PhD project

Organic micro-pollutant removal from municipal effluents by polyelectrolyte multilayer based hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes: transport phenomena and overall process design

Hans David Wendt (PhD Candidate), Rob Lammertink (promotor), Walter van der Meer (promotor), Antoine Kemperman (supervisor)

Duration: 2020-2024

Funding: NWO-TTW  Open Technologieprogramma (nr. 17744)

This project is closely linked to the project of Wendy Jonkers

The presence of so-called organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) in our surface water leads to growing awareness and concern. OMPs are very small organic molecules, stemming from medicinal or industrial origin that have the potential to cause long-term harm to humans and the environment. Municipal wastewater treatment plants are considered a hotspot for the release of OMPs into the environment as most OMPs end up in our wastewater, while our wastewater treatment plants were never designed for their removal. Techniques to remove these OMPs from the wastewater effluent are available, but are too costly, energy-intensive and unsustainable. Together with academia, knowledge institutes and industry, we develop an affordable and sustainable technology to remove OMPs from wastewater effluents. A novel nanofiltration membrane will be developed that discharges very clean effluent, while an OMP concentrate is further degraded in a conventional bioreactor

Key words
Nanofiltration, Organic Micropollutant, Wastewater, Process design

Technological challenges
Part of this research is to investigate the treatment of membrane concentrate by a biological reactor. Furthermore, the aim is to apply the newly developed membranes in a large scale process and optimize them for this purpose, for instance in terms of applied process conditions.

Research goals
Obtain and understand an optimal process design with high OMP removal at low cost, by using a novel NF membrane, and a biological reactor to treat the membrane concentrate

This project also receives contributions from the following companies/institutions: