The goal of biological waste-water treatment is a stepwise oxidation of organic pollutants aiming to achieve complete mineralization. Yet, numerous wastewater constituents are persistent to biodegradation or they are only subjected to minor structural changes instead of complete transformation into carbon dioxide and water. Alternatively, they may be eliminated by applying advanced abiotic treatment processes such as membrane filtration, UV degradation, ozonation, advanced oxidation processes (AOP), and potentially, also cavitation.
The proposed research aims to upgrade the efficiency of wastewater treatment by integrating the cavitation. Using cavitation we aim to work in two groups: 1. We want to use extreme pressures and temperatures from cavitation collapses to disintegrate smaller organic molecules, which are otherwise harder to disintegrate by using conventional biological methods; 2. By disintegrating larger particles we wish to enlarge the specific surface and thus increase the rate of hydrolysis and biodegradation of organic pollutants. Cavitation will be combined with conventional biological treatment using activated sludge. By decreasing the amount of persistent organic pollutants in wastewater treatment plant effluent we will demonstrate the improved efficiency of treatment.

Recent activity:

Removal of pharmaceuticals by hydrodynamic cavitation at different pressure differences.

ZUPANC, Mojca, KOSJEK, Tina, PETKOVŠEK, Martin, DULAR, Matevž, KOMPARE, Boris, ŠIROK, Brane, STRAŽAR, Marjeta, HEATH, Ester. Shear-induced Hydrodynamic Cavitation as a tool for Pharmaceutical Micropollutants removal from urban wastewater. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, In Press, DOI: [PDF]

PETKOVŠEK, Martin, ZUPANC, Mojca, DULAR, Matevž, KOSJEK, Tina, HEATH, Ester, KOMPARE, Boris, ŠIROK, Brane. Rotation Generator of Hydrodynamic Cavitation for Water Treatment. Separation and Purification Technology, 2013, vol. 118, pp. 415–423 [PDF]

ZUPANC, Mojca, KOSJEK, Tina, PETKOVŠEK, Martin, DULAR, Matevž, KOMPARE, Boris, ŠIROK, Brane, BLAŽEKA, Željko, HEATH, Ester. Removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater by biological processes, hydrodynamic cavitation and uv treatment. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 2013, vol. 20, iss. 4, pp. 1104-1112 [PDF]

Partners:   Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Duration:  2011 – 2014