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Technologies for removal of environmental contaminants

Chemical compounds such as pharmaceuticals, biocides, flame retardants etc. are contained in wastewater as well as in rain runoff water. They are found in low concentrations and are therefore referred to as micro-pollutants. Common to these substances, however, is that they can have high biological effect and that the available removal techniques, we use in our treatment plants, are not sufficient enough to remove them.

The department is researching into new efficient methods to remove these compounds from polluted waters in order to reach and maintain good ecological status in surface waters and to maintain future water resources and deliver the knowledge for safe water reuse.

Based on research projects as well as on collaboration with companies and municipalities we develop new methods to remove organic micro-pollutants. In this respect we focus on

  1. Developing new processes in innovative biofilm technologies for energy efficient microbial degradation of pollutants
  2. Bio-nanotechnology to be able to oxidize compounds that are not easily oxidizable
  3. Chemical oxidation for compounds that otherwise are inert at the current state of knowledge.
  4. Biofilter technologies to remove compounds from rain-runoff water   

Our approach includes research on degradation pathways, transformation products and metabolites for the new technologies to solve these rising issues in a sustainable way. In interdisciplinary collaboration with other research groups, we focus on cost efficiency assessment of new and emerging technologies in a life cycle perspective.