8.6 Control of metabolic active biofilms on activated carbon for efficient in situ regeneration

Bacterial Activated Carbon (BAC) is a microbiological addition to the activated carbon (AC) adsorption process to remove recalcitrant compounds from water. BAC is applied in the preparation of drinking water and wastewater treatment as a final polishing step.
The low concentrations of priority compounds (e.g., medicine rests, pesticides, herbicides) that are not removed in the previous treatment steps are adsorbed on AC. However, the capacity of AC is limited, and regeneration of AC is necessary after a certain period of use. To extend this period of use, suitable biofilms on the AC granules may regenerate the saturated AC.

Research challenge
The challenge is to develop an in situ biological regeneration process for saturated activated carbon. The research will focus on the characteristics of the biofilm and especially on how to control them. A key research question is, how to control the formation of the biofilm and fully exploit its metabolic versatility for the degradation of xenobiotic compounds. However, the structure and composition of the biofilm should not impair the adsorption and desorption of the xenobiotic compounds to and from the activated carbon.

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in the field of environmental microbiology and/or biotechnology with additional knowledge of microbial physiology, molecular biology, and analytical chemistry.

We are looking for a candidate, who
· is interested in doing scientific research, with a strong wish to figure out in detail how things work;
· can communicate their results in writing, presentations, and discussions;
· has an interest in theoretical modeling of the process at hand;
· is precise and dedicated to make sure experiments and calculations are as good as needed;
· is inventive in figuring out new ways to study a system by theory or experiments;
· likes to write.

The research project is part of the Wetsus research theme Advanced Water Treatment.
The following companies are part of the theme:
Evides, Heineken, Oasen, Paques, Unilever, Veco, Vitens, and VPWNN (Vereniging van Participanten Waterketen Noord-Nederland)

Promotor: Prof.dr. Gert-Jan W. Euverink (University of Groningen, Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen)
Wetsus supervisors: Dr. Cristina Gagliano

For more information contact: Prof.dr. Gert-Jan W. Euverink ().

Please do NOT send your CV directly to this email address. Only complete applications sent via the website will be evaluated (How to Apply).

Wetsus, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

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