Mark van Loosdrecht, Professor in Environmental Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology, and the inventor of the Nereda wastewater technology, along with his fellow biotech pioneer, Bruce Rittmann, has been announced as the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for revolutionising water and wastewater treatment.
The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award, which has been presented annually over the last 27 years and is conferred by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements.
By developing microbiological processes in wastewater treatment, professors van Loosdrecht and Rittmann have demonstrated the possibilities in cutting costs, reducing energy consumption and even recovering chemicals and nutrients for recycling. Their pioneering research and innovations have led to a new generation of energy-efficient water treatment processes that can effectively extract nutrients and other chemicals – both harmful and valuable – from wastewater.
On receiving news of the prize, Professor van Loosdrecht said: “I’m very excited and pleased! This is a recognition not just of our work, but of the contribution microbiological engineering can make to the water sector.
“With current technology, you can already be energy neutral and there is a lot of research on how to become energy positive. This is very important, especially in developing countries which have unstable electricity supplies and limited access to funding. If we could build a wastewater plant that is self-sufficient in energy, it would make sewage plants feasible in many more global locations.”
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will present the prize on behalf of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, at a royal award ceremony on 29 August, during World Water Week 2018 in Stockholm.