Jules van Lier PhD

Professor of Environmental Waste Water Engineering


Jules van Lier got his BSc in Biology, spec. Microbiology at Nijmegen University, The Netherlands (1985) and his MSc in Environmental Technology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands(1988). He performed his PhD on Thermophilic Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment under the supervision of Prof. Gatze Lettinga (1995), also at Wageningen University. Between 1993 and 2005 he was senior researcher / project manager in various (inter)national research projects, working on cost-effective water treatment for resource recovery (water, nutrients, biogas, elements). Research projects are focused on closing water cycles in industries and sewage water recovery for irrigated agriculture. The further development of anaerobic treatment technology has his prime focus. He published over 200 publications in double refereed journals and conference proceedings from 1988 onwards. In October 2005 he was appointed as Professor at Wageningen University, attached to the special chair on “Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment for Reuse and Irrigation”. End of 2008 he was appointed as full professor “Environmental Engineering / Wastewater Treatment” at Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Water Management, Section Sanitary Engineering.

In addition to the university work he was director of the Lettinga Associates Foundation (LeAF) form April 1997 – October 2005. LeAF is a not-for profit organization that stimulates the application of appropriate environmental technologies for environmental protection and resource conservation, with anaerobic treatment as the core technology. At present he is Executive Board Member and Scientific Advisor to the LeAF Foundation.

Jules van Lier was chairman of the Anaerobic Digestion Specialist group of the International Water Association (IWA) from 2001-2009. Recently he stepped down from this position and became regional representative for Western Europe in the same group. Other activities include (associated) editor of scientific journals like Water Science Technology and Advances in Environmental Research and development. He is also member of the Paques technological advisory commission (Paques is the world market leader in anaerobic treatment technology), and scientific Board Member of World-Waternet, Amsterdam.


Books and book chapters

Prof. van Lier has published 4 scientific books and 7 book chapters.

Van Lier, J.B. (1995). Thermophilic Anaerobic Waste Water Treatment, Temperature Aspects and Process Stability. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Environmental Technology. Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, ISBN 90-5485-436-7.

Borzacconi, L., E. Castello E., A. Noyola, and J.B. van Lier, J.B. (eds) (2006). Developments in Anaerobic Digestion, Selected Proceedings of the 8th Latin American Congress and Workshop on Anaerobic Digestion, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, 2-5 October 2005, IWA Publishing, UK. ISBN 1843395797, pp 278.

Guiot, S.R., Pavlostathis, S.G. and Van Lier, J.B. (eds) (2005). Anaerobic Digestion X, Selected Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion, held in Montreal, Canada, 29 August - 2 September 2004, IWA Publishing, UK. ISBN 1843395509, pp 570.

Van Lier, J.B. and H. Lubberding (eds) (2002). Anaerobic Digestion IX, Selected Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion, held in Antwerp, Belgium, 2-6 September 2001, IWA Publishing, UK. ISBN 1843394189, pp 385.

Book chapters

Van Lier, J.B., N. Mahmoud and G. Zeeman (2008). Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment. In: M. Henze, M.C.M. van Loosdrecht, G.A. Ekama, D. Brdjanovic (eds.), Biological Wastewater Treatment, Principles, Modelling and Design, Chapter 16, ISBN: 9781843391883, IWA Publishing, London, UK, p. 415-456.

Mahmoud N., G. Zeeman, and J.B. van Lier (2008). Adapting high-rate anaerobic treatment to Middle East conditions. In: Al Baz, I., Otterpohl, R., Wendland, C. (eds), Efficient Management of Wastewater, Its Treatment and Reuse in Water Scarce Countries, Chapter 13, ISBN: 978-3-540-74491-7, Springer publication, Heidelberg, Germany, p. 149-161.

Van Lier, J.B. and F.P. Huibers (2004). Agricultural use of treated wastewater: the need for a paradigm shift in sanitation & treatment. In: J. Steenvoorden, T. Endreny (eds.) Waste Water Re-use on Groundwater Quality IAHS Publ. 285, ISBN 1-901502-52-X, p. 5-18.

Huibers, F.P., O. Moscoso, A. Duran and J.B. van Lier (2004). The use of wastewater in Cochabama, Bolivia: a degrading environment. In: C. Scott, N.I. Faruqui, and L. Raschid (eds.) Wastewater Use in Irrigated Agriculture, CABI/IWMI/IDRC International 2004., ISBN 1-55250-112-4, Chapter 12, p. 135-144.

Sanders, W.T.M., A.H. Veeken, G. Zeeman and J.B. van Lier (2002). Analysis and optimisation of the AD process of OFMSW. In: Biomethanization of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Wastes, Chapter 3, J. Mata-Alvarez (ed.), pp. 25., IWA Publishing, London, UK, ISBN 1900222140.

Lettinga, G., S. Rebac, J.B. van Lier and G. Zeeman (1999). The potentials of sub-mesophilic and/or psychrophilic anaerobic treatment of low strength wastewaters. In: Biotechnological applications of cold-adapted organisms / R. Margesin, F. Schinner (eds) – Berlin [etc.]: Springer Verlag, 1999; ISBN 3-540-64972-7: 221-234

Lettinga, G., L.W. Hulshoff Pol, J.B. van Lier and G. Zeeman (1999). Possibilities and potentials of anaerobic wastewater treatment using anaerobic sludge bed (ASB) reactors. In: Biotechnology / H.J. Rehm, G. Reeds (eds); Weinheim, Germany: Wiley – VCH, 1999 (Vol. 11a): 519-525

Journal articles

Prof. van Lier has almost 100 articles in referred scientific journals the most recent of which are listed below.

Angelidaki I., M. Alves, D. Bolzonella, L. Borzacconi, J. L. Campos, A. J. Guwy, S. Kalyuzhnyi, P. Jenicek and J. B. van Lier (2009). Defining the biomethane potential (BMP) of solid organic wastes and energy crops: a proposed protocol for batch assays. Wat.Sci.Technol. 59(5): 927-934.

Ismail, S. B., P. Gonzalez, D. Jeison and J. B. van Lier (2008). Effects of high salinity wastewater on methanogenic sludge bed systems. Wat.Sci.Technol. 58(10): 1963-1970.

Jeison D., I. Dias and J.B. van Lier (2008). Anaerobic membrane bioreactors: are membranes really necessary? Electronic J. of Biotechnol. 11 (4): DOI: 10.2225/vol11-issue4-fulltext-9

Fernandes T.V., G.J. Klaasse Bos, G. Zeeman, J.P.M. Sanders and J.B. van Lier (2009). Effects of thermo-chemical pre-treatment on anaerobic biodegradability and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresource Technol. 100 (9): 2575-2579.

Jeison D., C.M. Plugge, A. Pereira, J.B. van Lier (2009). Effects of the acidogenic biomass on the performance of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment. Biores. Technol. 100: 1951–1956

Zeeman G., K. Kujawa, T. de Mes, L. Hernandez, M. de Graaff, L. Abu-Ghunmi, A. Mels, B. Meulman, H. Temmink, C. Buisman, J.B. van Lier and G. Lettinga (2008). Anaerobic treatment as a core technology for energy, nutrients and water recovery from source-separated domestic waste(water). Wat.Sci.Technol. 57(8): 1207-1212.

Jeison, D., B. Kremer and J. B. van Lier (2008). Application of membrane enhanced biomass retention to the anaerobic treatment of acidified wastewaters under extreme saline conditions. Sep. and Purification Technol., 64: 198-205.,

Abu Ghunmi L., G. Zeeman, J.B. van Lier and M. Fayyed (2008). Quantitative and qualitative characteristics of grey water for reuse requirements and treatment alternatives: the case of Jordan. Wat.Sci.Technol. 57(8): 1385-1396.

Jeison, D., W. van Betuw and J. B. van Lier (2008). Feasibility of Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors for the Treatment of Wastewaters with Particulate Organic Matter. Separation Sc. and Technol, 43: 3417–3431.

Jeison D. and van Lier J.B. (2008). Feasibility of thermophilic anaerobic submerged membrane bioreactors (AnSMBR) for wastewater treatment. Desalination 231: 227-235.


Prof. van Lier has more than 100 articles in conference proceedings in: Latin American workshop and symposium on anearobic digestion, MDG sanitation conference, Environmental biotechnology and engineering, IWA leading edge technology, New sanitation concepts and models of governance, IWA biofilms technologies and others


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