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Technologies and tools for a sustainable water cycle
The Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology Research Group (DuEL) is part of the Bioscience Engineering Department in the Faculty of Science at the University of Antwerp. Prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck founded the water research team in 2015, to develop novel technologies and tools for a more sustainable water cycle. These solutions aim to be environment friendly, safe and cost efficient.
The team’s specialty is microbial cleantech for wastewater, using innovative biotechnology for resource-efficient treatment and resource recovery. Processes focus mainly and nitrogen and carbon (COD) conversions, including anammox, high-rate activated sludge, nitrification, denitrification, phototrophic treatment with purple bacteria or microalgae,… Products are dischargeable effluent, microbial protein for feed and fertilizer applications, liquid nitrate-based fertilizers, nitrogen gas,… Treated streams comprise sewage, industrial wastewater, manure, urine, black water,… The team also focuses on systems analyses for the water cycle. Industrial ecology tools are developed and applied for water balancing/networking, material flow analyses (MFA), and life cycle assessments (LCA). In collaboration, also techno-economic assessments (TEA) and consumer acceptance are studied.
DuEL hosted the scientific chair Water-link on safe drinking water, and officially contributes to the MELiSSA programme from the European Space Agency (ESA), which is the ultimate case for circular economy, recovering water, food and oxygen from waste streams. The team is a founding member of the Centre of Excellence on Microbial Systems Technology at the University of Antwerp. Prof. Vlaeminck is a steering group member of the Centre for Advanced Process Technology for Urban Resource Recovery (CAPTURE), and is a management committee member of the Nutrient Removal and Recovery (NRR) specialist group of the International Water Association (IWA).
The team’s activities can be followed on LinkedIn and Twitter: