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Microbial Technologies for Clean Water

The research group Microbial Technologies for Clean Water is specialized in processes at the interplay between microorganisms and pollutants in water. We exploit the variety of biochemical processes that are catalysed by microorganism. To ensure clean water and sustainable water use, we investigate how microbes can be optimally managed in biotechnologies for water purification. For example, innovative microbial technologies can recover carbon and energy from wastewater or degrade micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals and hormones. At the same time, we develop biological sensors based on microorganisms that are integrated in bioassays to measure biological water quality. By combining these bioassays with advanced chemical analytical techniques, we obtain a comprehensive picture of the biological effects and chemical nature of micropollutants in water.

We combine approaches from the fields of environmental chemistry and toxicology of micropollutants, applied microbiology such as microbial resource management and water treatment, and bioprocess engineering.

Main research areas:

  • Advanced water treatment technologies for removal of micropollutants
  • Effect-directed analysis of micropollutants to bridge the gap between biological and chemical water quality analysis
  • Resource recovery from wastewater
  • Oil spill bioremediation in Arctic marine environments

Read here about our research projects

Water pollution puts a continuous pressure on the sustainable use of our water resources. Photo: Leendert Vergeynst, AU.
Micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals put a continuous pressure on the sustainable use of our water resources. Photo: Leendert Vergeynst, AU.
High-rate activated sludge reactor. Photo: Anne Bisgaard Christensen, Poul Due Jensen Foundation.
We use lab-scale reactors for recovery of carbon and energy from wastewater using microbial water treatment technologies such as the high-rate activated sludge process. Photo: Anne Bisgaard Christensen, Poul Due Jensen Foundation.