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NWO Spinoza Prizes 2014 announced
Date:6/6/2014

O Humanities.

Professor M.C.M. (Mark) van Loosdrecht (1959) is Professor of Environmental Technology at Delft University of Technology. Van Loosdrecht studies and influences the characteristics of microorganisms and microbial communities in technical systems. His research into the behaviour of bacteria under dynamic conditions is leading to new methods for purifying water or for producing valuable materials from waste. The research of Van Loosdrecht's group is now strongly focussing on the production of raw materials from waste flows.

Concrete applications of fundamental research

Van Loosdrecht and his research group combine fundamental research into microbial ecology with concepts from physics, chemistry and bioengineering. This is leading to paradigm shifts in science as well as to concrete applications in practice. Van Loosdrecht collaborates a lot with industry to implement his research in practice. He also seeks connections with scientists from other disciplines.

Inventor of new technologies

Van Loosdrecht's research into biofilms a layer of microorganisms surrounded by their own slime that is attached to a surface and storage compounds of microorganisms was the start of a new research area. Van Loosdrecht is also the inventor of the aerobic granular sludge technology (commercially known as the Nereda technology), which is based on controlling the growth and formation of microbial communities in granular sludge. Furthermore, he developed the Anammox technology with which harmful ammonium together with nitrite is converted into the harmless substances nitrogen gas and water. Using these techniques, polluted water can be purified using less energy, fewer chemicals and with less CO2 emissions. The Nereda technology has been designated as an important new Dutch innovation and is starting to make a broad international breakthrough. Various pilot installations are currently running for household wastewater in the Ne
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Contact: Margot Custers
m.custers@nwo.nl
31-070-344-0741
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Source:Eurekalert

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