The research group Biobased Resources & Energy focuses on recovering value from aqueous waste streams, such as sewage and industrial waste water, from grass and from agricultural residual products. This means that, in addition to producing biobased energy by, for instance, pyrolysis and fermentation, we are also looking into the recovery and production of raw materials. Examples include recovering nutrients from manure or producing bioplastics from sewage water. When recovering value from these residual streams, the research group pays particular attention to environmental (Life Cycle Analysis, LCA) and economic aspects and public support.
The research group Biobased Resources & Energy (headed by Professor Jappe de Best) comprises lecturing researchers with backgrounds in environmental science, chemical engineering, chemistry, biology, microbiology and the legal domain. Our lecturing researchers carry out practice-based research together with companies both within the Netherlands and around the world, as well as research institutions and students. This usually takes place by means of subsidised and educational projects.
What research topics are covered?
The research group Biobased Resources & Energy focuses on 4 topics:
- Energy:We are looking into the development and assessment of the pyrolysis and fermentation of agricultural waste streams. What works and what doesn’t? Important topics covered are the regional presence of biomass, energy yields, maximum utilisation and cascading.
- Recovering value from aqueous waste streams:This is all about industrial and urban waste water but we prefer to speak of ‘aqueous waste streams’. One example is our research on the cultivation of duckweed on aqueous waste streams. Protein can be extracted from the duckweed and used to produce livestock feed. We also carry out research on the production of bioplastics (polyhydroxy acids, PHA) from sewage water.
- Recovering value from agricultural waste streams:Besides identifying and quantifying different agricultural waste streams, we examine the possibilities for low-grade applications too. Examples of this include composting or extracting proteins for the production of livestock feed.
- Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)/Life Cycle Costing (LCC):we investigate the environmental impact of recovering value from waste streams and how this compares with the environmental impact of mineral-oil-based products.
When designing these research topics, as a research group, we not only take the technology into account, but also look specifically at the business cases, legal aspects and public support for new developments. We like to do so in cooperation with other research groups in and outside the technological domain, with students and with the business community.
What does the research group have to offer?
- The research group Biobased Resources & Energy carries out practice-based research for and with companies. We almost always involve students in this research. If you have a practice-based question that falls within one of our research topics, please contact us. We will then look at whether and how we can address the question and the possibilities for acquiring a grant to do so, together with you.
- We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic lecturers who are keen to come and join our research team.We have hours available for this. If you are interested, please contact us.
- We try to involve students as much as possible in our projects, which means that we have attractive work placements and graduation assignments. You can find the details on our website.