Project - Environmental and energy-efficient treatment of micro-pollutants from hospital wastewater

Caroline Kragelund Rickers

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Project - Environmental and energy-efficient treatment of micro-pollutants from hospital wastewater

Mermiss - MUDP project 2013.

Expected start February 2013. Expected completion August 2014.

In recent years, discharging micro-pollutants that are harmful to the environment has received great attention and a substantial concern is hospital wastewater. Treatment of all wastewater from a hospital is a very expensive and energy demanding procedure, so There is need for an environmental and energy-efficient system that can treat specific wastewater streams from hospitals.

The technology will be developed to have a wide application range, but the project will have a starting point in the immediate need at Aarhus University Hospital in connection with the building of the New Aarhus University Hospital (DNU). DNU plays a very active role in this project and is a very good example of a public/private technological partnership.

The cooperation with DNU provides the framework for development  of a concept for treatment of specific polluted wastewater streams from hospitals by Danish Technological Institute, Krüger and the Technical University of Denmark to develop. Removal of harmful micro-pollutants will be mediated by combining biological and chemical oxidation.

The MBBR-principle (Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor) will be applied for biological removal where fixed biofilms create conditions for slow-growing bacteria. These microorganisms form the basis for efficient degradation of complex compounds appearing in small concentrations, which is the case for many of the problematic substances in the most problematic wastewater streams from the hospital. In the subsequent chemical oxidation, advanced oxidation processes are used to remove the final remains of non-biologically converted micro-pollutants.

The outcome of the project is a larger demonstration project as the construction work develops in Aarhus. Krüger is the project’s industrial partner, who anticipates considerable possibilities for exporting the technology in continuation of a successful demonstration and operation of the system at the New University Hospital.

Objective of the project
In general, the project will focus on concept development and the subsequent set-up of a pilot scale system at the hospital.  

  • Environmental and energy-efficient treatment of micro-pollutants from specific wastewater streams from the hospital.
  • Development of the concept comprising biological (MBBR) and chemical oxidation technology.


  • Danish Technological Institute, Section for Environmental Biotechnology
  • The New University Hospital (DNU)
  • Krüger A/S
  • Technical University of Denmark, Institute for Water and Environmental Technology