In the WaterLab, biotechnologist Steef de Valk is carrying out experiments with tubifex worms. These threadlike creatures are capable of reducing by half the quantity of sewage sludge from water treatment. No-one really understands how this works.
The aim of the Strategic Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Alliance, established by the three universities in 2012, was to improve research and education and competitiveness. Projects are intended to develop from the ground up, which led to the establishment of eight joint centres in 2013. A quick look around reveals that lack of time is proving to be their key obstacle.
Energy storage comes in all shapes and sizes. Condensers are convenient for peak storage, but they are exhausted within a few seconds. The same applies to flywheels. Water storage in reservoir lakes and pressurised gas storage in underground reservoirs can provide a buffer of several hours of energy use. Batteries and accumulators can even store energy for weeks.