Profil & Expertise

KU Leuven is currently by far the largest university in Belgium in terms of research funding and expenditure (EUR 467 million in 2016), and is a charter member of LERU. KU Leuven conducts fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines with a clear international orientation. Leuven participates in over 540 highly competitive European research projects (FP7, 2007-2013), ranking sixth in the league of HES institutions participating in FP7. In Horizon 2020, KU Leuven currently has been approved 260 projects.

Within KU Leuven, the Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions (cMACS), formerly part of COK, is a large interdisciplinary team involved in teaching and research in the chemistry of the solid-gas, solid-liquid, and solid-solid interphases. cMACS has been recognized in several ways to be a centre of excellence for research and teaching of interphase chemistry and catalysis at KU Leuven and to promote interphase chemistry and catalysis at European and international levels. cMACS currently counts more than 100 people.


Role in the project

In PUReSmart, KU Leuven will primarily focus on research concerning the smart chemolysis of EoL-PU (WP3). Furthermore, KU Leuven will contribute to the smart design of CAPU foams and its reprocessing (WP4). Finally, KU Leuven will also ensure the proper dissemination of acquired scientific knowledge through initiatives such as MOOCs (WP6).


Prof. Dirk E. De Vos received his PhD at Leuven in 1994, and was active as a post-doc at Purdue University (Indiana, USA) with Thomas Bein. He is since 2006 full professor in Catalysis at Leuven University and is the head of the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems. The research of his team is conducted within the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis

He is the recipient of a series of awards, including the BASF catalysis award. He participated in 8 EU projects or networks (Sustox, Nanohost, Idecat, Macademia, DEFNET, SACS, SINMOF, H-CCAT) and in several previous strategic research projects in Belgium. He has long standing collaborations with a series of industries. De Vos authored 445 papers (ISI), of which 24 papers in Angewandte Chemie, 21 JACS papers, 3 Nature papers etc., totaling 17600 citations. The h-index amounts to 71. De Vos is (co-)inventor on 28 Patent families, of which 11 are granted or are on the way to be granted (often in collaboration with industries like BASF). Several more projects are in the pipeline & under negotiation.

Dr. Bert Lagrain holds a PhD in Bioscience Engineering since 2007. He joined the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis of the KU Leuven in 2013 as an Industrial Research Manager in the domain of the catalytic and chemical engineering technology for the biorefinery. He authored more than 55 peer-reviewed papers (ISI) in the domain of (applied) chemistry. He is responsible for the translation of academic research toward industrial applications and coordinates the national and international funding applications of the group.

Thomas Vanbergen is a PhD researcher at the Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions (cMACS) under supervision of prof. Dirk De Vos (KU Leuven). He has performed research on chemical recycling of polyurethane since October 2015 in the context of an IWT project (SoPUre), coordinated by Recticel. He obtained a master in bioscience engineering at KU Leuven (Belgium, 2013) and subsequently a master in science education at KU Leuven (Belgium, 2014).