Finding fractures in the Outback
Armed with geological tools, a drone, three teammates and a four-wheel drive, geologist Pierre-Olivier Bruna ventured far off the beaten track into Australia’s Outback in the Northern Territory. His purpose: to study the geological history and structure of the McArthur Basin in an area called the ”Lost City” with peculiar stone pillars. The team specifically investigated natural cracks, called fractures, in the rocks to understand how fluids like groundwater or hydrocarbons flow through the rocks.
Sensible sewer maintenance
A world without a sewer system is not really something anyone would wish to contemplate. Flooding, smelly streets, not to mention the absence of toilet facilities, would make life intolerable. With approximately 150,000 kilometres of waste pipes the Dutch sewage system is one of the country’s most important pieces of infrastructure. While maintenance is crucial it is also expensive.
Finding the perfect filter
Doing research on the ground isn’t always easy, Mona Soliman knows all too well. “The expectations are very high and people expect direct benefits from the presence of a research project on clean water.” As a Delft global fellow Soliman is part of Doris van Halem’s research on the capabilities of ceramic pot filters. Now they are setting up a research project in Nicaragua to analyze virus removal in the filters. Using a discovery Van Halem made some years ago: the fact that biofilm growth in the pots can remove viruses.
The oceans of the world are filling up with plastic waste carried there by rivers. Where it all comes from no one knows. Wim Uijttewaal, professor of Experimental Hydraulics and professor of Resources & Recycling Peter Rem are on a mission to make the rivers plastic free. ‘We want to turn the removal of plastic from rivers into big business. And we want to devise a plastic waste radar that will show where the plastic is, and how it got there.’
The geocentrifuge: a time machine for soil
What happens underground when a landslide occurs? And how do we prevent a high water load or the weight of passing traffic from causing a dike to collapse? Assistant Professor Amin Askarinejad explains how the geocentrifuge at TU Delft can provide detailed simulations of long term subsurface processes in a short time.
Mapping minerals with sensor technology
Minerals are of great importance to our modern society. From smartphone to laptop, these elements are everywhere. First they need to be extracted from the earth however, an often environmentally taxing, slow and complex process. But this will change soon, if it’s up to PhD student Feven Desta. Desta researches sensor technologies to look for minerals in an environmentally friendly way.
Electricity from biogas
For people living in the rural areas of developing countries access to electricity is often non-existent or limited at best. Ralph Lindeboom is heading a team that is working on a biogas fuel cell system which generates electricity from organic waste (water). ‘In some ways Ugandan farmers and astronauts are very similar.’