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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May 5, 2022

Eawag researchers Sabine Hoffmann, Kai Udert and Lisa Deutsch are committed to a sanitation and nutrient transformation. They use an example to explain why a transformation is needed and why collaboration with politicians in particular is a challenge.

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May 4, 2022

What has been a purification process in wastewater treatment plants for decades can also be used decentrally or semi-centrally as a recycling process for nutrients. Early separation of "solid and liquid" plays a key role here. It allows for flexible solutions in terms of process technology, especially in the treatment of urine. New studies also show that the processes can be used not only for human urine, but also for that of cows or pigs.

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Success for the practice-oriented PEAK course «Activated carbon»

On June 22 and 23, the Eawag PEAK course « Activated carbon for the elimination of trace substances – Processes variants with PAC and GAC », in collaboration with the VSA, took place successfully.

The course received a great feedback from the practice, as shown by the high number of 92 participants from engineering offices, plant construction, administration and operators of wastewater treatment plants, who came to the Eawag/Empa Academy for two days to take part in the event.

Successful exchange of experiences and enriching discussions

In addition to the latest knowledge and developments in the field of the elimination of trace substances by adsorption on activated carbon, a larger scope was given to the exchange of experiences on these new treatment steps between operators of WWTPs. A panel discussion showed that there are still questions concerning the representativeness and the informative value of these measurements, especially when it comes to the sampling or monitoring of the treatment performance during rainwater inflow to wastewater treatment plants.

Another exciting subject of discussion was the high CO2 footprint of the use of powdered activated carbon, especially. There was unanimous agreement on the fact that biogenic products should be given priority over fossil activated carbon, when possible. It was also acknowledged that more efforts must be put into producing ideally “SWISS made” coal, both for the use as powdered carbon than granulated carbon.

Author: Marc Böhler

Water Hub: new movie!


Derlon, N.; Desmond, P.; Rühs, P. A.; Morgenroth, E. (2022) Cross flow frequency determines the physical structure and cohesion of membrane biofilms developed during gravity-driven membrane ultrafiltration of river water: implication for hydraulic resistance, Journal of Membrane Science, 643, 120079 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2021.120079, Institutional Repository
Gruber, W.; Joss, A.; von Känel, L.; Biolley, L.; Braun, D.; Morgenroth, E. (2022) Abluftmessungen in der biologischen Abwasserreinigung, Aqua & Gas, 102(1), 24-25, Institutional Repository
Gruber, W.; Niederdorfer, R.; Bürgmann, H.; Joss, A.; von Känel, L.; Braun, D.; Mohn, J.; Morgenroth, E. (2022) Lachgasemissionen aus ARA. Reduktionsmassnahmen zeichnen sich ab, Aqua & Gas, 102(1), 14-22, Institutional Repository
Hadengue, B.; Morgenroth, E.; Larsen, T. A.; Baldini, L. (2022) Performance and dynamics of active greywater heat recovery in buildings, Applied Energy, 305, 117677 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.117677, Institutional Repository
To the library

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
Modelling of aerobic granular sludge (AGS) reactors