Project duration:

2019 - 2022

Project management:

Performance Ana Paulina López Gordillo,      Manager Andreas Schäffer,
Financing EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie

Description of the Project:

The primary objective of NOWELTIES is to organize a platform (European Joint Doctorate) that will provide cutting edge training opportunities for the education of tomorrow’s water treatment experts. The core activity is the research programme (composed of 14 individual research projects) aimed at development of inventive water treatment technologies (advanced biological treatments, inovative oxidation processes, hybrid systems) that allow catering for the varied treatment demands for a plethora of interconnected streams arising from recycling loops.

In our sub-project the PhD student will develop polymer-based tools to measure and control the bioavailable dissolved concentrations of organic micropollutants during their biological treatment for better understanding the key factors limiting bioavailability and thus OMP removal by microorganisms.  The focus will be on two aspects: (i) using passive sampling to measure changes in the bioavailable dissolved concentrations in analogous reactors to those used for the biological treatment in other sub-projects, and (ii) applying passive dosing to investigate whether there are threshold concentrations of OMPs that are required for induction of the catabolic pathways. By measuring the bioavailable dissolved concentrations, the role of factors influencing supply (e.g., chemical properties, matrix sorption) as well as removal (e.g., microbial growth in the presence of co-substrates) will be studied in order to identify bottlenecks in the biotransformation process. In addition, this data will be used as input into existing biodegradation models. By testing decreasing bioavailable dissolved concentrations, the hypothesis that there is a threshold concentration for OMPs biotransformation will be examined. Pollutant transformation will be examined at the cell level (i.e., enzyme activity) but also at the molecular level (i.e., protein and gene induction/repression).