The Particle and Interfacial Technology Group (PaInT) is a research group within the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, which focuses on characterization and practical applications of particles and interfacial phenomena and technology. We are currently applying our know-how in the fields of:

  • Physico-chemical water treatment
  • Formulation of (multiple) emulsions
  • Membrane-based processes
  • Surfactant behaviour in aqueos media with specific focus on vesicles
  • ...

An important application on the interfacial phenomena and technology side is physico-chemical treatment of drinking, waste- and process water streams, with the majority of the projects focusing on drinking- and process water treatment. PaInT has extensive expertise with membrane-based processes for separation and resource recovery (water, nutrients, organics, salts). Membrane processes studied include pressure-driven membrane processes such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis; osmotic processes such as forward, pressure-retarded and pressure-assisted osmosis; electrochemical processes such as (reverse) electrodialysis; and thermal processes such as membrane distillation. The technologies and treatment concepts studied are applied in both industrial and public settings, for both developed and developing markets. The main intention of PaInT is to work towards more energy- and resource efficiency in the water treatment sector, by fundamental changes in process design and development through fundamental understanding and characterization of mechanistic phenomena occurring. PaInT strongly believes in combination of existing and developing technologies into synergistic hybrid processes.

Besides, the PaInT group has been involved for several decades in research related to preparation, stabilization, characterization and application of dispersed systems, such as (nano)suspensions, (multiple) emulsions, and vesicular dispersions. As far as characterization is concerned, the group has built up experience with several particle sizing techniques, including dynamic light scattering, laser diffraction, pfg-NMR, electrical sensing zone, Time-of-Transition, Tunable Resistive Sensing Pore. Current food-related research topics include multiple emulsions (W/O/W), protein-polysaccharide complexes, as well as heat stability of protein-stabilised emulsions, whereas stabilisation of nanosuspensions, as well as liposomal encapsulation are important aspects for pharmaceutical applications.

PaInT is currently headed by 2 senior academics and has a combined research and technical staff of around 20-25 members.