To sign up for this cluster, use Bison code L.27368.
This cluster consists of the following projects:

Recycling Waste Game 2.0

In september 2015 the leaders of 193 memberstates of the United Nations agreed upon 17 so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The SDG’s concern the most urgent problems in the world such as No poverty, Gender equality and Clean and affordable energy. In one of the previous SDG project ‘Impact Your Study’ a group of students wrote a communication plan for the Academy of Creative Technology to address the SDG’s to the students of the academy. As a follow up from this plan, it became clear that (serious) gaming is a powerful tool to address the SDG message to the ACT student population. Combined with the topic of recycling, this could lead to the development of a gaming machine which collects various waste (eg. pet bottles, old phones, etc) and rewards the user by granting them gaming time.  The start up company ‘Ewaste arcades’ has already developed various types of these recycling waste machines. They use old recycled materials and integrate this into a ‘new’ refurbished game machine. By collecting the waste products in this machine, the user is awarded with game credit and can play a cool game! It is he task of the project group to come up with the best way to create their own machine, collect the waste and reward the user with a cool game! In the previous semester, from jan-july 2020, a first project group already investigated the options of creating a concept for the assignment, yet, due to the corona situation did not manage to transfer the concept into a working prototype. The new project team therefore gets the challenge to make this happen and in addition implement and test the concept into the academy.

Development of an alternative method of suppression against psoriasis

The problem at the moment is that 425,000 people in the Netherlands suffer from psoriasis. There is no medication for them. Existing suppression methods are very costly. Today’s solutions are extremely time-consuming and totally not environmentally friendly! The challenge for us is to develop solutions in which the patient is treated more effectively, in which the suppressants are dealt with in a more environmentally friendly manner, with lower costs and in which the patient saves a lot of time. In this period we want to develop a regeneration unit that will allow us to reuse the salt water from the treatment. For this, this water must also be tested for bacteria and viruses. Finally, we want to develop our channels (website and social media). Goossen Health Care has had worldwide interest and you can contribute to the development of perhaps the treatment method against psoriasis! One of the things we are going to do is test the method for the first time! So far, 3 Smart Solutions groups preceded you! Can and do you want to contribute to this fantastic development in healthcare? Take your chance!

Medicines removal from water – revolutionary nanofiltration membrane

Recently the quality of our water supplies is gaining attention in politics and media. Essentially, the Netherlands is currently facing tremendous challenges in keeping our drinking water supply at the current (high) standard due to a decrease in quality of the resources from ground and surface water caused by micro-pollutants. In order to preserve drinking water quality, there is a demand for efficient use of available water sources. Thus, potential reuse of wastewater as a source of drinking water or for lower quality applications such as irrigation and industrial water, is under investigation. With increasing access to healthcare all over the world, more medical left-overs end up in the sewage system and eventually in the surface and ground water. Examples of medical left-overs that are found in wastewater are anti-diabetic drugs (metformin) contraceptives (estradiol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac). The most obvious way to remove these medicinal residues from (waste) water is to prevent these components from ending up in the (waste) water altogether, or to develop medicines that are fully biodegradable. This will take time, and it is questionable whether this will ever be achieved. Therefore (combinations of) technologies have to be developed that are able to remove these medicinal residues from (waste) water. A promising example is the application of nanofiltration technology. In cooperation with our project partners, a revolutionary hollow fiber nanofiltration membrane has been developed which, under laboratory condtions, shows very promising results regarding the removal of most micro-pollutants. Now, we have to move from lab to real world, so the new nanofiltration membranes have to be tested on surface water (e.g. Twente canal) and treated wastewater from several wastewater treatment plants in the Twente region. We will focus on the development of analytical methods to measure the removal efficiencies of micro-pollutants and coating modifications to improve membrane properties. Besides the membrane (material) properties, the hydrodynamics along the membranes are important process parameter determining the separation quality, so the design of the separation process will also be investigated and modeled (pressure-drop, mass-transfer, multi-component diffusion). Furthermore, a biological solution has to be developed to treat the concentrated streams containing the retained micro pollutants. In addition, a biological surveillance system has to be set-up to monitor the ecological impact of the treated wastewater (bio-assays). We are looking for students that are interested in polymer/organic & analytical chemistry, chemical (process) technology, bioprocess technology, and mathematical process modelling & simulation (MatLab).

Forensic research meets water – Drugs Detection on PD

With increasing access to healthcare all over the world, more and more medicines are prescribed. With increased prescription more medical left-overs end up in the sewage system and eventually in the surface and ground water. This is also the case in the Netherlands. Examples of medical left-overs that are found in wastewater are diabetes drugs (metformin), anti-epileptic (carbamazepime),  contraceptives (estradiol) and the anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac). It becomes more and more urgent to develop simple and cheap ways for detection and removal of specific compounds from wastewater. Thesis 1: detection and removal techniques can also be used by forensic research teams in their investigation and fight against illegal drug production laboratories. By monitoring and checking the wastewater in the sewer systems on certain drugs of their by-products proof can be found if in a certain area and ultimately also in a single building illegal drug-related activities are taking place. Thesis 2: approaches (removal of medical left-overs to protect our surface water versus the detection of illegal drugs labs) offer a very interesting multidisciplinary research project for students from different disciplines. Topics to be investigated are dealing with biosensors, ELISA, in-vitro bioassays; chemical/physical-sensors; and detection methods such as electrochemistry, (mass)-spectrometry, chromatography. At Saxion there is a sewage system on labscale available and some portable sensors.

Water-Energy-Food nexus for the Dutch Caribbean Islands

Building resilience in our food, energy and water systems is a fundamental challenge under changing and uncertain climate conditions. The situation is exacerbated in extremely vulnerable regions, such as small island states. The challenge is that current industrial processes for the production of fertilizers (e.g. ammonia Haber-Bosch process), electricity (e.g. coal-, diesel-, and natural gas-fired power plants) and water (e.g. reverse osmosis) rely heavily on non-renewable feedstocks and are economically feasible only at large scales. In the Dutch Caribbean islands, the water scarcity, elevated transportation costs, high-cost of power grids, limited economies of scales, reduced natural resources, high sensitivity to natural disasters, growing population, and reliance on hydrocarbon-based energy greatly hinder the sustainable development of many regions, creating important socio-economic inequalities. Clearly, cost-efficient technologies that can empower local communities in isolated regions of the Dutch Caribbean Islands for the production of fresh water, food, and energy while achieving the ambitious targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Research and Educational cluster for Sustainable Supply of Electricity, fresh Water, and Food in the Dutch Caribbean Islands (in short: RESILIENT-Islands) project aims at developing a multi-disciplinary research and educational cluster on social, legal, environmental, and chemical technology knowledge to create a technological platform for the sustainable production of fresh water (zero discharge), storable energy, and food leveraging the natural resources of the Dutch Caribbean Islands. The technology combines (1) novel layer-by-layer nanofiltration (LBL-NF) membranes, reverse osmosis and bio-filtration strategies for seawater desalination with zero-liquid-discharge to generate freshwater for either electrolysis or drinking and/or farming, (2) high-efficiency alkaline electrolysis of salty water to generate hydrogen that can be combined with nitrogen from air using (3) low temperature (275 degC) and low pressure (8-10 bar) absorption enhanced Haber-Bosch (HB) process for the production of ammonia at 10 times lower pressures than conventional HB. The resulting ammonia is a versatile chemical that can be used as fertilizer or energy carrier for electricity production. The RESILIENT-Islands project is an autonomous, solar-powered, compact and off-grid resource production machine which utilizes membrane technology for the production of fresh water, the sustainable storage of reneable energy (in ammonia) and the production of fertilizers.

The reuse of electronic waste in a circular economy

Worldwide, there are major global problems such as climate change, scarcity of raw materials, emission of harmful substances and excessive use of fossil resources. We currently use more resources than the earth is able to provide. Therefore, the United Nations has set goals for 2030, such as active management to combat climate change, more sustainable business innovation, and sustainable use of our ecosystems. These goals require a transition to a circular economy. A circular economy is an economic system with the highest possible reuse of products and raw materials, and as little waste of resources as possible. In this, it is essential to close material cycles and to ensure less environmental impact. A regional approach is key to closing material cycles and to create green business propositions. In this project, we focus on electronic waste (E-Waste). E-Waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices, like laptops, smartphones and flat screens. To deal sustainably with our raw materials and the environment, (regional) cycles must be closed instead of creating waste. If possible, the reuse of electronic devices takes place in the same region. This is quite a challenge! Usually many products and raw materials are transported over large distances and leave behind a massive ecological footprint. During the project, you will investigate the ins and outs of E-waste. Guiding questions are: What is the product quality of a collected electronic device? Which parts do the electronic devices consist of and which parts can be reused? What are the attitudes, motives and buying behaviors of consumers towards reused products?  How can a refurbished electronic waste quality mark give consumers confidence to buy reused products? How can market demand of consumers and the supply of reused E-Waste be linked to recycled electronic products? How should the regional circular economy of E-waste be organized in the so called closed loop supply chains? On a strategic level, you will explore how the region should guide the transition to a circular economy. You will map out what favorable conditions are to reduce waste and to increase the reuse of electronic devices.

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Questions about this cluster?

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