Environment-friendly Energy Transition

Switzerland has firmly resolved to pull out of atomic energy in a step-by-step program. The Federal government’s Energy Strategy 2050 envisions the expansion of hydroelectric power and the increased use of other renewable energy sources. Eawag is researching the impacts of this energy transition on Swiss waters and society and developing processes for a more efficient use of energy from various sources.


May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022What 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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May 2, 2022

May 2, 2022Ozonation is an established treatment process to remove micropollutants from wastewater. However, since unstable toxic reaction products can be formed in the process, biological post-treatment is necessary. Results from the Ecotox Centre and Eawag show how well different post-treatment methods reduce ecotoxicological effects. The combination of ozonation and activated carbon proved to be the most effective.

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Scientific publications

Thaler, P.; Hofmann, B. (2022) The impossible energy trinity: energy security, sustainability, and sovereignty in cross-border electricity systems, Political Geography, 94, 102579 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102579, Institutional Repository
Meister, J.; Moldenhauer-Roth, A.; Beck, C.; Selz, O. M.; Peter, A.; Albayrak, I.; Boes, R. M. (2021) Protection and guidance of downstream moving fish with electrified horizontal bar rack bypass systems, Water, 13(19), 2786 (25 pp.), doi:10.3390/w13192786, 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
van der Loos, A.; Langeveld, R.; Hekkert, M.; Negro, S.; Truffer, B. (2022) Developing local industries and global value chains: the case of offshore wind, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 174, 121248 (15 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121248, Institutional Repository
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Strategic area of focus "Energy"

Within the framework of the ETH Domain’s strategic area of focus «Energy», Eawag investigates the environmental impacts of energy production, the acceptance of alternative energy supply, the potential for energy savings and energy production from wastewater. Click for a complete project list.

Selected research projects

Les cours d'eau font partie des écosystèmes les plus riches en espèces du monde. Mais en même temps ils sont mis sous forte pression, p. ex. du fait des aménagements et de l'exploita- tion de la force hydraulique.
Sustainable urban water and wastewater management applied and implemented in the modular NEST building.
This project aims at providing a better insight into the public preferences of the Swiss population for the suggested hydropower expansion.
Les cours d'eau font partie des écosystèmes les plus riches en espèces du monde. Mais en même temps ils sont mis sous forte pression, p. ex. du fait des aménagements et de l'exploita- tion de la force hydraulique.
Collaborative learning for hydropeaking mitigation
Improving the environmental benefits of green roofs through system focused experiments and modeling


Dr. Christian Binz
  • decentralized systems
  • innovation
  • global change
  • sustainable transitions
  • urban water management
Marc Böhler
  • wastewater treatment
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Dr. Nadja Contzen
  • environmental psychology
  • transdisciplinary research
  • behaviour change
  • health psychology
  • public acceptability
Dr. Andreas Frömelt
  • wastewater
  • wastewater treatment
  • data science
  • machine learning
  • modeling
Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold
  • science-policy interface
  • environmental policy
Dr. Adriano Joss
  • wastewater
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Prof. Dr. Rolf Kipfer
  • noble gases
  • isotopes
Dr. Ivana Logar
  • decision analysis
  • sustainable water management
  • environmental economics
Dr. Martin Schmid
  • modeling
  • surface water
  • hydropower
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Truffer
  • wastewater
  • decentralized technologies
  • transdisciplinary research
  • hydropower
Prof. Dr. Kai Udert
  • wastewater separation
  • decentralized technologies
  • nutrients
  • urine separation
  • resource recovery
Dr. Christine Weber
  • fish
  • river restoration
  • ecology
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wehrli
  • river restoration
  • hydrogeology
  • surface water
  • sediments
Prof. Dr. Alfred Johny Wüest
  • aquatic ecology
  • water quality
  • Lake management
Dr. Christian Zurbrügg
  • solid waste management
  • sustainable water management
  • water treatment
  • urban sanitation
  • water supply

Cover picture: Eawag researcher Lauren Cook investigates trade-offs and synergies in the design of green roofs that combine vegetated areas with solar photovoltaics. (Photo: Esther Michel)