometallurgy, 57, , pages 225 - 233.
  • Poole, A., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Jones, W., (1999), Biological treatment of chemically flocculated agro-industrial waste from the wool scouring industry by an aerobic process without sludge recycle, Water Research, 33, 9, pages 1981 - 1988.
  • Powell, S., Franzmann, P., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Toze, S., (1998), Degradation of 2-nitrodiphenylamine, a component of Otto Fuel II, by Clostridium spp., Anaerobic, 4, , pages 95 - 102.
  • Cord-Ruwisch, R., Lovley, D., Schink, B., (1998), Growth of Geobacter sulfurreducens with acetate in syntrophic cooperation with hydrogen-oxidizing anaerobic partners., Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 64, , pages 2232 - 2236.
  • Hoh, C., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (1997), Experimental evidence for the need of thermodynamic considerations in modelling of anaerobic environmental bioprocesses, Water Science and Technology, 36, , pages 109 - 115.
  • Cord-Ruwisch, R., Mercz, T., Hoh, C., Strong, G., (1997), Dissolved hydrogen concentration as an on-line control parameter for the automated operation and optimization of anaerobic digesters, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 56, , pages 626 - 634.
  • Mercz, T., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (1997), Treatment of wool scouring effluent using anaerobic biological and chemical flocculation, Water Research, 31, , pages 170 - 178.


  • Cheng, L., Shahin, M., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Addis, M., Hartanto, T., Helms, C., (2014),Soil Stabilisation by Microbial-Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP): Investigation into Some Physical and Environmental Aspects,In: 7th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics.
  • Al-Thawadi, S., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Bououdina, M., (2011),Strength formation by nanoparticles of calcite after concentrating ureolytic bacteria in-situ,In: 1st International Congress on Advances in Applied Physics and Materials Science (APMAS) (2011).
  • Budiastuti, H., Pullammanappallil, P., Cord-Ruwisch, R., (2003),Modelling anaerobic degradation of carbohydrates under different feeding strategies,In: National Environment Conference (NEC) (2003).
  • Wibisono, G., Cord-Ruwisch, R., Ho, G., (1999),The performance of anaerobic single baffled reactor (ASBR) with varying VFA concentrations,In: Proceedings of the International Regional Conference on Environmental Technologies for Wastewater Management.

Can I add a new paper here?