Circularity & Environmental Impact



Research in the section covers the topics below.


Anders Baun
Professor, Sektionsleder Circularity and Environmental Impact
DTU Sustain
45 25 15 67



Regulatory engineering

Regulation involves complex environmental, social and ethical considerations. Regulatory engineering focuses on the development of decision-support frameworks and principles making better use of engineering in regulatory settings. Focus is on regulation of chemicals and nanomaterials.

Chemical fate modelling

Prediction of the fate and behavior of chemicals in the environment is feasible with mathematical models that integrate physical, chemical and biological process. Our focus is on plant uptake and bioaccumulation.

Sustainable remediation

Development and enhancement of innovative in situ remediation technologies are crucial. The research combines lab experiments, field studies, modelling and life cycle assessment. Emphasis is on documentation of removal efficiency, effects on (bio)degradation of in situ remediation and methods for sustainability assessment.

Partitioning-based approaches


Partitioning based approaches are applied in research on processes, exposure and effects of organic chemicals in the environment. Partitioning into polymers is used for enrich-ment and measurements at utra-trace levels. The section is internationally leading the development of passive dosing.

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.

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.

High-resolution flow-through laboratory

Flow-through experiments are performed to investigate conservative and reactive solute and colloidal transport in porous media, and to illuminate the complex coupling between physical, chemical and biological processes in subsurface systems.

Field scale contaminant transport and fate

The physical, chemical, biological and geochemical processes that control release, transport and fate of contaminants in the subsurface need to be understood to facilitate risk assessment and remediation. New advanced characterization tools are developed and/or applied.

Risk assessment of contaminated sites

Contaminated sites pose a significant threat to groundwater resources and surface water. Risk assessment models to identify the sites posing the largest risk to drinking water resources and groundwater-dependent ecosystems are developed.

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.

Nanomaterials in the environment

The increasing use of nanomaterials in society makes it crucial to understand their environmental behavior and effects. Advanced physical-chemical characterization, models and laboratory experiments provide a base for increase scientific insight and regulatory decision-support.

Microplastics in the aquatic environment

Plastic litter is a cause of increasing environmental concern. Microplastics are today ubiquitous in surface waters and aquatic organisms is known to ingest these plastic particles. Our focus is on occurence and sources, mechanisms of particle behaviour in the water, the interaction with other pollutants and with organisms.

Anders Baun, Nano

Risk assessment – Particular challenges

Thomas Astrup, Waste

The Role of Waste in Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy

Bioaccomulation Of Pharmaceuticals Or Organic Electrolytes In The Environment

Professor Doctor Stefan Trapp

The Partitioning Based Laboratory For Organic Pollutants

Philipp Mayer, Professor In Applied Environmental Chemistry