Biorecovery - Environmental Technology

The aim of the Biorecovery research is to develop new technologies to recover energy, organics and minerals from waste streams. Implementation of these technologies will contribute to the circular economy.

These new technologies enable recovery of organic compounds, energy in the form of electricity or heat, sulfur, metals and nutrients, and will also have a positive influence on many environmental problems, like acid rain, climate change, and cadmium pollution of soils.

Societal challenges

Societies are highly dependent on access to mineral and energy resources. At this moment the world depends on fossil reserves of both minerals and energy. For the transition to a more sustainable world it is necessary to change from fossil sources to renewable sources. For minerals, recovery from many residual streams of industry and cities can be a new source. Energy can be recovered from residual streams from cities and agriculture. Finally, new energy conversion technologies based on energy derived from the sun (biomass, direct sun conversion, fresh water flows) are developed.

Our solutions

The biorecovery  group seeks to solve these challenges by using biobased
technologies to recover energy, organic and inorganic compounds from residual streams. Innovative research is on-going in the following areas:

1. Production of electrical energy, fuels and sustainable heat from residual biomass. This type of biomass is left over after extraction of valuable (food) ingredients from agricultural products. The use of residual biomass enhances the economic and social potential of our processes. We use natural biotechnology i.e. we employ the processes as they occur in nature.

2. Application of the biological sulphur-cycle in water and gas treatment.

3. Recovery and removal  of heavy metals from industrial wastewater and/or groundwater.

4. Biological modification of (waste) materials to recover organic compounds

- Unfortunately, your cookie settings do not allow videos to be displayed. - check your settings

Our approach

Central in our approach is the development and operation of bioreactors that enable the selection of the right natural microbial population for the desired conversion.

The research has a multidisciplinary character, including microbiology, analytical and colloid chemistry, material science, biophysics,  process technology, electrochemistry, modelling and automation.

Development of innovative processes for the recovery of inorganic minerals, organic fuels/chemicals and the production of renewable energy.

Development of more sustainable industrial production processes, in co-operation with end-users and technology providers.