Brunel University London is a dynamic institution with over 13,000 students and over 1,000 academic staff operating in a vibrant culture of research excellence.
What they do
Three multidisciplinary groups are bringing expertise to fulfill the DEEP-Purple activities.
The Water Research group (WRG) concentrates on providing research solutions for recycling water and offering sustainable water resources for domestic and industrial uses. The group deploys novel processes for wastewater purification and resource recovery and data driven analytics for monitoring, control and modelling in water resource management. In addition, WRG has global reputation in research and development of solutions for Circular Economy modelling and resource recovery technologies in Water Industry. The team has interdisciplinary expertise from various fields of water resources management and resilience.
The Nano cellulose and Bio Composite Research Centre at Brunel has intensive research experiences from nano to messo to macro materials, their innovative applications and the end of life circular strategies in construction, including polymers, ceramics, cementitious materials, nano-composite processing and soft solids and natural materials. In addition to the processing of materials, the Centre has expertise in the synthesis and morphological control of small organic and inorganic micrometre and nanometre sized particles.
The Systems Engineering Research Group (SERG) Laboratory in Brunel is a million Pound facility and expanding, specializing in Sensors Networks, IoT, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in measuring performance, risks, threats and in control, optimization and knowledge-based decision support systems.
BRUNEL group has generated a substantial portfolio of research contracts from the UK and EU (FP5, FP6, FP7 and H2020 projects) and also directly from major industries.
Relevant on-going projects:
- Demonstration of water loops with innovative regenerative business models for the Mediterranean region (HYDROUSA) HORIZON2020; CIRC-02-2016-2017
- COST Action CA17133; Implementing nature based solutions for creating a resourceful circular city
- Scale-up of low-carbon footprint Material Recovery Techniques for upgrading existing wastewater treatment Plants (SMART-Plant), HORIZON2020 WATER-1b-2015
- Circular Shop Window, Industrial Project with Anglian Water
- Highly efficient cladding eco-panels with improved Nano-insulation properties (GELCLAD) H2020-EEB- 2016.
- Mobilisation and utilisation of Recycled Wood for lignocellulosic BioRefinery processes. EU ‘REWOBIOREF’ 2017.
- Highly efficient production of ultra-lightweight clay-aerogel materials and their integrated composites for building insulation. EU ‘ICECLAY’ 2015
Role in project
In line with the main aim of circular economy – to decouple resource use and environmental impact from the economic activities, Brunel will develop and apply a unified circularity assessment methodology to evaluate the circularity performance and the trade-offs between technology performance and aspects of resource recovery of the DEEP PURPLE technologies. Circularity indicators will be developed that will provide a demonstrable and visual interface for evaluation of the circularity potential of the DEEP PURPLE project and will support the operational, legislative and policy targets.
New cost-effective sustainable encapsulation methods based on Cellulose Nanofibers and PHA bioplastics recovered from the DEEP PURPLE Cellulose and Biomass Platforms are developed and validated in Brunel laboratories that will result in self-healing biocomposites with application in the construction sector. Bio-concrete will be developed and tested under different conditions with the capacity of healing itself without any human intervention with enhanced strength and water permeability properties during the whole service cycle.
Brunel will also design and provide the automation and control system for the DEEP PURPLE photobioreactors. The decision support system (DSS) of the DEEP PURPLE bioreactors will be based on the analysis of the operational data and the identification and evaluation of criteria controlling the selection of optimal operational conditions. The outcome of the DSS will serve as a basis for full-scale implementation of the DEEP PURPLE photobiorefinery in real environments.