Will we suffocate in our waste?

Figure 1 - Fresh Kills landfill in New York City in 2011 [3]

“Humanity will not perish in an atomic nightmare – it will suffocate in its own waste” said the Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr. Despite his thoughts that “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”, he could not have been any more right. So are many countries realizing this now. While this has been a global issue for ...

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Hydrogen: the fuel of the future!

Fossil-free steel-making technology by using hydrogen as proposed by HYBRIT. Image: HYBRIT, 2018.

In my previous blog post here, I talk about how circular economy works and how my Ph.D. works will contribute to achieving this emerging framework. In specific, producing hydrogen from gasification of landfill waste, and later on, using it as a fuel or chemical feedstock could be the best scenario for closing the economic cycle. Hydrogen has been named as ...

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Think before you bin it: there should be a use in it

Proud kids showing their creativity!

“Think before you bin it: there should be a use in it!” That was the title of the workshop Giovanna and I gave on Saturday, 5th of May at the Children’s University of KU Leuven. It was a great opportunity to motivate and inspire children between 8 and 13 years old on recycling and reuse of waste. As two “New-Mine” ...

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Let’s close the loop!

The illustration of the circular economy concept. Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2014).

The circular economy has been gaining more and more interest in the worldwide societies these days. A circular economy is proposed as an alternative to a traditional linear economy that consists of making, using, and disposing of the commercial product. In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible while its maximum value is being ...

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What is in our waste?


In the NEWMINE project, we aim to clean up the old landfills from the past. In order to do so, we want to dig up this waste, analyse what is in it and see how we can recycle it or make new products out of them. In this blog, I will focus on what is in our waste. We classify ...

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Company visit, data collection, and everything in between

My colleague ESR Giovanna and me keep smiling through our adventure.

“It must be very challenging to try to understand all these chains of processes”, said Daniel, an industrial partner from ScanArc Plasma Technologies AB, as he kindly drove us to the train station after our company visit. In this blog entry, I would like to bring you the perspective of a system analyst battling through one of the most tedious ...

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Inversion – a mathematical problem


Okay, the text immediately starts with a problem. It’s a mathematical problem, but it is also in a sense mathematically problematic: it is the so-called inverse problem. We, at Ghent University, work with such inversions almost every day, since their solution allows us to derive valuable results from our geophysical measurements. Let’s start with figuring out what the term ‘inversion‘ ...

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The action begins: Digging for waste

Digging for waste2

After some months of hard work, planning and coordinating all necessary activities, the work package 1 (WP1) began with the first field landfill mining activities at a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill located in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium. This was possible due to the smooth collaboration between Renewi Belgium S.A. (operator of the landfill), Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH and the research fellows from ...

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