Prof. dr. ir. Bart De Gusseme

Telephone number: 
+32 9/264 59 76
Position: 
Faculty staff
Biography: 

Background information

Education: 

  • Ph.D.: Doctor in Applied Biological Sciences, Ghent University (2011)
  • M.Sc.: Bioscience engineer spec. Environmental Technology, Ghent University (2007)

Research interests: 

  • Environmental sanitation and drinking water production for both developing and industrialized nations
  • Microbial reuse technology: resource recovery of water, energy, nutrients and precious metals from liquid and solid waste streams
  • Closure of the industrial production cycle: new treatment schemes to interconnect waste treatment with energy-efficient production of ultrapure process water and other added value products
  • Sustainable urban development: designing the cities of the future in terms of waste management and utilisation of resources

Professional & Research Activities: 

Bibliography and teaching

  • Full bibliography on Biblio UGent: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/802000262138
  • H-index: 13, average citations per article: >20
  • Teaching: "Microbial ecology and environmental sanitation" and "Microbial reuse technology"

Major professional involvements

  • Contributions to several international conferences and symposia
  • Member of the International Water Association (IWA) and IWA specialist groups
  • Member of the Belgian Committee of IWA (B-IWA)
  • Invited reviewer IWA journals and congresses (e.g. Water Research)
  • Participation in expert teams on sustainable urban development and decentralized sewage treatment (ZAWENT)

External services

  • Consultancy and research projects related to bioremediation, wastewater treatment, membrane filtration processes and drinking water disinfection
  • Pilot studies in collaboration with industry for industrial and municipal water treatment, e.g. De Blauwe Cirkel
  • Full-scale audit of wastewater treatment plants and drinking water production sites, e.g. Energy efficiency in membrane bioreactors

 

Specific research topic: sustainable water management and resource recovery

Mission of our research group:

"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WASTE, LIQUID AND SOLID DISCHARGES SHOULD BE REGARDED AS ONE SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE OF WATER, ENERGY AND NUTRIENTS”

Water scarcity is no longer a problem relevant to arid zones only, but it occurs globally, in both developing and industrialized nations. Even in regions considered water-rich (e.g. Flanders), industry, agriculture and shipping have to compete for water resources. Moreover, groundwater extraction for industrial process water production is currently under discussion because of saline intrusion. To cope with these challenges, our group focusses on the development of innovative strategies to integrate wastewater treatment in the industrial and municipal water production process of the 21st century. The overarching goal is closure of the water cycle and to capture water directly form non-traditional sources such as industrial or municipal wastewater and restore it to ultrapure process water or even potable water quality. To meet these quality requirements, microbial technology (AD and A-B treatment) and membrane filtration is generally regarded as the key technology and new treatment schemes including membrane bioreactors, ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) are currently under investigation. When dealing with the urban metabolism, there is also an urgent need to rethink and redesign the currently used treatment lines, in the perspective of a sustainable bio-economy. Source separation, anaerobic digestion of black water and other organic wastes (e.g. kitchen organics) offers promising possibilities for affordable ‘Cradle to Cradle’ treatment in the cities of the future, including heath recovery, biogas production and clever nutrient recovery processes.

 

Non-academic activities

  • 2011-present: Project management at Engineering dept. FARYS - Design (D), building (B), maintenance (M) and operation (O) of drinking water facilities and wastewater treament plants
  • 2011-present: Process engineering of membrane filtration sites INDUSS - UF/RO production of demineralized process water and EDI production of ultrapure boiler feed water
  • 01-03/2011: R&D engineer (internship) at Centro Technológico del Agua (CETaqua, Agbar Group, Barcelona, Spain) - Full-scale MBR audit

References

  • D,B,M&O Drinking water treatment Oudenaarde, Belgium (max. 50 m3/h, groundwater)
  • M&O Demin water production site Port of Ghent, Belgium (max. 360 m3/h, surface water)
  • M&O Demin water and steam production site Ghent, Belgium (max. 30 m3 demin/h, 6 ton/h steam @ 16 bar)
  • M&O Demin water production site Ostend, Belgium (max. 75 m3/h, drinking water)
  • D,B,M&O Demin water production site Aalst, Belgium (max. 75 m3/h, drinking water)
  • D&B Wastewater treatment plant Bierbeek, Belgium (> 500 i.e., hospital wastewater)
  • Audit Wastewater treatment plant Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (500 m3/h, paper factory waste water)
  • Audit Wastewater treatment plant Terrassa, Spain (90 000 m3/d, domestic wastewater)

 

Scientific awards

  • Outstanding Paper Award 2011, Water and Environment Journal. Commended paper ‘Addition of an aerated iron-rich waste-activated sludge to control the soluble sulphide concentration in sewage’. Zhang L., De Gusseme B., Cai L., De Schryver P., Marzorati M., Boon N., Lens P. & Verstraete W. (2011). Water and Environment Journal 25, 106-115.
  • 16th PhD Symposium on Applied Biological Sciences 2011, Ghent University. Presentation Award with ‘Biogenic silver nanoparticles for decontamination of viral contaminated water’.
  • EEP Award 2008, European Environmental Press. Golden Award with ‘BioPAD, innovative biocatalyst’.
  • KVIV-Engineering Awards promotion 2007, Royal Flemish Society of Engineers. Public Award and second place with ‘Biologische verwijdering van sulfide’.
  • Best Scription Award Master of Bioscience Engineering: Environmental Technology 2006-2007, ArcelorMittal Gent. First place with ‘Biologische sulfideverwijdering in rioleringssystemen’.
Selected key publications: 
De Gusseme B., Hennebel T., Vanhaecke L., Soetaert M., Desloover J., Wille K., Verbeken K., Verstraete W. & Boon N. (2011). Biogenic palladium enhances diatrizoate removal from hospital wastewater in a microbial electrolysis cell. Environmental Science and Technology 45(13), 5737-5745.
De Gusseme B., Hennebel T., Christiaens E., Saveyn H., Verbeken K., Boon N. & Verstraete W. (2011). Virus disinfection in water by biogenic silver immobilized in polyvinylidene fluoride membranes. Water Research 45(4), 1856-1864.
De Gusseme B., Sintubin L., Baert L., Thibo E., Hennebel T., Vermeulen G., Uyttendaele M., Verstraete W. & Boon N. (2010). Biogenic silver for disinfection of water contaminated with viruses. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(4), 1082-1087.
De Gusseme B., Pycke B., Hennebel T., Marcoen A., Vlaeminck S. E., Noppe H., Boon N. & Verstraete W. (2009). Biological removal of 17α-ethinylestradiol by a nitrifier enrichment culture in a membrane bioreactor. Water Research 43(9), 2493–2503.
Hennebel T., De Gusseme B., Boon N. & Verstraete W. (2009). Biogenic metals in advanced water treatment. Trends in Biotechnology 27(2), 90-98.