Our goal is to view wastewater holistically, therefore the field of wastewater management is characterized by its interdisciplinary character. Interfaces are to be seen here mainly between environmental engineering and microbiology. We want to investigate processes and interrelationships in natural and technical systems with the help of microbiological and molecular biological investigations and improve biological processes in their technical applications with regard to their stability and performance. For this purpose we accompany plants in the semi-technical area as well as in the laboratory scale by new microbiological and molecular biological methods.
Further information on our current research projects:
The aim of this project is to establish wastewater as a source of information for tracking epidemiological events using genome sequencing.
The detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater has proven to be a reliable tool in the course of the Corona pandemic to generate additional information on infection events and the spread of mutations and variants. The Department of Water and Environmental Biotechnology at TU Darmstadt operates one of the leading laboratories for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by genome sequencing and serves as an EU reference laboratory.
Wastewater testing as an additional source of information for containing the infection in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has already shown its enormous potential. However, sampling and transport are a challenge, especially for smaller wastewater treatment plants – this is where a mobile laboratory can provide a remedy.
Abwa-SARS explores the possibility of tracking the infection incidence of coronaviruses using municipal wastewater disposal infrastructure. Here, wastewater serves as an indicator of infection incidence. Such approaches have also been successfully used in the past for poliovirus monitoring.
The RAaaO project (Reduction of antibiotic resistance by means of acoustically activated ozonation in advanced wastewater treatment) is concerned with the development and optimization of a new and more cost-effective combination of ultrasound and ozonation as a method for reducing antibiotic resistance in the course of the fourth treatment stage.
(Retention of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes in combination with trace substance adsorption using a new PAH/UF combination) addresses the performance of an ultrafiltration membrane process as a barrier to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic-resistance genes with simultaneous trace substance reduction using activated carbon.
Investigations on the microbiological composition of the activated sludge of the ARA Niederrad