On 13 February 2018, Jannis Wenk, Davide Mattia, John Chew and Jan Hofman visited the Urban Water Systems Engineering group of the TU Munich. Our hosts, Prof Jörg Drewes and Dr Uwe Hübner presented the work of chair and showed their impressive pilot plants and research facilities. The group of Prof Drewes is working on a wide range of topics in the field of water and wastewater engineering. One of their focal points is the research on the removal of organic micropollutants in Managed Aquifer Recharge systems. Their research in this field included small scale filter column tests, a large sand-filled pilot plant and full-scale experiment in Berlin near the Tegelsee. Another interesting project was the power-to-gas project in which carbon dioxide and hydrogen were converted to methane gas in trickling bed filters. The gas has a high purity and can be fed directly into the gas grid. The hydrogen was obtained by water electrolysis with electricity from renewable sources in times of low demand.
Besides these two topics, further research was amongst others on ozone systems, UV oxidation, Anaerobic Digestion, Analytical screening techniques, environmental behaviour of microplastics, the urban water-energy-food nexus.
The WIRC delegation gave an overview of WIRC and our research on new materials for water treatment, microbubbles, fluid dynamics gauging and heat recovery from sewers. In the discussions it became clear that there are very good opportunities for collaboration. Jannis Wenk is already involved the supervision of Sema Karakurt, one of the PhD students in Munich. We anticipate that the visit will be followed up by some more visits and possibly PhD student exchanges. Dr Uwe Hübner will visit Bath in the future for a combined Chemical Engineering Seminar and Water Colloquium. The exact date will be announced.
On 24 and 25 October, the 12th biennial Conference on Drinking Water and Wastewater Technology was organised by the RWTH Aachen, Germany. WIRC was represented at the conference by Jannis Wenk who gave a presentation on his microbubble research. Jan Hofman is on the programme committee of this conference for many years. He chaired a session on redox processes and removal or organic micropollutants.
This March sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.
Title: Heat recovery from sewer systems
Speaker: Professor Jan Hofman
When: Thursday 17th March 2016 at 1.15pm
Where: Room 4.10, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)
Abstract: Do you ever think about how much energy you are washing away when taking a shower? Or how much heat is lost from your house with the wastewater? In a modern house this can be up to 40 % of the total energy use for room heating and production of hot tap water. Recovering and re-using that heat can significantly increase the energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of a house. In Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia, systems are in operation that can recover thermal energy from wastewater. Research in The Netherlands and recently at the University of Bath campus gives insight into the availability of thermal energy in the sewer system. The heat availability follows the patterns of water consumption at home. Most of the heat is available during two large peaks every day. The largest is the morning peak. At that time many people take a shower after waking up. The second peak is during the afternoon and evening, when people come back home from work.
The following blog post was contributed by Jannis Wenk, a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) @ Bath water researchers at the University were invited to join a get-together event. The event intended to bring together water researchers across all departments and different areas of research to spark new collaborations and ideas, and just to meet each other.
The event was a large success and it was impressive to see the variety of water-related research that is conducted at the University. Held in the 4 West foyer on Thursday 21st January 2016, a diverse group of about 50 participants joined, including a delegation from Wessex Water. Many researchers used the opportunity to show posters outlining latest results or ideas for future research. After the introduction speech by the Director of WIRC, Professor Jan Hofman, intensive scientific discussions took place.
Dr Lee Bryant, member of the Architecture and Civil Engineering Water, Environment and Infrastructure Research (WEIR) and WIRC @ Bath groups, visited the University of Stellenbosch Water Institute (near Cape Town, South Africa) on October 29 through November 4, 2015. This visit was funded by a Bath International Mobility Grant. Her visit coincided with a visit by the Director of WIRC @ Bath, Professor Jan Hofman. During this visit, Lee met with Professor Gideon Wolfaardt, the Director of the Stellenbosch Water Institute, to discuss and plan a project based on manganese (Mn) biofilm problems occurring within irrigation piping networks stemming from the Blyderivierpoort reservoir in the agriculturally driven Limpopo province, located in northern South Africa.
The Blyderivierpoort reservoir has high levels of manganese (Mn) due to local geology. Consequently, Mn biofilms within irrigation pipelines are causing massive problems for farmers downstream.
This September sees the first talk in a monthly series which will explore the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.
Title: Water Innovation and Research Centre @ Bath: what, who, why, how?
When: Wednesday 23rd September at 4.15pm
Where: Room 5.5, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)
Abstract: Water is a key element for prosperity, well-being and human health. Water is essential for life. In 2015 about 91 % of the global population is using an improved drinking water source, and 58 % use piped water supply services – this represents a significant outcome for the Millennium Development Goals. Sanitation remains a more pressing issue as around the world 946 million people still go to the toilet outside, and 2.4 billion people still lack improved sanitation. Open defecation is a practice which can lead to the contamination of drinking water sources, and the spread of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid. In addition, demographic change, human activity, and climate change all increase the stress on water resources and water quality. Water scarcity is affecting more 40 % of the population and this amount is increasing. Water stress is present on all continents, and it hinders the availability of natural resources and economic and social development. Water is increasingly thought of as a significant risk to business sustainability. In January 2015, the World Economic Forum identified water crises as having the highest global risk impact, even compared to interstate conflict and the spread of infectious diseases. The likelihood of global risk driven by water crises ranked highly, alongside interstate conflict, extreme weather events and natural catastrophes, and failure of climate change action, or national governance.
Professor Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC @ Bath, provides an overview of the Centre and wide range of water research and expertise across the University of Bath in the latest issue of Water Active. Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article is the first in a monthly series of features by researchers in the Centre.
Read the full article written by Professor Jan Hofman on pages 14 and 15 in the May issue.
The University’s press team has secured an opportunity for Bath’s water researchers to contribute a monthly article to Water Active.
This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share news of the wide variety of water research across all disciplines currently undertaken here at Bath with a large audience of water sector professionals.
Water Active is available as a print magazine, and as a website. The magazine reaches around 20,000 readers and the website attracts around 24,000 unique hits a month. 42 per cent of readers are from utility companies, 14 per cent are civil engineers, and the remainder are from a mix of scientific and engineering disciplines.
We are looking for contributions from the University’s water researchers on current, ongoing, or recently completed work. Articles should be approximately 1,500 words, and we’re looking for a different author each month so your commitment is minimal.
If you’re interested in writing for Water Active please contact Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC @ Bath, or Sarah Eliot, blog maintainer. Additionally, if you have news you would like see added to this blog please contact Sarah.
The University of Bath has appointed Professor Jan Hofman to lead its new Water Innovation & Research Centre: WIRC@Bath.
A chemical engineer with 25 years of experience working in the water sector, Professor Hofman joins the University in March 2015 from his current role as senior researcher at KWR Watercycle Research Institute near Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The University of Bath has created its Water Innovation & Research Centre ‘WIRC @ Bath’ with the aim of providing a unique environment to engage globally in research and policy on water technologies and resource management.
Research carried out at Bath being brought into the new Centre covers five core themes that tackle the fundamental issues surrounding water: water treatment; water resources; water management; water and public health; and water, environment and infrastructure resilience.
Professor Hofman said: “The University of Bath has an ambition to grow WIRC@Bath into a world leading centre for innovative water research. To reach this ambition we will focus on three components; excellent research, collaboration with the water sector and the development and training of young water professionals.
“The University already has funding in place from Wessex Water which has provided a kick-start to reaching this ambition, and the collaboration between the University and Wessex Water supports the development of industry communication and knowledge dissemination.
“My initial plans for the Centre are to secure additional funding in the UK and internationally, establish further industry collaborations and to start new research programmes. I believe it is important to demonstrate the results the centre achieves, and I am looking forward to working in an excellent environment with an exciting team.”
Find out more in the full University of Bath news item.