Micropollutants in the aquatic enviroment

research and solutions



Retrofitting of municipal wastewater treatment plants by the use of membrane technology

The project MIKROMEM explores possible applications of membrane technology for the elimination of pharmaceuticals and other organic micropollutants in municipal wastewater treatment. As the molecular weights of the target substances are within the molecular weight cut offs of nanofiltration and in some cases even of reverse osmosis, the first workpackage focuses these dense membrane processes for treatment of wastewater treatment plant effluent and investigates as well the treatment of resulting concentrate streams. A second work area targets at membrane bioreactors (MBR), which have been installed in increasing numbers over the last years. Biodegradation of pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals shall be significantly enhanced by optimising the biological process or by adding specialised strains of bacteria (bio-augmentation). In a third work area hybrid processes including powdered activated carbon (PAC) such as PAC-microfiltration and PAC-MBR are tested in pilot- to large-scale applications. These experiments are conducted at municipal MBRs of the Aggerverband, Erftverband and LINEG (Seelscheid, Kaarst, Xanten-Vynen). The analysis of a wide range of micropollutants is made on the basis of their naturally occurring concentrations in municipal wastewater after solid phase extraction and by means of liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy. All processes are comprehensively evaluated regarding elimination performance, applicability, energy consumption and cost effectiveness. Transferability to future applications is given by general design rules.


Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Herr
Aachener Verfahrenstechnik (AVT), RWTH Aachen
Tel.: +49 241 80 93996
E-Mail: jochen.herr@avt.rwth-aachen.de
Dr.-Ing. David Montag
Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft der RWTH Aachen
Tel.: +49 241 80 25208
E-Mail: montag@isa.rwth-aachen.de