Project R-5814


Green remediation: ready for the market? (Research)


This project is coordinated by promoter Jaco Vangronsveld, and co-promoters Nele Weyens and Nele Witters, all working at the Center for Environmental Sciences (CMK). The CMK can be considered as a pioneer in the research for phytoremediation of contaminated soils and (ground)water by plants and more specifically the role of plant-associated bacteria in this process. Plant-associated bacteria play an important role during phytoremediation of organic contaminants by degrading the present organic contaminants (in the rhizosphere as well as inside the plants (endophytes)) and by promoting plant growth. These plant-bacteria interactions can be optimized by additionally enriching soil and plant with the appropriate bacteria and in this way further enhance contaminant degradation and plant growth promotion. The final aim of this IOF project is starting up a spin-off that applies rhizosphere and endophyte enhanced phytoremediation on a large scale. In a first phase, the spin-off will offer this technology for sites contaminated with TCE, BTEX and oil. In this IOF project, the market for rhizosphere- and endophyte-enhanced phytoremediation will be assessed, a business plan and a financial plan will be worked out and the optimal structure of the spin-off will be explored. Finally, potential investors will be searched for.

Period of project

09 December 2014 - 31 December 2015