Applied microbial ecology services

For information, contact prof. Nico Boon (

Consultancy, research and management on microbial ecology: interaction between structure and function of microbial communities by applying metagenomic and metabolomic

  • Microbial predicting models
  • Microbial interactions: cell-cell communication, horizontal gen transfer, biofilm formation, etc
  • Development of methanotroph ecology, housing and application
  • Microbial isolation and enrichment
  • Antibiotic resistanceduring food production and storage
  • Microbial oil degradation
  • Primer design and development of protocols for molecular fingerprinting of bacterial communities
  • Enrichment and characterization of high pressure adapted hydrocarbons degrading bacteria
  • Bioinformatics and statistics tools for elucidating microbial communities relationships
  • In vitro and in vivo interpretation of bacterial fingerprint and correlation with host and/or environment

Expertise in:

  • Polluted and unpolluted drinking water
  • Services for wastewater treatment plant
  • Deep sea and high-pressure environment
  • Axillary bacteria
  • Pharma, food and feed
  • Horticulture

Microbial electrocatalysis services

For information, contact prof. Korneel Rabaey (

Consultancy and research related to (bio)electrochemical systems both with physic-chemical and microbial catalysis

  • Bench studies for energy balance and economic potential
  • Production of chemicals (eg. NaOH)
  • Recovery of valuable compounds from waste (e.g. nitrogen, potassium, organics, sulfide)
  • Targeted in situ membrane extraction of charged compounds (e.g. ammonium or carboxylic acids)
  • Treatment of industrial and municipal waste streams and production of valuable by-products
  • Biosensors for early diagnosis of toxicity, over-/under-loading and wastewater treatment plants’ control
  • Feasibility of the process pipeline and possibility of commercialization
  • Physic-chemical analyses on water and wastewater
  • Electrode material evaluation/assessment for energy or chemical production
  • Microbial electrosynthesis investigations
  • Start-up and operation strategies for strict anaerobes communities

Expertise in:

  • Industrial wastewater
  • Municipal waste
  • Biorefinery effluents
  • Deep sea and high-pressure environment

Host microbe interactions services

For information, contact prof. Tom Van De Wiele (

In vitro research and in vivo validation studies of the mucosal and luminal microbiota which can influence human health, with evaluation of the microbial modulation upon novel pre- and probiotic approaches

  • Simulation of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME® and M-SHIME®) for in vitro tests of prebiotics, probiotics, functional food and contaminants
  • In vitro characterization of novel anti-inflammatory strains to counterbalance dysbiosis
  • Investigation of the microbial diversity in order to predict the ecosystem functionality
  • Study of symbiotic formulations
  • Investigation of interindividual variability
  • Study of targeted delivery of probiotics and APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient)
  • Immunomodulatory effect of specific treatments coupling the SHIME® with co-cultures, HMI™ (Host Microbiota Interaction) module and 3D models of cell lines
  • Determination of the nutrient modulation mediated by microbiota
  • Application of metagenomics as a tool to study the gastrointestinal communities of humans and livestock
  • In vitro preservation of the gut microbiome in health and disease

Expertise in:

  • Human gastro-intestinal communities
  • Oral microbiota
  • Human alimentary tract microorganisms
  • Microbiota in food processing 

Anaerobic digestion and fermentation services

For information, contact prof. Korneel Rabaey (

Consultancy and research projects related to anaerobic digestion, fermentation and (an)aerobic biodegradation of liquid and solid waste streams.

  • High-throughput biochemical methane potential (anaerobic biodegradability)
  • Aerobic biodegradability testing
  • Anaerobic inoculum optimization and preservation
  • Methanogenic activity analysis of anaerobic digestion sludge
  • Microbial biomass characterization and quantification (DGGE, real-time PCR)
  • Reactor feasibility
  • Co-digestion feasibility for methane production improvement
  • Waste streams evaluation for chemical production (carboxylates as building blocks) through anaerobic fermentation

Expertise in:

  • Livestock waste
  • Sludges
  • Organic household waste and wastewater
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Lignocellulosic residues

Biological nitrogen management services

For information, contact prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck (

Consultancy and research projects related to nitrification, denitrification, nitritation, anammox, denitritation and/or microalgal conversions.

  • Reactor design and control strategy
  • Start-up and operation strategies for reactors
  • Molecular biomass characterization (FISH, DGGE, qPCR,…)
  • Kinetic biomass measurements and activity tests
  • Toxicity tests and feasibility studies
  • Quantification and mitigation of greenhouse and acidifying gas emissions (e.g. N2O, CH4, NH3)
  • Inoculum cultivation and provision of active suspended and/or immobilized biomass (e.g. alginate encapsulated)
  • Biomass preservation/storage assays
  • Bench studies for energy balance and economic potential

Expertise in:

  • Domestic wastewater: mixed or source separated (black, yellow, brown, grey)
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Livestock residues
  • Aquaculture, ponds, public aquaria
  • Space application

Biomaterials & nanotechnology services

For information, contact prof. Nico Boon (

Supporting research and consultancy for self-healing building material and biogenic nanoparticles

  • Layer (e.g. Calcium carbonate) bio-deposition for surface protection
  • Bio self-healing concrete
  • Microbial production of metallic nanoparticles (e.g. Pd, Ag, Au)
  • Nanoparticle application for several purposes (e.g. sediment treatment, antimicrobial disinfectant, carriers)
  • Metal recovery by liquid streams and sludge

Expertise in:

  • Sludges
  • Waste streams
  • Concrete