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 psychrophilic anaerobic digestion biotechnology for high ammonia solid manure and evaluation of its effect on pathogens.

  2. Integrated anaerobic digestion and Micro-algae 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

  For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

  Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  1. Rajagopal R, Choudhury M.R, Anwar N., Goyette B, Rahaman S. (2019). Influence of Pre-Hydrolysis on Sewage Treatment in an Up-Flow Anaerobic Sludge BLANKET (UASB) Reactor: A Review. Water, 11, 372. Doi:10.3390/w11020372.

  2. Rajagopal R, Ghosh D, Ashraf S, Goyette B, Zhao X. (2019). Effects of low-temperature dry anaerobic digestion on methane production and pathogen reduction in dairy cow manure. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1007/s13762-019-02291-w. (Article in press)
  3. Rajagopal R, Goyette B, Hince J.F. (2019). High-solid anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure: a pilot scale study at low-to-moderate temperature conditions. Detritus Journal. (Accepted).

  4. Rajagopal R, Bellavance D, Rahaman S. (2017). Psychrophilic anaerobic digestion of semi-dry mixed municipal food waste: For North American Context. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 105, 101-108.

  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 102, 495-502.

  6. Ahamed A, Chen C.L., Rajagopal R, Wu D, Mao Y, Ho I.J.R, Lim J.W, Wang J.Y.(2015). Multi-phased anaerobic baffled reactor treating food waste. Bioresource Technology

  7. Ng B.J.H, Mao Y, Chen C.L., Rajagopal R, Wang J.Y. (2015). Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management. DOI: 10.1007/s10163-015-0405-8.

  8. Rajagopal R, Ahmed A, Wang J.Y. (2014a). Hydrolytic and acidogenic fermentation potential of food waste with source segregated feces-without-urine as co-substrate. Bioresource Technology 167, 564-568.

  9. Rajagopal R, Massé D.I, Saady N.M.C. (2014b). Low-temperature anaerobic co-digestion of swine carcass and swine manure: Impact of high swine carcass loading rate. Transactions of the ASABE 57 (6), 1811-1816. DOI: 10.13031/trans.57.10728.

  10. Massé D.I, Rajagopal R, Singh G. (2014a). Technical and operational feasibility of psychrophilic anaerobic digestion biotechnology for processing ammonia-rich waste. Applied Energy 120, 49-55.

  11. Massé D.I, Saady N.M.C, Rajagopal R. (2014b). Psychrophilic dry anaerobic digestion of high solids content dairy manure: long-term operation". Biological Engineering Transactions 7(3): 99-112. DOI: 10.13031/bet.7.10704.

  12. Rajagopal R, Massé D.I, Singh G. (2013a). A critical review on inhibition of anaerobic digestion process by excess ammonia. Bioresource Technology 143, 632–641.

  13. Rajagopal R, Lim J.W, Mao Y, Chen C.L, Wang J.Y.(2013b). Anaerobic co-digestion of source segregated brown water (feces-without-urine) and food waste: For Singapore context. , 877–886.

  14. Rajagopal R, Torrijos M, Kumar P, Mehrotra I. (2013c). Substrate removal kinetics in high-rate upflow anaerobic filters packed with low-density polyethylene media treating high-strength agro-food wastewaters. 116, 101-106.

  15. Rajagopal R, Saady N.M.C, Torrijos M, Thanikal J.V, Hung Y.T. (2013d). Sustainable Agro-Food Industrial Wastewater Treatment Using High Rate Anaerobic Process. Water, 5, 292-311.

  16. Rajagopal R (2013). Biological Inhibition/Toxicity during the Anaerobic Digestion of Wastes from Food and Agricultural Industries. International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics 2 (2), 1-2. 

  17. Rajagopal V, Rajagopal R. (2013). Improving the efficiency of the prediction system for anaerobic wastewater treatment process using Genetic Algorithm. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(10), 119-126.

  18. Rajagopal R, Rousseau P, Bernet N, Béline F. (2011a). Combined Anaerobic and Activated Sludge Anoxic/Oxic Treatment for Piggery wastewater. Bioresource Technology 102 (3), 2185-2192.

  19. Rajagopal R, Béline F. (2011b). Nitrogen removal via nitrite pathway and the related nitrous oxide emission during piggery wastewater treatment. Bioresource Technology 102 (5), 4042-4046.

  20. Rajagopal R, Béline, F. (2011c). Anaerobic hydrolysis and acidification of organic substrates: Determination of anaerobic hydrolytic potential, Bioresource Technology 102 (10), 5653-5658.

  21. Rajagopal R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Torrijos M.  (2010). Evaluation of a Hybrid Upflow Anaerobic Sludge-Filter Bed Reactor: Effect of the Proportion of Packing Medium on Performance. 61(6), 1441 - 1450.

  22. Ganesh R, Rajagopal R, Torrijos M, Thanikal J.V, Ramanujam R. (2010). Anaerobic treatment of winery wastewater in fixed bed reactors. Bioprocess Biosyst. Eng. 33, 619–628.

  23. Rajagopal R, Ganesh R, Escudie R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Thanikal J.V, Torrijos M. (2009). High rate anaerobic filters with floating supports for the treatment of effluents from small-scale agro-food industries. Desalination and Water Treatment, 4, 183-190.

  24. Ramirez I, Volcke E.I.P, Rajagopal R, Steyer J.P. (2009). Modeling microbial diversity in anaerobic digestionthrough an extended ADM1 model. Water Research, 43, 2787 - 2800.

  25. Rajagopal R, Ramirez I, Steyer J.P, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Escudie R, Torrijos M. (2008). Experimental and modeling investigations of a hybrid upflow anaerobic sludge-filter bed (UASFB) reactor. Water Science and Technology, 58(1), 109-117.

  26. Ramachandra T.V, Rajagopal R, Ranjini V.G. (2005). Economic valuation of wetlands. International Journal of Environmental Biology. 26 (2 suppl.), 439-447. 

  27. Ramachandra T.V, Ahalya N, Rajagopal R. (2004). Fish homicide by civic authorities: Latest episode of euthanasia. Journal of Nature Environment and Pollution Technology, Technoscience Publications, 3(2), 141-146.


    Proceeding papers associated with conference oral presentations (Selected papers only)

  1. Rajagopal R, Goyette B, Adhikary S, Jérôme D. (2019). Start-up strategies for digesting chicken manure using percolation-recirculation mode of operation. 16th IWA World Conference on Anaerobic digestion, June 23-27, Delft, The Netherlands (Accepted).

  2. Rajagopal R, Goyette B (2018). High-solid anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure: a pilot scale study at low temperature conditions. Seventh International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste, October 15-18, Venice, Italy.

  3. Goyette B, Rajagopal R, Hince J-F, Rahaman S. (2018). A scale-up procedure for processing high-solid content food waste and dairy manure in a low temperature anaerobic digester. 46th International Symposium-Actual tasks on agricultural engineering, February 27-March 2, Opatija, Croatia.

  4. 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, January 24-26, Antwerp, Belgium.

  5. Choudhury M.R, Anwar N., Rajagopal R, Rahaman S. (2018). Application of Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Processes (EAOPs) for Treatment of Concentrate from Anaerobic Digester Units. 16th International Environmental Specialty Conference, June 13-16, Fredericton, Canada.

  6. Goyette B, Rajagopal R, Rahaman S. (2017). Biodesulphurization of biogas using micro-aerobic conditions: Effect of inoculation with psychrophilic anaerobic medium. Manuressource 2017, November 27-29, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

  7. Rajagopal R. (2018). Integrated waste treatment for recovery and reuse of energy and resources. 3rd International Conference on Frontline Areas of Civil Engineering (ICFACE–2018), January 5-6, India.

  8. Rajagopal R, Massé D.I. (2016). Dry psychrophilic anaerobic digestion of chicken manure: startup strategies). In Proc. of international conference on “Recent trends in Structural and Environmental Engineering (RTSEE-2016), May 23, Anna University, India.

  9. Rajagopal R, Massé D.I. (2013). Development of psychrophilic anaerobic digestion technology for processing ammonia-rich swine manure. In proc. of the international conference `Manuresource 2013`, December 4-6, Bruges, Belgium.

  10. S, Capdeville J, Bellet V, Rajagopal R, Motte J.C, Balaguer P, Béline F, Bernet N, Budzinski H, Hernandez RG.(2013). Fate of antibiotics, steroid hormones and multiple endocrine activities during biological treatment of swine manure under anaerobic and aerobic/anoxic conditions. In Proc. of IWA conference - 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion (AD13), 25-28 June,Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

    Rajagopal R, Wang J.Y, Stegmann R. (2012). Anaerobic co-digestion of brown water and food waste in decentralized and source-separation-based sanitation concepts”. In proc. of the 27th International conference on Solid waste Technology and Management, March 11-14, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

  11. Rajagopal R, Rousseau P, Bernet N, Béline F. (2010). Combined Anaerobic - biological nitrogen removal treatment for piggery wastewater. In Proc. of IWA conference - 12th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion (AD12), 30 Oct - 4 Nov, Guadalajara, Mexico.

  12. Rajagopal R and Béline F. (2010). Nitrogen removal via nitrite pathway: a sustainable solution for livestock waste/wastewater management in Southeast Asian countries. In proc. of the 9th International Symposium on Southeast Asian Water Environment, October24-26, Phuket, Thailand.

  13. Rajagopal R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Torrijos M.  (2009). Development and evaluation of a Hybrid UASB-UAF reactor: Influence of packing media on its performance. In Proc. of the IWA Int. conference on the “Asset Management of Medium and Small Wastewater Utilities”. 3-4 July, Thrace, Greece.

  14. Rajagopal R, Kumar P, Mehrotra I, Torrijos M. (2008). Hybrid UASB-UAF reactor using low-density packing media.In Proc. of the “6th Int. Symposium on Southeast Asia Water Environment”. 29-31 Oct, Indonesia.

  15. Rajagopal R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Escudie R, Joseph V. Thanikal, Torrijos M. (2007). Anaerobic treatment of strong domestic sewage in an upflow fixed bed reactor under different temperature conditions. In Proc. of IWA Int. workshop on ‘Anaerobic digestion in mountain areas’. June 5-7 June, Chambery, France.

  16. Rajagopal R, Ganesh R, Escudie R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Thanikal J.V, Torrijos M. (2007). High rate anaerobic fixed bed reactor with floating supports for the treatment of effluents from agro-food industries. In Proc. of IWA conference programme- 11th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion (AD11), 23 - 27 September, Brisbane, Australia.

  17. Rajagopal R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Escudie R, Joseph V. Thanikal, Torrijos M. (2007). Treatment of strong domestic sewage in an upflow anaerobic fixed bed reactor. In Proc. of Int. Conference on ‘Cleaner Technologies and Environmental Management’, Pondicherry, India. Pp. 463-471.

  18. Rajagopal R, Mehrotra I, Kumar P, Escudie R, Joseph V. Thanikal, Torrijos M. (2007). Anaerobic treatment of diluted wastewaters in a high-rate upflow fixed bed reactor. In Proc. of Int. conference on ‘Technologies for Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in the Mediterranean Region. Jerba, Tunisia. Pp. 14-18.


  • Member ofAmerican 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