Hasselt University has a new spin-off, 'bio2clean', for phytoremediation, using plants to clean up soils and (ground) water. With this startup, the Centre for Environmental Sciences (CMK) wants to bring its years of expertise about phytoremediation to the market.
The Center for Environmental Sciences of Hasselt University is a world pioneer in the discovery and execution of phytoremediation. With this technique, plants (including trees) are used for the capture, removal, conversion and / or degradation of harmful substances in soils or (ground) water. “We can also add extra plant-associated degrading micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria and fungi) to the bottom. In this way, we give the self-cleaning capacity of the soil and plants an extra boost," says Professor Vangronsveld.
The benefits of this green land rehabilitation technique are gigantic, according to the researchers. Dr. ir. Nele Weyens (CMK / Hasselt University): "Phytoremediation is a lot cheaper than classical soil remediation. The soil remains undisturbed, there is no need for transport and it works on solar power. Hence, this technique is much less damaging to the environment. "
The team wants to bring its knowledge to the market via a spin-off in the form of consulting, project management and training. Hasselt University funded the research to possible spin-offs around phytoremediation using funds from the Industrial Research Fund (IOF) from the Flemish government.