European centre of excellence
for sustainable water technology

Protein from water

The theme Protein from Water aims to develop technologies to upgrade nitrogen and other nutrients from wastewater and manure into valuable microbial proteins. By upgrading treatment plants to factories in which the incoming materials are first deconstructed to units such as ammonia, carbon dioxide and clean minerals, one can implement a highly intensive and efficient microbial resynthesis process. In this process the used nutrients are harvested as microbial protein which can be used for animal feed and food purposes. The theme focuses on the technological breakthroughs needed to create sustainable and economical production of microbial proteins and to ensure product safety. Highquality microbial proteins will be produced efficiently at high rate and can be applied as a substitute for proteins in the feed and food chain originating from soy and fish. This concept has the potential to revolutionize the water energy food nexus. Compared to current food production, less land and less water is needed while off -peak electricity can be used.

Willy Verstraete
Tom Sleutels6

Theme manager
Willy Verstraete

Theme coordinator
Tom Sleutels


Industrial partners

Avecom Bioproducts
Logo DC Water

Academic partners


Research projects

Raquel Barbosa, Ghent University
   Assembly of synthetic microbial communities for the valorization of recovered nutrients into

combining scientific excellence with commercial relevance