Services

PaInT has state-of-the-art equipment, provides consultancy, and is available for short-term or long-term research projects related to the following technologies for challenging applications.

Physico-chemical treatment of drinking, waste- and process water

In PaInT, the group of Prof. dr. ir. Arne Verliefde has built extensive expertise on physico-chemical treatment of drinking, waste- and process water, with a main focus on membrane filtration and filtration in general, adsorption, oxidation/reduction and traditional physico-chemical techniques such as coagulation/flocculation/dewatering.

We have expertise with:

  • Pressure-driven membrane applications: MF/UF/NF/RO
  • Osmotic membrane processes: forward, pressure-assisted and pressure-retarded osmosis
  • (Osmotic) membrane bioreactors
  • Electro-chemical membrane processes: electrodialysis, reverse electrodialysis, (membrane) electrolysis
  • Thermal membrane processes: membrane distillation

We perform general membrane characterisation:

  • Pore size (distribution)
  • Surface tension via contact angle analysis

We perform membrane autopsies of fouled and/or aged membrane elements. Examples of analyses include:

  • Solute permeability and rejection challenge testing of membrane envelope samples
  • Biofilm characterisation (determination of ATP, carbohydrates, proteins,...)
  • Assessment of chemical or physical damage (ATR-FTIR, Fujiwara, dye tests)
  • Analysis of fouling cakes (SEM-EDX, ICP-OES)
  • ...

We perform design optimisation (for instance analysis of sub-optimally performing installations) in order to identify bottlenecks.

We perform calculations and experimental determination of maximally attainable flux or recovery in relation to fouling or scaling.

We perform studies on fouling analysis and fouling prevention. This includes:

  • Determination of foulants and fouling mechanisms
  • Experimental testing of improved pre-treatment schemes
  • Experimental testing of membrane cleaning schemes
  • ...

We perform chemical compatibility testing of cleaning or pre-treatment agents with membrane material.

General filtration studies can deal with:

  • Testing which technology is most suited to treat a certain stream, or to recover a certain component within a stream
  • Testing the filterability of certain streams, for instance by Silt Density Index (SDI) tests
    Using non-membrane filters: sand filters, candle filters, filter press
  • Riverbank filtration as a pre-treatment for potable water production: our column set-up is available to mimick 60 days of residence time

We perform the following adsorption tests:

  • Determination of adsorption isotherms for different types of adsorbents
  • Characterisation of ion exchange media
  • Tests to combine adsorption of pollutants with (photo-)chemical oxidation and reduction processes

Coagulation/flocculation/dewatering tests can deal with:

  • Floc size and strength characterisation, and separation efficiency related to dissolved air flotation (DAF) and/or sedimentation
  • Optimisation of sludge settling properties using organic or inorganic coagulants or combination of coagulants
  • Filter press studies of coagulated sludge samples: we have a lab-scale filter press able to produce 15 bar
  • Electric field assisted sludge dewatering
  • Binding of pollutants in coagulated sludge, and leaching of pollutants from filter press cakes

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. ir. Arne Verliefde
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 60 02
E-mail: Arne.Verliefde@UGent.be

Preparation, stabilisation, characterisation and application of disperse systems

The group of Prof. dr. ir. Paul Van Der Meeren has built extensive expertise on preparation, stabilisation, characterisation and application of disperse systems, such as (nano)suspensions, (multiple) emulsions and liposomal dispersions.

Our extensive particle sizing and characterization equipment allows to examine particles...

  • ... from nanometer to centimeter scale
  • ... from emulsion droplets to lipid vesicles
  • ... from dry powders and wet dispersions to sprays
  • ... from spheres to irregularly shaped particles
  • ... from dilute to concentrated samples
  • ... from monodisperse standards to polydisperse mixtures

The combination of different measurement principles, makes it possible to retrieve multiple parameters, that cannot be derived from one single technique. The different techniques we dispose of, are:

  • Image analysis (combined with microscopy for small particles)
  • Dynamic light scattering
  • Electrical sensing zone
  • Laser diffraction
  • Course sieving
  • Time of Transition
  • PFG-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing

Our interface and surface charge characterization equipment allows to examine...

  • ... static and dynamic surface tension
  • ... advancing and receding contact angles
  • ... surface elasticity
  • ... surface charge from small particles to large surfaces
  • ... long-term stability of various dispersions

Our versatile particle separation and modification equipment allows to...

  • ... reduce or homogenize particle size by mechanical treatment
  • ... enlarge particle size by controlled coagulation and flocculation
  • ... evaluate long-term gravitational stability of various dispersions

Our viscosity equipment can...

  • ... measure viscosity of pastes and dispersions under different shear rates and shear stresses
  • ... measure surface viscosity
  • Accurate density measurements of liquid samples
  • Real-time automated adsorption measurements on a surface of choice
  • Characterisation of the visco-elasticity of an adsorbed layer on a surface of choice

 

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. ir. Paul Van Der Meeren
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 60 03
E-mail: Paul.VanDerMeeren@UGent.be