Eliminating Micro-Pollutants from Effluents for REuse STrategies

EMPEREST experts meet key technology developers at IFAT 2024

05 June 2024
This year, IFAT - the World's Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management took place between 13–17 May in Munich. IFAT is a major networking event with a record this year of 142,000 visitors, where companies, engineering offices, universities, water experts, and other stakeholders from 170 countries come together in a directly and interactively. All sectors of water, wastewater and solid waste management industry are represented.
Technical details

In the EMPEREST project, we aim at the elimination of PFAS and other micropollutants (MPs) from wastewater and test removal technologies at our pilots. Therefore, we could not miss the chance to visit IFAT – Leading Trade Fair for Environmental Technologies as it was a unique opportunity to get first-hand information about relevant technologies and products as well as latest developments in the field.

In particular, on 14 May 2024, the TUB team organised an IFAT excursion to various companies and manufacturers that deal with advanced wastewater treatment using ozonation and/or activated carbon. Our project partners from the water and wastewater service sectors were particularly interested, and ultimately 15 partners took part in the excursion.

The starting point of the excursion was the booth of the Technical University of Berlin, where Matthias Barjenbruch and Nikolaos Tzoupanos presented the research activities of the Department of Urban Water Management and the tour to the project partners.

The first stop on the route was at Weber Ingenieure, a German engineering office that deals, among others, with advanced wastewater treatment, from the planning phase to the construction and follow up and supervision. Very interesting projects were presented, especially with powdered and granular activated carbon treatment for the removal of MPs. From activated carbon adsorption we moved to ozonation, visiting Xylem, a well-established US company in the field of water and wastewater treatment, that has experienced impressive growth over the last decade. Xylem is known for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is ozonation. We had a very detailed presentation of ozonation and the corresponding results in removing MPs.

The next visit was to the Swiss company MECANA, which offers solutions for biological and chemical-physical treatment and is particularly known for its pile cloth media filtration (PCMF) technology. A large PCMF specimen at MECANA stand was one of the highlights of the tour. Afterwards, we visited the Swedish company Nordic Water, which is very active in the fields of water and wastewater treatment with a wide variety of products. The Dyna-Sand products were of particular interest for us, and we received very interesting presentations about their variety, functionality, applications and efficiency in removing MPs.

Next to Nordic Water was the Austrian VTA Group, a global company focused on the development and production of chemicals and other materials for wastewater treatment. Nanocarbon®, the specially developed activated carbon for the efficient removal of MPs, caught our interest. The next stop was Donau Carbon, a German company specialising in the production of powdered, granular and shaped activated carbon products, including filters and the reactivation of the used carbon. We had interesting discussions with engineers and explored the possibilities of cooperation and especially the testing of newly developed products in our pilots before they come to market.

The excursion ended next to the TUB booth, where the US company ect2 was represented. ect2 is dealing especially with PFAS removal by applying various technologies, incl. GAC adsorption and ion exchange. During the discussion, we were told a big secret: ect2 had just completed the construction of a PFAS removal facility at a large 3M manufacturing plant in California. The official announcement was to be made the next day, so we had to keep the secret. Considering that 3M company, one of the main developers of PFAS, is actively trying to reduce PFAS emissions into the environment, we are on the right track.


Written by: Nikolaos Tzoupanos, Technical University of Berlin