Environmental Technology

The Sub-department Environmental Technology offers an education and research program that is focused on sustainable technological solutions for worldwide environmental problems. Our approach is to combine several disciplines in order to find innovative solutions.

More about this thesis track

Relevant research disciplines and chair groups are biotechnology, microbiology, colloid and surface chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical technology, physical technology, etc. On technology development we have an intensive co-operation within the field of the Biobased Economy in the cluster Biobased Science and Technology containing 5 other departments. We also consider the societal needs and the impact of our work as an important field of study. We co-operate on these issues with other departments at Wageningen University & Research, such as Environmental Policy, Environmental Systems Analysis, Environmental Economy, Sociology of Consumers and Households, and Management Studies.

The research projects are divided in three themes:

  • Recovery of minerals
    Phosphorus, Potassium and Nitrogen can be recovered from waste streams for fertilizer products. Many metals become scarce resources which makes extraction from waste streams economically feasible.
  • Sustainable energy
    Biomass from algae, wood, organic waste etc. equals stored solar energy. In the biobased economy of the near future energy and chemicals now retrieved from oil will be largely recovered from biomass (residuals). Energy can also be retrieved from water systems such as blue energy, in which electricity is obtained from mixing fresh and sea water.
  • Water technology
    Through membrane bioreactors and anaerobic biotechnologies, organic matter in waste water is converted into biogas. For a healthy water cycle, medicines, other micro-pollutants, pathogenic microorganisms, and salts need to be removed. Industrial chemicals in groundwater and sediments contacting surface waters are biologically or chemically biodegraded or immobilised. Groundwater is also an energy supplier through Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage

Students can learn more about the education and research related to this discipline by visiting the website of the Environmental Technology group.


The following courses are part of the MSc programme Environmental Sciences when selecting the thesis track Environmental Technology. Besides these courses, for the common part of the programme several supporting courses are available which have to be taken if your study adviser deems it necessary (these are not listed in the table below, but summarized in the programme outline). Also, there is room for optional subjects which you may use to broaden your scope or to deepen your knowledge on a topic in your specialisation. For more information visit the study handbook or contact the study adviser.

The common part
Subject Code Period* Phase
Compulsory unless advised otherwise
Environmental Quality and Governance ENP-35806 2AF, 5AF M1
Principles of Environmental Sciences ESA-20806 1AF, 4WD M1
Research Methods in Environmental Science YRM-20306 1MO, 2MO M1
Restricted optional: select one out of these three options**
European Workshop Environmental Sciences and Management ESA-60312 1WD, 6WD M1
Environmental Education and Learning for Sustainability and Teaching, Learning and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development ELS-31806+ ELS-32806 6WD M1
Academic Consultancy Training and Modular Skills Training (MOS) YMC-60809+ YMC-60300 1WD, 2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD,6WD M1
Thesis track-related subjects
Subject Code Period* Phase
Compulsory unless advised otherwise
Fundamentals of Environmental Technology ETE-24804 2MO M1
Introductory Thermodynamics PCC-21802 2MO M1
MSc Internship Environmental Technology ETE-70424 1,2,3,4,5,6 M2
MSc Thesis Environmental Technology ETE-80436 1,2,3,4,5,6 M2
Restricted optional: select (at least) two
Biological Processes for Resource Recovery ETE-30306 4WD M1
Physical and Chemical Processes for Water Treatment and Reuse ETE-30806 5AF M1
Renewable Energy: Sources, Technology & Applications ETE-32306 5MO M1
*MO = morning; AF= afternoon; WD = whole day
**The restricted optional subjects have to be selected in consultation and agreement with the study adviser.
This course overview is based on the Wageningen University study handbook. The study handbook is guiding in case of any discrepancy.

Below you can see how your schedule might look like:

MSc Environmental Sciences - thesis track Environmental Technology.jpg