LeAF provides independent and high quality advice on the development and implementation of sustainable environmental technologies for treatment and valorisation of organic residues.
LeAF BV is an independent research and consultancy organisation that implements its knowledge, expertise and research facilities in the area of treatment and purification of solid and liquid residues (waste-water) and in the recovery and reuse of water, energy, nutrients and other valuable resources. In this way, we contribute to the realization of a permanent change towards sustainability and the realization of Millennium Development Goal no. 7, reducing the number of people without access to safe drinking water and suitable sanitation.
Established from and located at the sub-department of Environmental Technology of Wageningen UR, we have access to a broad range of complementary and state-of-the-art knowledge in the area of sustainability, (biobased) technology and environment. When needed or desired, we share forces with other organisations from our extensive network.
LeAF is dedicated to development of sustainable sanitation systems focused on efficient treatment of human excreta and other waste streams (from households, farms, small agro industries, markets) for nutrient recovery for agricultural purposes, water reuse and energy production. We acknowledge that there is no ‘one system fits all’ answer but a variety of technological solutions which fit different local contexts. Moreover, LeAF is actively involved in all phases necessary for a successful development and application of a sanitation project, such as: feasibility studies, laboratory testing, appropriate technology selection involving stakeholders, preliminary system designs, knowledge transfer, dissemination of results, project management and coordination.
LeAF is one of the 15 consortium members of the EU project "Run4Life". Run4Life, short for “Recovery and Utilization of Nutrients 4 Low Impact FErtiliser”, proposes a radical new concept for wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery. It is based on source-separated collection of domestic wastewaters and kitchen waste, with each flow receiving optimal treatment for resource recovery and subsequent safe reuse. Nutrient recycling from wastewater opens a new paradigm in society. Therefore active measures such as knowledge brokerage activities will be developed as engagement strategy to advocate the institutional, legal and social acceptance of Run4Life nutrient recovery technologies.
The Run4Life project works towards the following results:
- Decrease dependence on primary nutrient resources and increase European resource security.
- Reduce the adverse effects of nutrient emissions on the environment.
- Closing water and nutrient cycles throughout the production and consumption value chain.
- Improve the quality of collected data on nutrient flows to support investments in the recycling of recovered nutrients.
- Create new business opportunities in the EU, to generate new green jobs and export industries around the recovery and recycling of nutrients, contributing to the exploitation of innovative solutions in the global market.
- Improve policy and market conditions in Europe for large-scale deployment of innovation, providing evidence-based knowledge on the framework conditions that facilitates a wider transition to a Circular Economy in the EU.
Proven and innovative technologies are implemented and further developed at four large scale demonstration sites. Within the objectives of the project, it is essential to ensure that the treatment systems developed by Run4Life, as well as the products obtained, are safe and of a consistent quality, environmentally friendly, socially accepted and techno-economically viable.
Private sector, including social enterprises
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