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Environmental Biotechnology



The department’s research in environmental biotechnology emphasizes bioenergy production from biodegradable materials (biomass, wastewater, etc.) using bioelectrochemical systems, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and fermentation technology.

We’re also working on projects for environmental bioremediation and water desalination.


Current projects in environmental biotechnology include:

  • The Potential of Microbial Fuel Cells in Bioenergy Recovery and Green House Gas Mitigation, USEPA, PI, 2010-2011
  • High Yield Hydrogen Production in Microbial Electrolysis Cells Using Carbon Nanofiber Electrodes, ONR, Co-PI, 2009-2011

Treasure: Using Crumb Rubber from Recycled Tires for Stormwater Pollution Control, CDPHE, Co-PI, 2009-2011

Faculty Information

Zhiyong (Jason) Ren, Assistant Professor
Environmental Engineering
PhD in Environmental Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2008
Phone: 303-556-5287
Office: North Classroom 3019 B
Web site:

Ren is also a faculty member of the Center for Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Systems at CU Denver.


The Environmental Engineering Laboratory is well-equipped for conducting physical, chemical and microbial analytical work associated with biological and environmental research. Laboratory and safety supply, wireless internet, software and general support for laboratory computers are provided by the College of Engineering and Applied Science and Information Technology Services.

Major equipment and instruments include gas chromatographs, high-performance liquid chromatographs, UV spectrophotometers, potential stat work station with electrochemical analysis system, automatic data collection system and molecular microbiology instruments.

Related Courses

  • Introduction of Environmental and Sustainability Engineering
  • Sustainable Bioenergy
  • Biological Processes in Water Quality Engineering
  • Chemical Processes in Water Quality Engineering
  • Defining and Measuring Sustainability
  • Introduction to Sustainable Urban Infrastructure
  • Environmental and Water Quality Modeling
  • Sustainable Urban Water Systems

For complete, up-to-date course descriptions, visit the CU Denver academic catalog and search for the course names listed above.