UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Ricardo Bello Mendoza

Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

Phone: +64 3 364 2987 ext. 92043

Office: Civil & Natural Resources Engineering E429

Fields of Research

  • Anaerobic processes for wastewater treatment and bioenergy production
  • Degradation of water contaminants by advanced oxidation processes
  • Fate of organic micropollutants in the aquatic environment
  • Small-scale wastewater treatment systems for developing communities

Researcher Summary

Research interests are in the area of innovative technology for wastewater treatment and resource recovery, including anaerobic biotechnology and advanced oxidation processes. The fate of persistent organic contaminants in the aquatic environment is another field of study.

Subject Area: Disciplines

Key Methodologies

  • Biological treatability studies of wastewater
  • Biomethane potential test
  • Bioreactor engineering
  • Gas chromatography


Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

Journal Articles
  • Musálem-Castillejos K., Laino-Guanes R., Bello Mendoza R., González-Espinosa M. and Ramírez-Marcial N. (2018) Water quality of the Grijalva river in the Chiapas and Tabasco border. Ecosistemas y Recursos Agropecuarios 5(13): 55-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.19136/era.a5n13.1334.
  • Pokhrel SP., Milke MW., Bello-Mendoza R., Buitrón G. and Thiele J. (2018) Use of solid phosphorus fractionation data to evaluate phosphorus release from waste activated sludge. Waste Management http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2018.03.008.
  • Villanueva-Rodríguez M., Bello-Mendoza R., Hernández-Ramírez A. and Ruiz-Ruiz EJ. (2018) Degradation of anti-inflammatory drugs in municipal wastewater by heterogeneous photocatalysis and electro-Fenton process. Environmental Technology (United Kingdom) : 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2018.1442880.
  • Chouhan D., Bello-Mendoza R. and Wareham DG. (2017) MCPA biodegradation in an anoxic sequencing batch reactor (SBR). International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(2): 365-374. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13762-016-1152-7.
  • Gutiérrez-Hernández RF., Bello-Mendoza R., Hernández-Ramírez A., Malo EA. and Nájera-Aguilar HA. (2017) Photo-assisted electrochemical degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls with boron-doped diamond electrodes. Environmental Technology early access online: 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2017.1375999.
  • Gutiérrez-Hernández RF., Bello-Mendoza R., Valle-Mora JF., Peralta-Hernández JM., Malo EA., Hernández-Ramírez A. and Nájera-Aguilar HA. (2017) Rapid prediction of hydrogen peroxide concentration electrogenerated with boron doped diamond electrodes. Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies 20(2) http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jaots-2017-0037.
  • Laino-Guanes R., Suárez-Sánchez J., González-Espinosa M., Musálem-Castillejos K., Ramírez-Marcial N., Bello Mendoza R. and Jiménez F. (2017) Water balance and nutrient export modeling using WEAP: constraints to model the effects of forest restoration and climate change in the upper Grijalva river basin. Aqua-LAC 9(2): 46-58.
  • Laino-Guanes R., González-Espinosa M., Ramírez-Marcial N., Bello-Mendoza R., Jiménez F., Casanoves F. and Musálem-Castillejos K. (2016) Human pressure on water quality and water yield in the upper Grijalva river basin in the Mexico-Guatemala border. Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology 16(3): 149-159. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecohyd.2015.12.002.
  • Martínez-Santacruz CY., Herrera-López D., Gutiérrez-Hernández RF. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2016) Treatment of domestic wastewater through an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor and a microbial fuel cell (MFC). Revista Internacional de Contaminacion Ambiental 32(3): 267-279. http://dx.doi.org/10.20937/RICA.2016.32.03.02.
  • González-Sánchez ME., Pérez-Fabiel S., Wong-Villarreal A., Bello-Mendoza R. and Yãnez-Ocampo G. (2015) Residuos agroindustriales con potencial para la producción de metano mediante la digestión anaerobia (Agroindustrial wastes with potential for methane production by anaerobic digestion). Revista Argentina de Microbiologia 47(3): 229-235. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ram.2015.05.003.
  • Laino-Guanes RM., Bello-Mendoza R., González-Espinosa M., Ramírez-Marcial N., Jiménez-Otárola F. and Musálem-Castillejos K. (2015) Metal concentrations in water and sediments in the upper Grijalva river basin, Mexico-Guatemala border. Tecnologia y Ciencias del Agua 6(4): 61-74.
  • Méndez-Mendoza AS., Bello-Mendoza R., Herrera-López D., Mejía-González G. and Calixto-Romo A. (2015) Performance of constructed wetlands with ornamental plants in the treatment of domestic wastewater under the tropical climate of South Mexico. Water Practice and Technology 10(1): 110-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wpt.2015.013.
  • Cruz-Esteban S., Cruz-López L., Malo EA., Valle-Mora J., Infante-Matha DM., Santiesteban-Hernandez A., Gutiérrez-Hernández R. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2014) Presence of anti-inflammatory drugs in surface waters of Tapachula Chiapas, Mexico. Revista AIDIS de Ingeniería y Ciencias Ambientales 7(2): 105-114. http://www.journals.unam.mx/index.php/aidis/article/view/48704.
  • Cruz-Esteban S., Vázquez Vázquez A., Gutiérrez Hernandez R. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2014) Chemical treatment of water contaminated with methyl parathion by Fenton oxidation reaction. Revista AIDIS de Ingeniería y Ciencias Ambientales 7(2): 161-169. http://www.journals.unam.mx/index.php/aidis/article/view/10.
  • Ruiz-Suárez LE., Castro-Chan RA., Rivero-Pérez NE., Trejo-Acevedo A., Guillén-Navarro GK., Geissen V. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2014) Levels of organochlorine pesticides in blood plasma from residents of malaria-endemic communities in Chiapas, Mexico. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(10): 10444-10460. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111010444.
  • Ruiz-Toledo J., Castro R., Rivero-Pérez N., Bello-Mendoza R. and Sánchez D. (2014) Occurrence of Glyphosate in Water Bodies Derived from Intensive Agriculture in a Tropical Region of Southern Mexico. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 93(3): 289-293. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1328-0.
  • Villanueva-Rodríguez M., Bello-Mendoza R., Wareham DG., Ruiz-Ruiz EJ. and Maya-Treviño ML. (2014) Discoloration and Organic Matter Removal from Coffee Wastewater by Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Processes. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 225(12): 2204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-014-2204-6.
  • Elizabeth Ruiz Suárez L., Geissen V., Jarquín Sánchez A., Castro Chan RA. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2013) Formation and decay of ethylenethiourea (ETU) in soil and water under tropical conditions. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 176(1): 40-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201200014.
  • Lu Y., Slater F., Bello-Mendoza R. and Batstone DJ. (2013) Shearing of biofilms enables selective layer based microbial sampling and analysis. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 110(10): 2600-2605. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.24947.
  • Gutiérrez-Román MI., Holguín-Meléndez F., Bello-Mendoza R., Guillén-Navarro K., Dunn MF. and Huerta-Palacios G. (2012) Production of prodigiosin and chitinases by tropical Serratia marcescens strains with potential to control plant pathogens. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 28(1): 145-153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11274-011-0803-6.
  • Córdova Juárez RA., Gordillo Dorry LL., Bello-Mendoza R. and Sánchez JE. (2011) Use of spent substrate after Pleurotus pulmonarius cultivation for the treatment of chlorothalonil containing wastewater. Journal of Environmental Management 92(3): 948-952. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.10.047.
  • Nájera Aguilar HA., Vázquez Sánchez RA., Gutiérrez Hernanadez RF., Bello Mendoza R. and Rojas Valencia MN. (2011) Physicochemical treatment (coagulation-flocculation-Fenton) of mature leachates from Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas landfill. Sustainable Environment Research 21(5): 313-319.
  • Geissen V., Que Ramos F., Bastidas-Bastidas PJ., Díaz-González G., Bello-Mendoza R., Huerta-Lwanga E. and Ruiz-Suárez LE. (2010) Soil and water pollution in a banana production region in tropical Mexico. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 85(4): 407-413. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-0077-y.
  • Sevilla-Espinosa S., Solórzano-Campo M. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2010) Performance of staged and non-staged up-flow anaerobic sludge bed (USSB and UASB) reactors treating low strength complex wastewater. Biodegradation 21(5): 737-751. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10532-010-9339-y.
  • Geissen V., Gomez-Rivera P., Huerta Lwanga E., Bello Mendoza R., Trujillo Narcías A. and Barba Marcías E. (2008) Using earthworms to test the efficiency of remediation of oil-polluted soil in tropical Mexico. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 71(3): 638-642. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.02.015.
  • Ramírez L., Arrizon J., Sandoval G., Cardador A., Bello-Mendoza R., Lappe P. and Mateos-Díaz JC. (2008) A new microplate screening method for the simultaneous activity quantification of feruloyl esterases, tannases, and chlorogenate esterases. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 151(2-3): 711-723. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12010-008-8319-8.
  • Gutiérrez RF., Santiesteban A., Cruz-López L. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2007) Removal of chlorothalonil, methyl parathion and methamidophos from water by the Fenton reaction. Environmental Technology 28(3): 267-272. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593332808618787.
  • Hernández-Hernández CNA., Valle-Mora J., Santiesteban-Hernández A. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2007) Comparative ecological risks of pesticides used in plantation production of papaya: Application of the SYNOPS indicator. Science of the Total Environment 381(1-3): 112-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.03.014.
  • Ovando I., Damon A., Bello R., Ambrosio D., Albores V., Adriano L. and Salvador M. (2005) Isolation of endophytic fungi and their mycorrhizal potential for the tropical epiphytic orchids Cattleya skinneri, C. aurantiaca and Brassavola nodosa. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences 4(3): 309-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/ajps.2005.309.315.
  • Carlo-Rojas Z., Bello-Mendoza R., Salvador Figueroa M. and Sokolov MY. (2004) Chlorothalonil degradation under anaerobic conditions in an agricultural tropical soil. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 151(1-4): 397-409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:WATE.0000009918.70113.c5.
  • Hernández-Romero AH., Tovilla-Hernández C., Malo EA. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2004) Water quality and presence of pesticides in a tropical coastal wetland in southern Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin 48(11-12): 1130-1141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2004.01.003.
  • Bello-Mendoza R. and Sharratt PN. (1999) Analysis of Retention Time Distribution (RTD) curves in an anaerobic digester with confined-gas mixing using a compartment model. Water Science and Technology 40(8): 49-56.
  • Bello-Mendoza R. and Castillo-Rivera MF. (1998) Start-up of an anaerobic hybrid (UASB⁄Filter) reactor treating wastewater from a coffee processing plant. Anaerobe 4(5): 219-225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anae.1998.0171.
  • Bello Mendoza R. and Sánchez VJE. (1997) Anaerobic filter treatment of wastewater from mushroom cultivation on coffee pulp. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 13: 51-55.
  • Bello-Mendoza R. and Castillo-Rivera MF. (1994) Anaerobic digestion of waste water from coffee processing plants, a review of the process implementation at an industrial level. Biogas Forum 58: 4-11.
Authored Books
  • Mejia-González G., Herrera-López D., Bello-Mendoza R. and Sokolov MY. (2013) Manual de construcción y manejo de humedales artificiales para el tratamiento de agua residual de beneficio de café (A manual for installing and operating constructed wetlands for the treatment of coffee mill wastewater). (1st ed.). Tapachula: El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. 52pp.
  • Cruz-Ornelas R., Gutiérrez-Hernández RF., Castro-Chan RA., Malo-Rivera EA. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Oxidación anódica de residuos farmacéuticos (Anodic oxidation of pharmaceutical residues). In Pica-Granados Y; Ramírez-Romero P (Ed.), Contribuciones al Conocimiento de la Ecotoxicología y Química Ambiental en México: 290-299. Juitepec, Morelos, Mexico: Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua.
  • Gutiérrez-Hernández R., Cruz-Ornelas R., Peralta-Hernández J., Hernández-Ramírez A., Geissen V., Malo-Rivera E. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Degradación de los PCBs 101 y 138 mediante el sistema fotoelectro-Fenton (Degradation of PCBs 101 and 138 by the photoelectro-Fenton system). In Pica Granados Y; Ramírez Romero P (Ed.), Contribuciones al Conocimiento de la Ecotoxicología y Química Ambiental en México: 279-289. Juitepec, Morelos, Mexico: Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua.
  • Bello Mendoza R. (2002) Impacto ambiental del beneficiado húmedo del café (Environmental impact of the wet coffee-cherry processing). In Pohlan J (Ed.), México y la Cafeticultura Chiapaneca -Reflexiones y Alternativas para los Caficultores: 311-320. Aachen, Germany: Shaker Verlag.
  • Bello-Mendoza R. and Sharratt PN. (1999) Compartment mixing model for anaerobic digesters with central draft-tubes. In Benkreira H (Ed.), Fluid Mixing 6: 383-394. Rugby: Institution of Chemical Engineers.
Conference Contributions - Published
  • Hughes MW., Bello-Mendoza R., Cunningham M., Sharp K., McMeeking S. and Manning R. (2017) Towards integration of the Māori world view and engineering: A case study on student design projects for the Koukourārata community, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Sydney, Australia: 28th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference (AAEE2017), 10-13 Dec 2017. In Proceedings of the 28th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference (AAEE2017): 378-389.
  • Poudyal S., Cochrane TA. and Bello Mendoza R. (2017) The effect of carpark traffic on pollutants yield from first flush stormwater runoff. Prague, Czech Republic: 4th IWA/IAHR Congress on Urban Drainage, 10-15 Sep 2017.
  • Poudyal S., Cochrane TA. and Bello Mendoza R. (2017) The role of rainfall characteristics on carpark stormwater pollutant yields. Hamilton, New Zealand: Water New Zealand's Annual Conference and Expo, 20-21 Sep 2017.
  • Chouhan D., Bello-Mendoza R. and Wareham DG. (2016) Biodegradation of MCPA and nitrate removal in an anoxic SBR. Munich, Germany: 18th EWA International Symposium "Challenges Arising from Micro-Pollutants in Wastewater, Water and Environment", 1-2 Jun 2016. : 70-78.
  • Poudyal S., Cochrane TA. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2016) First flush stormwater pollutants from carparks in different urban settings. Rotorua, New Zealand: Water New Zealand's Annual Conference and Expo, 19-21 Oct 2016.
  • Silveira FC., Bello-Mendoza R. and Cochrane TA. (2016) Source transformation of nitrogen compounds in Hayton's stream, a low lying urban drainage system in Christchurch. Nelson, New Zealand: Water New Zealand's Stormwater Conference 2016, 18-20 May 2016. : 13.
  • Lu Y., Slater F., Bello-Mendoza R., Jensen P., Hugenholtz P. and Batstone DJ. (2013) Granule shearing enables the high resolution microbial identity. Santiago de Compostela, Spain: 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion (AD 13), 25-28 Jun 2013. In Recovering (bio)resources for the world: Proceedings of the 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: 4pp.
  • Gutiérrez Hernández RF., Cruz Ornelas R., Castro Chan RA., Malo Rivera EA. and Bello Mendoza R. (2010) Degradación de residuos farmacéuticos por fotocatálisis heterogénea (Degradation of pharmaceutical residues by heterogeneous photocatalysis). Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico: La Ingeniería Química en el Bicentenario, 4-7 May 2010. : 3372-3376.
  • Bello Mendoza R. and Sharratt PN. (1997) The effect of mixing on the performance of anaerobic digesters. Nottingham, UK: 1997 Jubilee Research Event, 8 Apr 1997. 1: 197-200.
Conference Contributions - Other
  • Pokhrel SP., Milke MW. and Bello Mendoza R. (2017) Fractionation of phosphorus during anaerobic release from sludge at a normal and nutrient removal facility. Florianópolis, Brazil: 14th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies, 29 May-2 Jun 2017
  • Silveira FC., Bello-Mendoza R. and Cochrane TA. (2016) Dynamics of Nitrogen Compounds in Haytons Stream, Christchurch. Queenstown, New Zealand: Water Infrastructure and the Environment, 56th New Zealand Hydrological Society Conference, 28 Nov-2 Dec 2016
  • Chouhan D., Bello-Mendoza R. and Wareham DG. (2015) MCPA Degradation by Nitrate Reducing Bacteria. Singapore: Micropol & Ecohazards Conference 2015, 22-25 Nov 2015
  • Alvarez del Castillo M., Villanueva-Rodríguez M., Ruiz-Ruiz EJ., Hinojosa-Reyes L., Hernández-Ramírez A. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2013) The application of electrofenton and heterogeneous photocatalysis on the degradation of anti-inflammatory drugs mixture. San Diego, CA, USA: The 19th International Conference on Advanced Oxidation Technologies for Treatment of Water, Air and Soil, 17-21 Nov 2013
  • Villanueva-Rodríguez M., Ruiz-Ruiz E. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2013) ElectroFenton process applied to the degradation of an anti-inflammatory drugs mix using BDD electrodes. Querétaro, Mexico: The 64th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, 8-13 Sep 2013
  • Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Residuos farmacéuticos en agua y los riesgos potenciales para la salud. Tapachula, Mexico: Congreso Internacional de Ciencias para la Salud, 11-13 Oct 2012
  • González-Sánchez ME., Pérez-Fabiel S., Bello-Mendoza R. and Yañez-Ocampo G. (2012) Análisis por PCR-DGGE de la dinámica poblacional microbiana durante la digestión anaerobia de residuos agroindustriales (mango, papaya y plátano). Mazatlán, Mexico: XI Congreso Internacional y XVII Congreso Nacional de Ciencias Ambientales, 5-7 Jun 2012
  • Gordillo-Dorry LL., Córdova-Juárez RA., Sánchez JE. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Tratamiento de efluentes contaminados con clorotalonil en un biofiltro empacado con sustrato degradado por Pleurotus pulmonaris. Pucón, Chile: 1er Workshop Latinoamericano: Lechos Biológicos para minimizar la contaminación por plaguicidas, 2-4 May 2012
  • Tacias-Pascacio VG., Castañón-González JH., Rosales-Quintero A., Villalobos-Maldonado JJ. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Diseño y construcción de un reactor de flujo pistón para tratamiento de aguas residuales del beneficio húmedo del café. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico: VII Congreso Internacional, XVIII Congreso Nacional de Ingeniería Bioquímica, 28-30 Mar 2012
  • Villanueva-Rodríguez M. and Bello-Mendoza R. (2012) Treatment of pulping water from coffee harvest by Fenton and electro-Fenton process. Morelia, Mexico: 1st Latin-American Congress of Photocatalysis, 25-28 Sep 2012
  • Bello-Mendoza R. (2009) Anaerobic treatment of dilute wastewater: efficiency enhancement by a staged process configuration.Commissioned by International Foundation for Science. 7pp.
  • Hernández Cruz RE. and Bello Mendoza R. (2009) Biological and chemical technologies for the treatment of pestice polluted water in rural areas (In Spanish).Commissioned by FOMIX Chiapas. 100pp.
  • Bello-Mendoza R. and Hernández Hernández CNA. (2008) Validation of a solid phase microextraction - gas chromatography (SPME-GC) technique for the analysis of pestice residues in fruits (In Spanish).Commissioned by Fundación Produce Chiapas. 38pp.
  • Bello-Mendoza R., Rodríguez-Camacho A. and Ruiz Maldonado JL. (2008) Efficient use of water and wastewater treatment in an ecological coffee mill in Soconusco, Chiapas (In Spanish).Commissioned by FOMIX Chiapas. 61pp.
  • Bello-Mendoza R., Hernández-Romero AH., Malo-Rivera EA. and Tovilla-Hernández C. (2003) Water quality monitoring in the Pozuelos-Murillo coastal lagoon in Soconusco, Chiapas (In Spanish).Commissioned by Fundación Produce. 30pp.