Residual Resource Engineering

 

RESEARCH IN THE SECTION

Residual Resource Engineering focuses on sustainable management of waste materials and residual biomass from the municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors. This involves characterization of waste and biomass materials, technologies to recover material, nutrients and energy resources, management of reject fractions, measurement and control of greenhouse gas emissions, environmental and economic sustainability assessments, and optimization of microbial conversion processes (e.g. biofuels, bioproducts and biogas).

Scientific topics in focus:

  • Quality of waste and biomass resources
  • Integrated resource recovery and management
  • Measurement of gaseous emissions
  • Landfill gas management
  • Anaerobic digestion processes
  • Biofuels, bioproducts and biorefineries
  • Algae technologies
  • Microbial electrochemistry
  • Environmental and economic sustainability assessment

HEAD OF SECTION

Thomas Fruergaard Astrup
Professor
DTU Environment
+45 45 25 15 58

RESEARCH TOPICS

    

Quality of waste and biomass resources

Characterization of physical and chemical properties of waste, biomass and secondary materials is essential for the quality of resources and the potential for downstream resource utilization, as well as for the associated environmental impacts.

Integrated resource recovery and management

Flows of resources in society, appropriate points of recovery, optimal approaches for utilization are fundamental for minimization of environmental impacts associated with secondary resources. Advanced material, substance and energy flow analysis provide essential insights.

Measurement of gaseous emissions


Quantification and control of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from waste and biomass technologies is important for emission mitigation. Advanced full-scale measurement techniques offer new knowledge as basis for mitigation actions.

 

Anaerobic digestion processes

 

 

Technology development of anaerobic digestion of waste and biomass involves detailed configuration of processes, monitoring and control. Traditional bioengineering approaches, modeling, reactor technology and advanced –omic approaches (e.g. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics) are used as tools, in collaboration with full-scale biogas plants.

Environmental & economic sustainability assessment

Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) of biomass, waste and resource recovery technologies provide basis for technology improvements at system level. The dedicated assessment model EASETECH is applied e.g. to waste management, biorefineries and renewable energy systems.

Biofuels, bioproducts and biorefineries

Biorefineries are integrated environmental biotechnologies for optimal utilization of a range of wastes and biomasses by producing biofuels (e.g. bioethanol, biogas), high-value biochemical products (e.g. organic acids, anti-oxidants), feed materials and nutrients for recycling.

Algae technologies

Micro and macro algae are used to capture nutrients and pollutants from aquatic environments while simultaneously generating useful biomass that can be utilized in biorefineries. High value products as well as remediation technologies are developed.

Landfill gas management

Organic waste in landfills generates methane, the most prominent greenhouse gas emission route from waste. Biocover technologies involving on-site microbial methane oxidation processes provide full-scale approaches for mitigation of these methane emissions.

Microbial electrochemistry

Microbial electrochemical processes offer new possibilities within water treatment, resource recovery, biofuel and biochemical production, and biosensor development. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms are critical for technology development.

Thomas Astrup, Waste

The Role of Waste in Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy

Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Environmental Facilities

By Charlotte Scheutz, Professor, DTU Environment

Bio-cover – Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission From Old Landfills

By Peter Kjeldsen, Professor, DTU Environment

Yifeng Zhang, Bioenergy

Environmental Electrochemistry in Next Generation: From Water to Energy, Biofuels, Chemicals and more. By Dr. Yifeng Zhang, DTU Environment