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Iron bacteria / Waste water treatment (TransRisk)

Elimination of trace elements by iron bacteria during wastewater treatment (part of the BMBF composite project)

In the BMBF Collaborative Project "Characterization, communication and minimization of risks by new pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle (TransRisk)", the use of iron bacteria with established methods in municipal sewage treatment plants is proposed as an innovative approach. The focus is on "iron bacteria", which can remove the drugs from the treated wastewater.

The aim of subproject 10 is to examine and optimize the degradation of drugs (e.g., carbamayepin, diclofenac) in wastewater by the use of iron bacteria. In this case, iron bacteria are identified which are able to degrade medicinal products, and the growth kinetics and degradation conditions of the bacteria are determined and optimized. Finally, selected bacterial strains are cultured in fixed bed reactors and adapted to real operating conditions.

The study of the decay mechanisms and, if necessary, the formation of transformation products is carried out in cooperation with the Federal Institute of Aquatic Science. The integration of iron bacteria into the process of wastewater treatment is carried out in cooperation with the subproject Environmental Process Engineering. In addition, it will be investigated how the activity of the strains can be promoted in the existing process. These investigations are carried out in cooperation with pilot plants which are to be installed in associated sewage treatment plants (Darmstadt, Donauried). All studies are accompanied by microbiological and molecular biology methods (qPCR, DGGE, FISH in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy).

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Funded by BMBF

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Head of Chair

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Szewzyk
sec. BH 6-1
Room BH-N 604
Tel +49 30 314 73 461


Consultation hours:
Wed 12:00 am - 1:00 pm