Department Process Engineering

Drinking Water

We are focused on innovative research on treatment of water and wastewater. There is a main focus on membrane technology and adsorption, but also other technologies are investigated, e.g. biological treatment.

The vision is to investigate phenomena and innovative ideas for treatment first on a rather fundamental level in order to come to insights which enable further development and finally implementation of these technologies.

In order to keep connected with the practice, several projects are carried out in collaboration with industries or public authorities. Furthermore, collaborations are carried out with leading institutes worldwide with the aim of strengthening the group and generating synergies. The portfolio of projects ranges from industrialized countries (including Switzerland) to emerging nations. The latter type of projects are mostly carried out in collaboration with Eawag’s Sandec department.

Selected Projects

  • Nanosorp - Nanosorp is a bilateral collaborative project between several Polish partners (AGH, WUT) and Swiss partners (Eawag, EMPA), on the development and application of innovative filter- and membrane materials for water treatment.
  • Regional Water Supply Baselland 21 - In this project, the qualitative and quantitative challenges of the water supply in the region Baselland are investigated. Activities in the group focus on the evaluation of existing and new technologies for water treatment.


Inadequate access to microbiologically safe drinking water continuously threatens the health and well-being of more than a billion people, primarily in developing countries

Completed Projects

  • Membrane fouling - Membrane fouling mechanisms by organic and inorganic water compounds
  • In-line flocculation -In-line flocculation for the optimization of Ultrafiltration
  • POU - Point-of-use treatment of drinking water by ultrafiltration and sand filtration

Selected Publications

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
Falås, P.; Wick, A.; Castronovo, S.; Habermacher, J.; Ternes, T. A.; Joss, A. (2016) Tracing the limits of organic micropollutant removal in biological wastewater treatment, Water Research, 95, 240-249, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.03.009, Institutional Repository
Chomiak, A.; Traber, J.; Morgenroth, E.; Derlon, N. (2015) Biofilm increases permeate quality by organic carbon degradation in low pressure ultrafiltration, Water Research, 85, 512-520, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2015.08.009, Institutional Repository
Mimoso, J.; Pronk, W.; Morgenroth, E.; Hammes, F. (2015) Bacterial growth in batch-operated membrane filtration systems for drinking water treatment, Separation and Purification Technology, 156, 165-174, doi:10.1016/j.seppur.2015.09.070, Institutional Repository
Shen, Y.; Monroy, G. L.; Derlon, N.; Janjaroen, D.; Huang, C.; Morgenroth, E.; Boppart, S. A.; Ashbolt, N. J.; Liu, W.-T.; Nguyen, T. H. (2015) Role of biofilm roughness and hydrodynamic conditions in legionella pneumophila adhesion to and detachment from simulated drinking water biofilms, Environmental Science and Technology, 49(7), 4274-4282, doi:10.1021/es505842v, Institutional Repository
Chomiak, A.; Sinnet, B.; Derlon, N.; Morgenroth, E. (2014) Inorganic particles increase biofilm heterogeneity and enhance permeate flux, Water Research, 64, 177-186, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.06.045, Institutional Repository
Martin, K. J.; Bolster, D.; Derlon, N.; Morgenroth, E.; Nerenberg, R. (2014) Effect of fouling layer spatial distribution on permeate flux: a theoretical and experimental study, Journal of Membrane Science, 471, 130-137, doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2014.07.045, Institutional Repository