BioGEM (Bio-Chemical Green Engineering & Materials (prof.Jan Dries) at the faculty of Applied Engineering is active in industrial wastewater engineering and reuse, with a focus on bioprocess optimization and control. 

BioGem Research Topics

  • Efficient industrial technologies such as the aerobic granular sludge technology based on the formation of fast-settling dense granules
  • Conventional and innovative biological nutrient removal (nitrification/denitrification, short-cut nitritation/denitritation, bio-P removal…)
  • Recovery of valuable biopolymers from wastewater and sludge
  • Real-time control of the activated sludge process using common and low-cost sensors
  • Mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions from industrial activated sludge systems
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from activated sludge systems
  • Whole-effluent toxicity of industrial discharges

In the Faculty of Science, the research group of Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology (DuEL, prof. S. Vlaeminck) is specialized in the development of microbial technology for resource-efficient nutrient management. Ecologic and economic sustainability are the central drivers for innovation. 

DuEL Research Topics

  • biological nutrient recovery (using nitrifiers, micro-algae or purple bacteria), with a particular dedication to the end use of the product, being fertilizing nitrate, slow-release organic fertilizer or single cell protein;
  • energy-efficient nitrogen removal through short-cut processes based on partial nitritation/anammox or nitritation/denitritation;
  • novel applications of nitrogen removal based on nitrification/denitrification, such as thermophilic nitrogen removal;
  • nitrous oxide emissions linked to biological nitrogen removal processes;
  • energy-efficient biological capturing of organics in wastewater, for instance with high-rate activated sludge
  • Additionally prof. Vlaeminck also has experience in bioregenerative systems for life support in Space.

Production scheme for purple bacteria