Rajinikanth Rajagopal. M.Eng., Ph.D.

Image Rajinikanth Rajagopal
Research Scientist

Responsible for the R&D activities related to the Management and Treatment of Effluents, particularly focussing on livestock and agri-food related wastes, not only to protect the environment by removing or stabilizing pollutants, but also to fully retrieve and synergistically reuse all of the inherent value in wastes.

Current research and/or projects

  1. Development of low-temperature anaerobic digestion biotechnology for high ammonia solid manure and evaluation of its effect on pathogens 
  2. Development of CleanTech solutions to treat livestock/poultry manures and extracting value-added bioproducts- Towards circular economy 
  3. Living Laboratory program (AAFC)
  4. Advancing the Canadian Swine Sector Through Environmental Footprint Analyses
  5. Optimizing nitrogen use in pigs and broilers for a sustainable production

Research and/or project statements

Dairy and swine production are important economic drivers for Canada. On the other hand, these practices are one of the main causes of the most pressing environmental problems, namely climate change, land degradation, air and water pollution and loss of biodiversity. The treatment of agricultural effluents is an efficient way to recover green energy and increase the agronomic value of slurry while reducing their polluting load and the biological risks associated with rearing practices. This research program meets AAFC's objective of improving the environmental performance of dairy and pig production.

Professional activities / interests

  • Management, treatment and valorization of livestock and agri-food wastes

  • Renewable energy (methane and hydrogen) production

  • Biological treatment of nitrogen; nutrients recovery; phosphorous recycling

  • Genesis and mitigation of pollutant and greenhouse gas compounds (N2O, CH4, NH3 and odor)

  • Recycling and reclamation of residual materials

  • Post treatment digestate

  • Agronomic reuse of treated organic materials

  • Circular bioeconomy (Agri-based)

Education and awards

Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology (LBE), French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, 2008.

International experience and/or work

Rajinikanth received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in conjunction with the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and the Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology (LBE), INRA. During his Ph.D., he focused on the high rate anaerobic treatment of agro-food industrial wastewaters. Rajinikanth then went on to do post-doctoral research (2009-2010) on "Biological (anaerobic/anoxic) swine wastewater treatment" at the Environmental Management and Biological Waste Treatment Unit, IRSTEA (CEMAGREF), in France.  In 2010, Rajinikanth moved to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, where he worked on the decentralized-source separation based green energy concept along with LCA. Afterwards, he relocated to Canada, where he worked as a NSERC Visiting Fellow, at the Sherbrooke RDC from 2012 to 2014. During this time, he worked on psychrophilic anaerobic digestion system (AD) technology to treat hog and high ammonia waste. In addition, he worked as a research director and technical consultant for approximately 2 years for private companies, where he developed a high solids AD technology for bioenergy and fertilizer production.  In continuation to this work, Rajinikanth worked for Concordia University (2017-2018) to develop an integrated waste management model by combining solid-state anaerobic co-digestion and membrane/Nano technology for the valorization of solid wastes into green energy, fertilizer and water reuse.

Key publications

  1. EU-Canada CETA Agriculture Dialogue Workshop: GHG Reduction in Livestock Production Outcomes Report - agriculture.canada.ca

    2022 - View publication details

  2. VanderZaag, A., Rajagopal, R. Desjardins, R., Coates, T., Hao, X., Bittman, S. 2021. Reducing Emissions from Manure Management. Report to AAFC’s Climate Change Roadmap project. 32 pp

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Goyette, B., Rajagopal, R., Rahaman, S. 2018. Start-up and operating strategies of low temperature dry-anaerobic bioreactors for processing dairy manure and municipal bio-waste co-digestion. Conference of the European Biogas Association, Antwerp, Belgium, 24-26 January 2018. (POSTER)

    2018 - View publication details

  4. Ng, B.J.H., Mao, Y., Chen, C.L., Rajagopal, R., Wang, J.Y. (2017). Municipal food waste management in Singapore: practices, challenges and recommendations. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, [online] 19(1), 560-569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10163-015-0405-8

    2017 - View publication details

  5. Rajagopal, R., Massé, D.I. (2016). Start-up of dry anaerobic digestion system for processing solid poultry litter using adapted liquid inoculum. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, [online] 102 495-502. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2016.05.003

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Massé, D.I. and Rajagopal, R. (2014). Final research report. Operating strategies for the AAFC low temperature dry-anaerobic bioreactors (LTDAB) processing high solids content organic substrates. 20 pp. (Report)

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Massé, D.I., Rajagopal, R., Singh, G. (2014). Technical and operational feasibility of psychrophilic anaerobic digestion biotechnology for processing ammonia-rich waste. Applied Energy, [online] 120 49-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.01.034

    2014 - View publication details

  8. Rajagopal, R., Massé, D.I., Saady, N.M.C. (2014). Low-temperature anaerobic co-digestion of swine carcass and swine manure: Impact of high swine carcass loading rate. Transactions of the ASABE, [online] 57(6), 1811-1816. http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/trans.57.10728

    2014 - View publication details

  9. Massé, D.I., Saady, N.M.C., Rajagopal, R. (2014). Psychrophilic dry anaerobic digestion of high solids content dairy manure: Long-term operation. Biological Engineering (ASABE), [online] 7(3), 99-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/bet.7.10704

    2014 - View publication details

  10. Rajagopal, R., Massé, D.I., and Singh, G.M.S. (2013). "A critical review on inhibition of anaerobic digestion process by excess ammonia.", Bioresource Technology, 143, pp. 632-641. doi : 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.06.030

    2013 - View publication details

  11. Rajagopal, R., Saady, N.M.C., Torrijos, M., Thanikal, J.V., and Hung, Y.-T. (2013). "Sustainable agro-food industrial wastewater treatment using high rate anaerobic process.", Water, 5(1), pp. 292-311. doi : 10.3390/w5010292

    2013 - View publication details

Research facility

2000 College Street
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8


  • Member of American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) and Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE)

  • Life Member of Indian society for Technical Education (ISTE)

  • Member of Caledonian Journal of Engineering Society (ISSN 1999-9496)

  • Editorial board member of International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering; International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics (IJFS); Hindawi Publications



Other languages

French, Tamil