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CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences



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The expertise of the Applied and Analytical Chemistry laboratory focuses on two main areas: material - (IMO) and environmental research (CMK). It is our goal to obtain a synergy between fundamental and applied scientific research and to cooperate with companies via contract research and scientific support services.

An important aspect is the application of this broad expertise in education, fundamental research, applied research as well as in scientific support services. 

Keywords :

  • analytical techniques
  • material characterisation
  • analytical strategies
  • environmental analyses
  • particulate matter
  • flash pyrolysis – biomass- fuel
  • waste treatment technologies
  • element speciation
  • scientific support services
  • cooperation with industrial partners
  • contract research activities 

Environmental research

The expertise in analytical chemistry aims among other things at environmental matrices (water, soil, air, particulate matter, waste materials). Studies and expertise concerning analytical problems of environmental matrices, environment related problems during production processes and soil remediation (emissions, recycling, sustainable processes) are developed. Specific expertise in the field of element speciation and problems related to particulate matter is additionally available. Finally, the thermal treatment of biomass waste (and coal, bio-desulphurisation) in view of its valorisation (flash pyrolysis) is studied. Flash pyrolysis is evaluated as a thermal cracking process to convert different types of organic waste streams into value-added energy and/or secondary raw materials.



Material research

Our research aims at the development of suitable analytical strategies for advanced material systems within the framework of their performance, structure, processing and specific applications. Such systems can be diverse, but there is a clear focus on polymeric materials in its broadest sense: polymers, rubber, resins, and adhesives.
Expertise specifically related to material characterization, treatment and applications is available and is continuously improved.
Additionally, expertise in analytical chemistry and an integrated application of a wide variety of complementary analytical techniques is available. A detailed characterisation is of fundamental importance to comprehend the multifunctional features and properties of the enhanced complexicity of material systems for high-performance applications and this for both mineral and organic components. This requires in-depth knowledge concerning the analytical techniques to create specific analysis protocols.
These protocols, in combination with the strong expertise in material properties, are crucial to translate any problem statement into a goal-oriented approach.

Enkele onderzoekstopics

  • Ontwikkelen en toepassen van specifieke analysestrategieën voor targetelementen en -verbindingen in milieumatrices (bodem, water, fijn stof, biomassa, ...)
  • Thermische behandeling (pyrolyse) van biomassa (al dan niet verontreinigd door zware metalen) met inbegrip van postbehandelingsmethoden
  • Chemische en energetische valorisatie van de verkregen pyrolyseproducten (recyclage zware metalen)
  • Elementspeciatie (o.a. zwavel, chloor) in vaste matrices
  • Studie van gehalogeneerde toxische verbindingen (dehalogenering, gechloreerde precursoren in vliegas)

Analyse infrastructuur

  • Elementanalyse (AAS, XRF, ICP-OES en ICP-MS)
  • Thermische analysetechnieken (MDSC, TGA, DTA, TMA, MDA)
  • Chromatografische technieken (GC, HPLC, IC, GPC)
  • Spectroscopische technieken (FT-IR, FT-Raman, Massaspectrometrie, UV-VIS spectroscopie, NMR technieken*)
  • Gekoppelde technieken (FT-IR microscopie, GC/MS technieken, headspace-, thermische desorptie-, pyrolyse- GC/MS)

* In samenwerking en gecoördineerd door Peter Adriaenssens