Our goal is to transfer innovative solutions to practical applications. Classical wastewater topics are now established as autonomous research fields, for example phosphorous recovery, circular economy, wastewater reuse and the application of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring for wastewater-based epidemiology.
We explore technologies and concepts in the typical municipal wastewater treatment, for process water treatment and for the treatment of industrial wastewater, for example from paper, food or textile industry in a national and international context.
At the core of wastewater treatment are anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic biological processes. We work with systems containing suspended, granular or fixed biomass. Separation technologies range from (chemically enhanced) sedimentation, over filtration to nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. Adsorptive and oxidative elimination of micropollutants are also part of our research portfolio.
As wastewater is more and more viewed as a resource, we develop new and reexplore old concepts to guarantee chemical and biological parameters, for example in direct wastewater reuse.
The use of biomass for energy purposes offers significant benefits for wastewater treatment facilities. For several decades we have proven experience in the field of anaerobic digestion processes. Currently we are looking into promising technologies to maximize energy output from biomass and the application of microbiological processes for biogas desulfurization.
Modern agriculture is hardly possible without using fertilizers and producing quantities of manure and digestate. While anaerobic manure treatment is largely explored, there are still wastewater streams, like washing water from milking or courtyard runoff that are not captured and treated. We are working on integrating nature-based solutions, combined with modern control systems into established treatment options. The focus lies on the development and distribution of tailor-made treatment concepts to achieve significant emission reductions.
We develop new wastewater and sludge treatment technologies in cooperation with industrial partners, that focus on energy efficiency and resource recovery. Dynamic modelling of these processes is a key aspect in efficiency optimization. The simulation-based approach for development of measuring, control and regulation concepts enables system behavior studies, that allow tight integration of for example WWTP into energy networks. Simulation-based design and dimensioning of processes and equipment facilitates cost reduction and energy efficiency in the realized projects.
Furthermore, combinations of treatment process, sewage system, and energy demand simulation allow us to get an integral picture of the whole network, to allow for tightly integrated solutions.
Municipal wastewater is a mirror of society. With SARS-CoV-2 as the nucleus for development of wastewater-based epidemiology, it is expected to be one of the growing research fields. Infected individuals shed SARS-CoV-2 gene material into the sewer system. This allows for an integral picture of COVID19 infections inside a WWTP catchment area that is not based on the individuals testing habits. Since the beginning of the pandemic we work with partners from wastewater and virology research institutions and several water associations in North Rhine-Westphalia. Our focus lies in the development and roll-out of practical, decentralized solutions for SARS-CoV-2 detection and quantification, as well as communication of the results to local, state and federal health authorities. Currently, we are working on transferring the knowledge into other fields of interest.
awaregio | Waterreuse
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