University of Liege

University of Liege

Founded in 1817, the University of Liege (ULg) is the only public community-sponsored university in the French-speaking part of Belgium which offers a complete range of university courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Within the Department of Chemical Engineering, the PEPs (Products, Environment, Processes) group, formerly the Laboratory of Chemical Engineering (LGC), is active in the fields of bio(chemical) reaction engineering, separation technologies, multiphase systems and sustainable development. The LGC has developed a complex experimental infrastructure able to study the hydrodynamic of a large variety of unit operations met in (petro)chemistry, agro-alimentary, pharmacology, and to follow the microstructure of materials during their processing in a product engineering approach. The LGC also develops various numerical tools of simulation and modelling of the studied processes, including their life cycle assessment. These tools make it possible to identify the principal operational parameters at the time of the “scale-up” of the process and to evaluate its environmental impact.

The activities of the Walloon Centre for industrial biology (Centre Wallon de Biologie industrielle – CWBI) are mainly focused on large-scale microbial cultures, including the associated downstream processing operations for the recovery and purification of metabolites and for the potential valorization of by-products. In the framework of the WP3, the valorisation of the organic resources will be investigated by using either single or mixed microbial cultures. For each organic substrate, a scale-down bioreactor test (20L bioreactor configured in order to reproduce large-scale conditions) will be conducted by using different microbial systems. After this scale-down phase, the most efficient biosystems will be up-scaled to a 2 m³ bioreactor in order to assess the industrial feasibility of the process. Each test will be fully documented by on-line and off-line analysis.

University of Liege participated mainly in WP3. It was a member of the transnational technical teams for demonstration and optimisation of novel techniques for the future of the waste sector in NWE. LCA will be performed to evaluate which selected processes may be more sustainable than others for some wastes. This step will provide important data regarding the economic and environmental impact of the systems.

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