Department Process Engineering

Process Engineering

The research focus of the Process Engineering Department (ENG) ranges from current and future wastewater and drinking water treatment problems, as well as water pollution control and resource reuse. Our long-term goal is to develop sustainable concepts of the water and nutrient cycle in residential areas.

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Water Hub: new movie!

Powerstep - New project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

01.01.2016 - The process engineering department is contributing to the project Powerstep with the goal of developing approaches for energy-positive wastewater treatment. Wastewater treatment plants in the EU could soon be transformed from consumers to producers of energy – European municipal wastewater is estimated to contain around 315 000 terajoules of energy. If this potential were exploited (e.g. by anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge for biogas generation), the amount of energy produced would be equivalent to the output of 12 large conventional power stations. At the Altenrhein WWTP, we are studying in a full-scale plant how nitrogen can be removed from sludge liquid by ammonia stripping. This is essential if organic solids in wastewater are to be used for energy production without adversely affecting biological wastewater treatment. As a by‑product of the stripping process, a liquid fertilizer is also to be produced. Further information


Derlon, N.; Wagner, J.; Ribeiro da Costa, R. H.; Morgenroth, E. (2016) Formation of aerobic granules for the treatment of real and low-strength municipal wastewater using a sequencing batch reactor operated at constant volume, Water Research, 105, 341-350, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.09.007, Institutional Repository
Fumasoli, A.; Etter, B.; Sterkele, B.; Morgenroth, E.; Udert, K. M. (2016) Operating a pilot-scale nitrification/distillation plant for complete nutrient recovery from urine, Water Science and Technology, 73(1), 215-222, doi:10.2166/wst.2015.485, Institutional Repository
Laureni, M.; Falås, P.; Robin, O.; Wick, A.; Weissbrodt, D. G.; Nielsen, J. L.; Ternes, T. A.; Morgenroth, E.; Joss, A. (2016) Mainstream partial nitritation and anammox: long-term process stability and effluent quality at low temperatures, Water Research, 101, 628-639, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.05.005, Institutional Repository
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Research Projects

By recovering nutrients from urine, we develop a sanitation system, which produces a valuable fertiliser
We develop reactors for the separate treatment of urine, feces and water directly in the toilet.
Inadequate access to microbiologically safe drinking water continuously threatens the health and well-being of more than a billion people, primarily in developing countries