Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.
The Department of Process Engineering has a vacancy for a
Master student/Intern working on biological wastewater treatment
Alginate-Like Exopolymers (ALE) recovery from aerobic granular sludge and its application to phosphorus removal
The wastewater treatment plant of the future will represent a net source of energy and valuable products, e.g., high-value polymers. Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) technology represents on the other hand a major advancement over conventional activated sludge systems, as AGS systems can be operated at very high biomass concentrations while associated with excellent settling properties and effluent quality. AGS also contains a wide range of exopolymers, such as Alginate-Like Exopolymers, associated with various relevant properties for industrial applications (coagulation, production of concrete, paper coating, etc.). In the future, we expect that a relevant route of valorisation of the excess sludge from AGS systems will consist in recovering Alginate-Like Exopolymers (ALE) for their utilisation in industry.
ALE are composed of various biopolymers (e.g., polysaccharides, proteins, humic substances) associated with gelling properties (Schambeck et al., 2020). Recent insights also indicate that ALE hydrogels can serve as adsorbent for phosphorus and potassium from wastewater, thus representing a relevant opportunity for application in agriculture (Schambeck et al., 2021). However, understanding the mechanisms and adsorption capacities of ALE-hydrogels isolated from AGS requires more detailed investigations. The overall objective of the proposed master thesis is therefore to develop further our fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of phosphate/potassium recovery from municipal wastewater by ALE hydrogels.
We are looking for a master student with interests in advanced technologies for biological wastewater treatment, and microbial processes applied to wastewater treatment. The candidate should be able to communicate in English. Preferred starting date is as soon as possible.
Eawag is a modern employer and offers an excellent working environment where staff can contribute their strengths, experience and ways of thinking. We promote gender equality and are committed to staff diversity and inclusion. The compatibility of career and family is of central importance to us. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult ?url=www.eawag.ch&module=jobs&id=59678" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?url=www.eawag.ch&module=jobs&id=59678" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.eawag.ch and ?url=www.eawag.ch%2Fen%2Faboutus%2Fworking%2Femployment&module=jobs&id=59678" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?url=www.eawag.ch%2Fen%2Faboutus%2Fworking%2Femployment&module=jobs&id=59678" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.eawag.ch/en/aboutus/working/employment .
Applications can be submitted until the position is fulfilled, and will therefore be evaluated on a rolling basis. Applications should include a short application letter describing your interests and their relevance to this position, a CV and list of lectures/grades.
For further information, please contact Dr Nicolas Derlon .
We look forward to receiving your application. Please send it through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. A click on the button below will take you directly to the application form.