Prof. Charles Banks is an Emeritus Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.
Research interests are in the area of innovative technology for environmental protection, including: Abatement and removal, Abattoir waste, Activated sludge, Anaerobic digestion, Renewable energy, Sustainable energy, Waste management, Waste stabilisation ponds, Wastewater treatment.
- Controlled anaerobic and aerobic biodegradation of municipal and industrial solid wastes
- Concepts for an integrated farming system for non competitive food and fuel production
- Energy production from digestion of crops and agricultural wastes
- Provision of software tools for process energy balances, waste audit and waste management
- Treatment of liquid industrial effluents by biological systems
Current research projects reflect these interests and have led to the design of novel reactor systems and operating protocols to meet the challenges of new and adapted technologies for environmental protection, renewable energy production and sustainable nutrient management systems.
Of special interest is the development of operating protocols for anaerobic digestion, to maximise rates of substrate conversion and biogas yield. As part of this, current research is promoting the use of mass and energy balances as a means of quantifying process performance and developing new analytical tools to broaden our understanding of the process, its kinetics and limitations.
Earlier research on wastewater treatment systems based on algal photosynthesis is now linking together with some existing themes including growth of algal biomass for energy production and product generation in biorefineries: this encompasses work on reactor design and biochemical pathways.