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CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences



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CMK has a well-equipped (molecular) microbiology lab, a greenhouse, and highly sophisticated growth chambers. The labs are equipped with molecular (quantitative PCR and sequencing devices, flow cytometry, gel electrophoresis), biochemical (spectrophotometry/fluorimetry, chemiluminescence, ), analytical facilities (HPLC, ICP-MS, ICP-OES, XRF, …), dosimetric (biological dosimetry, EMR spectrometry and film dosimetry), (fluorescence) microscopy and nuclear measurements facilities (radon and low background HPGe). The groups own cultures labs - to grow microorganisms, plants, fungi, invertebrates and recently also human cell cultures.

Moreover, there is a well-equipped pyrolysis lab (batch lab scale to continuous semi-professional conventional pyrolysis reactors and batch microwave pyrolysis reactor (in collaboration with TANC-UHasselt)).

There is a nuclear measurements lab for low background gamma spectrometry and radon measurements, leaching experiments and the preparation and production of AAMs (in collaboration with KU Leuven). In collaboration with TANC and KU Leuven several dedicated chemical and physical characterisation techniques are available.

The ENVIRONAGE (ENVIRonmental influence ON AGEing in early life) birth cohort, established in 2012, recruited so far 1.500 newborns with accompanying biobank, questionnaire data and cognitive and cardiovascular phenotypes at 4 years of age. The cohort serves as the base of several investigations in the coming years.

A recently published patent (EP15159158.3) offers the possibility to improve and advance validation, valorisation and exploitation strategies of newly developed toxicity assays.

The Carbon Black test is a novel method to measure black carbon particles in a label-free way in urine, developed and validated at Hasselt University.

Bio2clean, CMK’s spin-off for phytoremediation is dedicated to large-scale field applications. This spin-off had been preceded by several multidisciplinary research studies that combined field studies and assessed at the same time the legal and economic possibilities (such as the Snowman project ‘Rejuvenate’ and the MIP project ‘EOSAN’).