Mark van Loosdrecht wins Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for the development of Anammox20/3/2012
Prof Mark van Loosdrecht of TU Delft has won the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012. This well-respected award recognizes his contribution to sustainable wastewater purification technology. The prize will be presented on Monday, July 2nd during the Singapore International Water Week.
Development of Anammox
Van Loosdrecht: "I am genuinely honored to have been awarded this, the most prestigious prize for water technology. It will provide an additional boost to ensure that my research continues to contribute to sustainable solutions that can be applied in the modern world while simultaneously protecting the quality of our valuable water".
Professor Van Loosdrecht has secured the prize primarily for his work on the development of an innovative biological process, the Anammox process, which can purify wastewater in a way that is relatively inexpensive, robust and sustainable. It involves a reduction in energy consumption, CO2 emissions and the amount of chemicals required.
Savings on Energy
The Anammox process is based on a unique group of bacteria, discovered in the 1990s by researchers at TU Delft, led by Prof. Kuenen. These bacteria can convert ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas without the use of oxygen or other additives.
Biological nitrogen removal systems are set to achieve significant energy savings worldwide through the use of Anammox. In modern countries, it is estimated that traditional wastewater purification accounts for between 1% and 3% of all energy consumption.
Use of Granular Sludge
Van Loosdrecht was closely involved in the construction of the first Anammox demonstration plant by Paques bv, in Rotterdam. By 2011, there were eleven complete Anammox plants in operation, and a variation on the process is being used in more than thirty other plants.
In addition to Anammox, the award is also in recognition of Van Loosdrecht's work on the development of other technologies. Van Loosdrecht: "Anammox and Nereda are both granular sludge technologies. Granular sludge technology is a truly Dutch development, pioneered by Delft alumnus Prof Gatze Lettinga."
Breakthrough for Dutch Cutting-Edge Technology
Anammox and Nereda technologies are considered to be important Dutch technologies, on the brink of a major international breakthrough. Various industrial installations are already operating in the Netherlands and a large number of systems are in development.
Van Loosdrecht, also principle researcher at the Dutch KWR Watercycle Research Institute: "The Netherlands is a pioneer in the field of water technology, especially thanks to Anammox and Nereda. This is partly owing to the successful alliances in research and development between universities, Water Boards and businesses. The willingness of the Water Boards to pursue innovation and share facilities has played an important role in this."
We as Paques congratulate Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht with this honorable award. For several years, Mark has been a member of the Technology Board of Paques concerning technological concepts for near future. We hold Mark in high regard as an adviser and look forward to working with him in the future.