Innovation is crucial to fulfil the potential of industrial biotechnology for sustainable production of fuels, chemicals, materials, food and feed. Similarly, scientific and technological advances in environmental biotechnology are needed to enable novel approaches to water purification, and ‘waste-to-product’ processes thus contributing to a circular economy. Increased fundamental knowledge encompassing enzymes, microorganisms and processes are essential for progress in this field. The Department of Biotechnology covers this research area and, based on new insights, selects, designs and tests new biobased catalysts, micro-organisms, and processes.
The department encompasses five research sections:
03 December 2019
All Pilsner yeast strains originate from a single yeast ancestorPilsner yeast, the well-known micro-organism that brewers use every year to make hundreds of billions of litres of pilsner and other lagers, came into being 500 years ago through an accidental encounter between two species of yeast. The yeast strains now used to brew pilsner can all be traced back to that time. This is the conclusion reached by TU Delft researchers based on extensive DNA analysis.
25 November 2019
Mark van Loosdrecht elected as member of the Chinese Academy of EngineeringThe Chinese Academy of Engineering (CEA) has announced that it has elected Mark van Loosdrecht, Professor of Environmental Biotechnology, as a member.
11 September 2019
Cable bacteria: Living electrical wires with record conductivityBacteria that power themselves using electricity and are able to send electrical currents over long distances through highly conductive power lines. It almost sounds like the way we charge our TVs and refrigerators, and may seem hard to believe, but it is a recent discovery by a team of scientists from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and the University of Hasselt (Belgium). Centimeter-long bacteria from the seafloor contain a conductive fiber network that operates in comparable way to the copper wiring that we use to transport electricity. The highly conductive fibers enable a completely new interface between biology and electronics, providing a prospect for new materials and technology.
23 May 2019
Yuemei Lin wins Zilveren Zandloper 2019Researcher Yuemei Lin of the Biotechnology research department, has won the Zilveren Zandloper Innovation Award 2019. She was given the award "for her research efforts in adding value to waste products via the characterization and application of microbial polymers produced in wastewater treatment plants."
02 May 2019
Zoë Robaey nominated as Science Talent 2019Every year, the Dutch version of the popular science magazine New Scientist holds an election to determine who the science talent of the year is. This year, bio-ethicist Dr. Zoë Robaey is one of the nominees. She is a postdoc at the Biotechnology and Society group of the department of Biotechnology and conducts research at the interface of ethics and biotechnology.
06 February 2019