My research focuses on the extraction and characterization of extracellular polymers (EPS) in microbial aggregates (flocculant sluge, granular sludge and biofilm) , understanding the role of EPS in microbial aggregates formation, link the EPS with reactor operation. In addition, as EPS itself is biopolymer, recover EPS from waste sludge and convert it into useful material is another interest of my research.
Currently, a transition to a sustainable circular economy is taking place. In a circular economy, optimized resource recovery is at a central position and plays a key role. This provides the opportunity not only to replace the existing petrol-based polymers with bio-based alternatives, but also to produce new materials derived from biological renewable sources. The course “Biobased materials in a circular economy” aims at making the students understand the importance of recovering bio-based materials from the waste (e.g. excess biomass from a biological process), and converting them into new materials.