Dr. Ir. Henri Spanjers

Henri Spanjers graduated from Wageningen University as an Environmental Engineer. He received his doctoral degree in 1993 in Activated Sludge Process Respirometry. He worked at the department of Agricultural, Environmental and Systems Technology of Wageningen University, at the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, at the University of Ottawa in Canada, at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy, at Ghent University in Belgium, and he was poject director with Lettinga Associates Foundation in Wageningen. He is secretary of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Anaerobic Digestion and editor-in-chief of the journal Water Resources and Industry.

Selection of Projects

Increasing the utilization of organic waste and low value feeds with the help of lignin degrading fungi (2012-2016). This is a collaborative project between the Wastewater Treatment Group of Delft University and Technology, and the Animal Nutrition Group and the Plant Breeding Group of Wageningen University. TUDelft focusus on the development of fungal bioreactors for wastewater treatment plants: to treat sludge to enhance its bio-digestibility and effluent to reduce inert organic matter.

Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Industrial Waste Water (2009 – 2012). This project in collaboration with Norit and Gent University and supported by Agentschap NL aims at translating fundamental knowledge of particulate behaviour into mathematical models allowing the development of process control strategies to improve the competitiveness of AnMBR systems and achieving scale-up at an industrial level.

Recent publications

Ersahin M.E., Tao Y., Ozgun H.; Spanjers H., van Lier J.B. (2016) Characteristics and role of dynamic membrane layer in anaerobic membrane bioreactors. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 113: 761–771.

Barrera E.L., Rosa E., Spanjers H., Romero O., De Meester S., Dewulf J. (2016) A comparative assessment of anaerobic digestion power plants as alternatives for lagooning Cuban vinasse: Life Cycle Assessment and exergy analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production 113, 459–471

Ersahin M.E., Gimenez J.B., Ozgun H., Yu Tao Y., Spanjers H., van Lier J.B. (2016) Gas-lift anaerobic dynamic membrane bioreactors for high strength synthetic wastewater treatment: Effect of biogas sparging velocity and HRT on treatment performance. Chemical Engineering Journal. DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2016.02.003

Jimenez J, Latrille E, Harmand J, Robles A, Ferrer J, Gaida D, Wolf C, Mairet F, Bernard O, Alcaraz-Gonzalez V., Mendez-Acosta H, Zitomer D, Totzke D, Spanjers H, Jacobi F, Guwy A, Dinsdale R, Premier G, Mazhegrane S, Ruiz-Filippi G, Seco A, Ribeiro T, Pauss A, Steyer J-Ph. (2015) Instrumentation and control of anaerobic digestion processes: a review and some research challenges. Rev. Environ. Sci. Biotechnol. 14:615–648.

Brandão D. N., Spanjers H. and van Lier J.B. (2015) Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) during batch denitrification of low concentrations of nitrate using suspended and attached biomass. Wat. Sci. Technol.  72 (11), 1896-1902.

Ozgun H., Tao Y., Ersahin M.E., Zhou Z., Gimenez J.B., Spanjers H., van Lier J.B. (2015) Impact of temperature on feed-flow characteristics and filtration performance of an up flow anaerobic sludge blanket coupled ultrafiltration membrane treating municipal wastewater. Water Research 83, 71-83.

Ozgun H, Gimenez J.B., Ersahin M.E., Tao Y., Spanjers H., van Lier J.B. (2015) Impact of membrane addition for effluent extraction on the performance and sludge characteristics of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors treating municipal wastewater. Journal of Membrane Science 479, 95–104.

Barrera E.L., Spanjers H., Solon K., Amerlinck Y., Nopens I., Dewulf J. (2015) Modeling the anaerobic digestion of cane-molasses vinasse: Extension of the Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1) with sulfate reduction for a very high strength and sulfate rich wastewater. Water Research 71, 42-54.\


Industry Water

In 2011 TU Delft Civil Engineering & Geosciences and  Evides Industry Water formed a strategic cooperation aimed at a research program focused on the industrial water utility. The research program focuses on fundamental and applied research into water production, used water treatment, reuse and zero discharge technologies, for application in the industry to compile know-how with the purpose to optimize the industrial water loop and reduce its water footprint.

On top of that the cooperation aims to establish a permanent base with substantial expertise and know-how of the industrial water utility within Delft University. In the long term  this should be aggregated into a professorship at Delft University in the field of the Industrial water treatment and utility. The enhancement of structural knowledge about the improvement of existing and development of new technologies will add to the attractiveness of the water technology sector for young, well-educated professionals.

The cooperation will support MSc and PhD research projects to develop technologies and solutions with superior performance in relation to (i) reduced energy footprint, (ii) maximized sustainable production of re-usable water and brine (concentrates) conversion (iii) operational stability over substantial periods of time at lowest operational expenses.

The cooperation is open to high profile industrial companies with similar ambitions.

Henri Spanjers


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