In the last decades, the need for clean surface water and the importance of drinking water have become clear. Specific consequences are the decentralisation of wastewater treatment (e.g. companies cleaning their wastewater before reuse) and the paradigm shift towards nutrient recovery. LIWET (Laboratory for Industrial Water and EcoTechnology) supports this movement through testing technologies on lab-scale, followed by upscaling to make sure these technologies can be implemented on industrial scale.

Group picture LIWET

Water technology

Advanced oxidation processes

In our research advanced oxidation processes (e.g. O3, UV/H2O2, plasma, UV-A/TiO2) are used to remove recalcitrant (organic) (micro)pollutants (e.g. pharmaceuticals) from different waste water streams such as secondary waste water treatment effluent and landfill leachate. Next to investigating removal, we are also looking at efficient monitoring, modelling and control techniques to optimize the treatment efficiency and the energy cost. For this spectral based surrogate measurements have our special attention.

Green Chemistry and Technology

Contact: prof. dr. ir. Stijn Van Hulle


Biological wastewater treatment

We are currently combining activated sludge processes (e.g. nitrification-denitrification and Anammox based processes) with other (physical-chemical) processes to establish performant integrated solutions for waste water treatment and re-use. Examples of such systems are landfill leachate treatment systems and treatment of catering businesses waste water for potable re-use. 

Furthermore, we are focusing on microalgae-bacteria flocs (MaB-flocs) to treat e.g. sewage and wastewater from aquaculture. Algae can be incorporated into the activated sludge as they will provide oxygen and will take up nutrients. By harvesting these so called microalgae-bacteria flocs and drying them, they can be used for anaerobic digestion or the extraction of dyes (phycocyanin).

Finally, we are also developing respirometry based surrogate measurements to follow-up the above mentioned processes.

MaB-flocs macro     MaB-flocs micro

Contact: prof. dr. ir. Stijn Van Hulle


Physical-chemical water treatment

We are combining different techniques at lab-and pilot scale to come up with an integrated and optimized system for water treatment and re-use. Currently we are investigating for example the treatment of rainwater runoff for potable-use, the removal of exudate in hydroponic systems and the use of electrocoagulation-flotation for resource recovery.

Contact: prof. dr. ir. Stijn Van Hulle


Pilot demo-sites

In our lab, we have a scale-up philosophy. This means that we regularly participate in pilot and demonstration projects such as IQua, WAVE (dutch) and IMPROVED.

Contact: prof. dr. ir. Stijn Van Hulle


Constructed wetlands

In this research we are focussing on the use of biochar and microplastic removal in constructed wetlands.


Contact: prof. dr. ir. Diederik Rousseau


Algal technology

In order to make algal technology economically more viable, they can be grown using wastewater. As such, they have a cheap growth medium and they can recover nutrients. In this research, we are growing multiple microalgae species on different wastewater types. Afterwards, we extract the produced pigments in order to valorise the biomass.


Contact: prof. dr. ir. Diederik Rousseau


Heavy metal accumulation in fish

In Burkina Faso, fish are being cultivated in a former gold mine. However, there are still a lot of heavy metals present in the soil. In this research, we are analyzing the heavy metal accumulation of the fish cultivated in this pond. Moreover, we will investigate where these metals are stored inside the fish. As such, we can find out which parts of the fish are edible and which parts should be avoided.

Contact: prof. dr. ir. Diederik Rousseau


Our experienced staff members provide services to both industry and government. We offer lab and pilot testing on:

  • Granular filtration and activated carbon filtration;
  • Advanced oxidation processes (O3, H2O2, UV, TiO2-UVa);
  • Jar tests (coagulation-flocculation and flotation);
  • Aerobic wastewater treatment with activated sludge;
  • Anaerobic digestion (semi-continuous and batch testing);
  • Plant systems and algal systems.



LED H2O (Local and Accessible Expertise and Service Centre for water technology) provides services and support for companies and non-profit organizations, including free initial advice and guidance (incl. company visit!) in case of introduction and/or improvement of production, treatment or management of the company's process or wastewater.

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