Innovative combination of membrane technology and biological filtration for water purification

Project Details


MEMBIO brings together three research institutions, two waterworks and two companies to develop much-needed water treatment biotechnologies for removing pesticides and chlorinated solvents from contaminated drinking water resources.The idea is to combine membrane separation and microbial degradation in sandfilters as a new technology to remediate polluted drinking water. The membranefiltration produces clean drinking water, but also residual water with high pollutantconcentrations. This residual water will then be areated in a biological filter addedspecific pesticide degrading bacteria, including the BAM degrading Aminobacter sp.MSH1 and the phenoxy acid herbicide degrading Pseudonmonas sp. PM1. The membranes will be designed to also concentrate nutrients, thereby stimulatingdegrading bacteria in the and filter. Native ammonium oxidizing bacteria in thefilter will also be stimulated as these bacteria are known to degrade chlorinatedsolvents. Specific aims of MEMBIO include to 1) optimize the membrane technologyto produce low volumes of highly concentrated residual water, 2) compare theefficiency of the membrane technology to treat groundwater of differentgeochemical origin, 3) design membranes to produce concentrated water with anoptimal combination of nutrients (N, P and organic C) providing the best conditions for biodegradation, 4) optimize the survival of introduced degrader bacteria and improve their degradation efficiency, 5) combine new ecological approaches with state-of- the-art molecular techniques to predict ecosystem function and its ability to accept the introduction of a new degrader bacterium, and to test how we can manage and steer the microbial communities to most efficiently degrade the contaminants, 6) determine key factors controlling degrader bacteria adhesion and to select sand filter materials securing long-lasting adhesion and survival of the bacteria, and 7) transfer the developed technologies from laboratory scale experiments to large scale demonstration (Proof of Principle).MEMBIO will bring considerable advances to water treatment biotechnology andenhance Danish know-how about membrane technologies and bioremediation. The main outcome will be prototype systems for commercialisation in a number of highly relevant water treatment scenarios, including existing sand filters atwaterworks and mobile systems to be placed close to groundwater abstractionwells.

Layman's description

Rent drikkevand er en begrænset ressource både i Danmark og globalt. I Danmarkfår vi alt vores drikkevand fra grundvand, men det er en ressource, der er truet afforurening med blandt andet pesticider og klorerede opløsningsmidler. Der erderfor et stort behov for udvikling af nye teknologier til oprensning af forurenetdrikkevand. MEMBIO vil udvikle økonomisk og miljømæssigt bæredygtigeteknologier, der kan rense drikkevand forurenet med pesticider og kloreredeopløsningsmidler, uden at der akkumuleres uønskede nedbrydningsprodukter. Ved teknologien vil membranfiltrering og biologisk oprensning blive kombineret på en helt ny måde, der vil fjerne al forureningen fra vandet. Membranfilteringen fjerner først forureningen fra vandetstrømmen, men derved skabes også store mængder restvand med koncentreret forurening. Dette restvand vil efterfølgende blive renset i et biologisk filter, således at vandet kommer til at overholde kvalitetskriterierne for drikkevand. Membranfilteringen vil blive optimeret, således at også nærringsstoffer koncentreres i restvandet for på den måde at stimulere nedbryderbakterierne. Det biologiske filter vil blive tilsat specifikke pesticidnedbrydende bakterier og samtidig vil ammoniumoxiderende bakterier blive stimuleret, da disse er kendt for at kunne nedbryde klorerede opløsningsmidler. MEMBIO teknologien vil kunne udnyttes i alle lande, der anvender grundvand som drikkevand og efter yderligere udvikling også i lande der anvender overfladevand.
Effective start/end date01/03/201630/06/2020