Where education and research meet
The department is proud of its unique laboratory facilities in the WaterLab. The WaterLab is a research and education lab providing an unique infrastructure for experimental research. We support numerous and very different kinds of permanent practical set-ups and research experiments, of course bounded by the safety regulations.
The WaterLab hosts permanent experimental set-ups for education: a gas-transfer cascade, filtration columns, bubble aeration column, the online nanofiltration, specific ultrafiltration resistance, sand columns for soil hydrology tests and a reverse osmose filtration setup. These facilities are also use by “Stichting opleiding actuele water zuiveringstechnieken bij drinkwater bereiding”.
The WaterLab facilitates MSc and PhD students with the experiments of wastewater treatment in a ML-I certified laboratory. Here we study the recovery of energy, biochemicals and water from the sewer or industrial effluent, with special focus on the hydrolysis processes, granular biomass and Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors (AnMBR).
In 2017 the WaterLab created a small ‘clean-room’ facility for experiments and analysis. In the open lab area of the WaterLab the majority of the experiments are located. Here we see experimental set-ups like Zero Brine to recover resources from brine water, DFCm- Delft Filtration Characterization method, Ceramic Nanofiltration membrane installation, Ceramic water filter columns for the removal of phages, Drinking Water Distribution System, high-pressure reactors for waste-water treatment, Flat-sheet cross-flow module for arsenate removal.
In the WaterLab we also often see proof-of-concept experiments with novel sensors or set-ups, not seldom build using huge amounts of industrial Duc tape. Examples are smart-roofs for dynamic water storage on flat roofs using small-weirs, developing temperature sensing using glass optical fibres or measuring water content in tuff building blocks using radar scanning to protect e.g. frescoes on walls. After intense testing in the laboratory, the set-ups, sensors or reactors are taken to a real-life test.
The WaterLab of our department is managed by two enthusiastic lab technicians, Armand Middeldorp and Mohammed Jafar. They provide the training for analytical equipment. They provide support for designing and building experiments, safeguarding our high safety and environmental standards, purchasing equipment and consumables.
Our Water Laboratory is not a ‘standard’ analytical lab, but it does possess plenty high end analytical equipment like ICP-MS, GC, HPLC, IC, Automatic biomethane potential test system (AMPTS), TOC analyser, particle counter and PSD system, Solar simulator, water isotope analyser.