Important note: sign-up for Applied Physics  (TN) and Chemistry (C) students use Bisoncode: L.24623
Important note: sign-up for Chemical Engineering (CT) and Biomedical & Laboratory Research (BML) students use Bisoncode: L.26651

* The client of this project will attend the Preview on Thursday 28th of November from 13:30 to 16:00 at Saxion Enschede (Ariënsplein 1).

The last months more and more publicity can be found in the (inter)national news that also the Netherlands will face large challenges in keeping our drinking water supply at the currently high standard due decrease in quality of the resources from ground and surface water caused by increasing pollution of micro-pollutants. In order to keep the best source for drinking water production more calls are heard for reuse of wastewater for lower quality application such as irrigation and industrial water.

With increasing access to healthcare all over the world more medical left-overs end up in the sewage system and eventually in the surface and ground water. Examples of medical left-overs that are found in wastewater are diabetes drugs (metformin) contraceptives (estradiol) and the anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac). The most important technology to remove these medicinal residues from (waste) water is to prevent these components end up in the (waste) water, or to develop medicines that are fully biodegradable. This will be a long route, and the question is whether this will ever be achieved. Therefore (combinations of) technologies have to be developed that are able to remove these medicinal residues from (waste) water, such as nanofiltration, which technology is the focus of this research project.

In cooperation with our project partners a revolutionary hollow fiber nanofiltration membrane has been developed which has under laboratory condtions very promising results on the removal of most micro-pollutants. Now, we have to move from lab to real world, so the new nanofiltration membranes have to be tested on surface water (e.g. Twente canal) and treated wastewater from several wastewater treatment plants in the Twente region.

We will focus on the development of analytical methods to measure the removal efficiencies of micro-pollutants and coating modifications to improve membrane properties.

Besides the membrane (material) properties the hydrodynamics along the membranes are important process parameter determining the separation quality, so the design of the separation process will also be investigated and modeled (pressure-drop, mass-transfer, multi-component diffusion).

Next, a biological solution has to be developed how the concentrated streams containing the retained micro pollutants can be treated; and a biological surveillance system has to be set-up how to monitor the ecological status of the treated wastewater (bio-essays)

We are looking for students with interest in polymer/organic & analytical chemistry, chemical (process) technology, bioprocess technology, and mathematical process modelling & simulation (MathLab).

Required study programs:

Applied Physics (TN): Developing and testing a process model to understand and predict the physical behavior of the nanofiltration process.

Biomedical & Laboratory Research (BML): How can we process the concentrated waste streams biologically and how can we monitor and control the ecological status of the cleaned surface and wastewater.

Chemical Engineering (CT): Understanding and optimizing the processing of the newly developed membranes at our unique testing facility at the wastewater treatment plant Glanerbrug and using surface water from test sites near the Twente canal.

Chemistry (C): (Analytical) developing protocols to measure micro-pollutants; (polymer sicnce) increasing the selectivity of the polymeric toplayer by applying different coating polymers and post-treatment techniques.

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Questions about this project?

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this project. You can call us at 088 - 019 53 11 or use the form below. We wil get back to you within two business days.