MERMAID public outreach

Monday 21 Dec 15


Arnaud Dechesne
Senior Researcher
DTU Environment
+45 45 25 22 91

Two MERMAID PhD students, Silvio Matassa (Avecom) and Nicole Hahn (LabMET), took the unique opportunity to team up with researchers from the Resource Recovery Technology (R2T) consortium at Ghent University, which developed and brewed a very special beer, the “From Sewer to Brewer” Beer. As the name suggests, its main ingredient, water, was produced by treating wastewater to drinking water quality, using membrane filtration technology. Both the R2T consortium and MERMAID aim to raise awareness on current and future water issues, and emphasize the necessity of creating sustainable alternatives to the current water treatment.

As Nicole and Silvio work in Belgium, a country famous for its beer varieties, they chose the water treatment approach to manufacture the “Sewer to Brewer” beer as a link to present their research expertise on both sides of the urban water cycle : the wastewater and drinking water parts. MERMAID researchers work towards the development of innovative technologies to efficiently close the urban water cycle in the most sustainable way, and this beer is an excellent, yet surprising, example to “hot-wire” this cycle.

For their public outreach, Nicole and Silvio shared the science behind MERMAID and Microbial Resource Management & Engineering with the audience that attended the Music for Life & Protos event, held at the faculty of Bioscience Engineering from 2-17 December, 2015. On two occasions (7 and 11 December, 2015) they gave poster presentations and demonstrated a full-scale and a lab-scale reverse osmosis modules for water treatment, in collaboration with other scientists, namely Prof. Bart De Gusseme (LabMET), Prof. Arne Verliefde (Department of Applied Analytical and Physical Chemistry), and Wouter Naessens, PhD student from the BIOMATH research group. The proceeds of the beer sale went to the non-governmental organization Protos. This organization reaches out to local NGOs, farmers, authorities, and regional government services to achieve an improved and sustainable water management in developing countries. In Belgium, Protos aims to provide global education in schools, and to raise public awareness for water issues to make them a higher priority on the political agenda.

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22 MARCH 2019