Master thesis in membrane filtration applied to drinking water produc-tion

LocationDübendorf, Zurich region, Switzerland

Your Mission

Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

Topic: The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of the future is a net source of energy and valuable products. The development of CO2-neutral WWTPs requires both improving the recovery of internal wastewater energy resources and reducing energy demand as well as greenhouse gases emissions (Larsen, 2015). Improving the recovery of organic materials from wastewater can be achieved using rotating sieves with small mesh size (up to 10 µm) (Ruiken et al., 2013). Organic materials such as cellulose fibres, which represent a significant fraction of the COD of municipal wastewaters (20-30%), are retained by such sieves. The removal of organic materials from WW helps reducing the aeration needs during the biological treatment (van der Hoek et al., 2016). The methane production during anaerobic digestion is in turn increased. The application of fine-mesh sieving thus represents, in the-ory, a relevant advance toward the development of CO2-neutral WWTPs. However, our practical experience with micro-screening technologies is rather limited and an accurate evaluation of the per-formances of such process is required.

The main objective of this master thesis is thus to evaluate the performances of a rotating-belt filter (RBF) for the micro-screening of municipal wastewaters. This master thesis especially aims at:

  • Quantifying the separation efficiencies
  • Understanding the influence of operating conditions (e.g., water head)
  • Characterising the composition/biodegradability of the recovered materials
  • Critically assess the relevance of the RBF compared to conventional primary settlers

We are looking for master student with initial knowledge in wastewater treatment processes. The candidate should have strong interests in advanced technologies for biological wastewater treatment and processes applied to wastewater treatment.

The position is a joint work between Eawag (Dr Nicolas Derlon), EPFL (Prof. Dr Christof Holliger), Alpha Wassertechnik (Dr Samuel Lochmatter) and CSD Ingénieur (Marc Lambert) and the WWTP of Cully. The work will be conducted both at EPFL and at the WWTP of Cully. Work at EPFL will include characterisation of the recovered materials and biomethane maximum potential tests. Work at Cully WWTP will include maintenance of the belt filter, sampling, etc..

Eawag offers a unique research and working environment and is committed to promoting equal op-portunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work. Applications from women are especially welcome. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> and ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

Applications must be submitted by the 31 August 2019 but the screening of applicants will begin immediately. An successful application should include a motivation letter, a CV, list of lec-tures/grades and the names and contact information for three references. The preferred starting date is August 2019. Duration of the position is six months.

For further information, please contact Dr Derlon E-mail nicolas.derlon [at] eawag[.]ch .

We look forward to receiving your application. Please send it through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. A click on the button below will take you directly to the application form.
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