Assessment of pollutant removal in high oxygenated systems

Field: Environmental Technology
Location: Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Type of project: Master Thesis or Internship
Duration: 5-9 months (preferably 9) starting in September/October 2020
Allowance: 175 €/month if no grant is obtained e.g. Erasmus/regional scholarships.

Project description
Biological activated carbon (BAC) is a well-known and effective technology were activated carbon (AC) is used as immobilization medium for biofilm growth (Figure 1). Its main applications are as a polishing treatment method in wastewater reclamation, in drinking water treatment, and in ultrapure water production1,2 . Nevertheless, as AC is a quite efficient absorbent, BAC can combine two removal processes: adsorption of pollutants onto the pores of AC and biological degradation3 . By the addition of oxygen in high quantities, other removal processes might also occur, such advanced oxidation processes (AOP). In this project, we intent to assess how different components (O2, biomass, fresh or aged AC) contribute to the removal. This will help to understand the role of possible removal mechanisms (adsorption, AOP, biodegradation and precipitation). To do so, batch experiments (Figure 2) will be carried out, with and without biomass, virgin AC and aged AC, varying oxygen concentration, pollutant concentration and time. The solution, gas phase and AC granules will be characterized in the begin and in the end of each experiment in order to evaluate the removal of pollutants.

Your Tasks:
– Write experimental plan
– Prepare bottles;
– Preform physical/chemical analyses; 
– Analyze the data.

Your Profile:
– Background in chemical engineering, environmental technology, biotechnology, or related fields.
– Currently enrolled in a master program.
– Preferably, EU citizen or international student registered at a Dutch university or technical high school.
– Laboratorial experience is a plus.
– Good English communication skills (spoken + written)

Interested students should send a motivation letter (max. 1 page) and CV (max. 2 pages) to Sara Ribeiro Pinela (