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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September 16, 2022

The “Water Wall” developed by Eawag researchers recycles handwashing and toilet flushing water in a closed cycle and can therefore be used in regions with scarce water resources or those without water and wastewater networks. Now the project has been awarded the Mülheim Water Award.

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May 31, 2022

The biologically active, slow-flow sand filters of lake water treatment would remove nanoplastics from the raw water very efficiently. This was shown both in the laboratory and in larger, realistic tests and modelling.

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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
Brison, A.; Rossi, P.; Gelb, A.; Derlon, N. (2022) The capture technology matters: composition of municipal wastewater solids drives complexity of microbial community structure and volatile fatty acid profile during anaerobic fermentation, Science of the Total Environment, 815, 152762 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152762, Institutional Repository
Böhler, M. A.; Joss, A.; McArdell, C. S. (2022) GAK-Filter für die Spurenstoffentfernung. Erfahrungen und Betriebsergebnisse der Pilotstudien ARA Furt/Bülach und Glarnerland, Aqua & Gas, 102(1), 48-54, 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
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