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Professeur - generique
Christian Koehler - 22/06/2011 : 22/12/2014
Specialisation : Biofilm treatment processes


E-mail : christian.koehler@tudor.lu
Luxembourg University

Projects :
Integrating river ecohydraulics in urban stormwater management

Research fields :

Christian has his master's degree from Dresden University of Technology and did his PhD at Luxembourg University.

His PhD project, BioPharm, dealt with the fate of human pharmaceuticals in the urban wastewater system. The focus lied on the investigation of the biological processes during wastewater treatment and its optimisation to reduce pharmaceutical emissions from wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. In particular, moving bed biofilm processes where bacteria growth is protected on engineered plastic carriers, has be studied. This technology is believed to have advantages in micropollutant removal compared to conventional suspended growth processes. Common main benefits of moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR) are high biomass concentrations in the biological tank and the absence of an activated sludge recycle. 

In the frame of the project, a MBBR pilot plant (previously designed by CRTE) has been setup in cooperation with the wastewater syndicate SIVEC onsite the Schifflange WWTP. The pilot plant served to test previously made experiences in pharmaceutical degradation during extensive lab-scale investigations. Results describing the pharmaceutical biodegradation process have been expressed in a mathematical model and combined with existing approaches that can predict biological degradation processes of common pollutants e.g. nitrogen and organic matter. Generated knowledge about the metabolism of pharmaceutical substances will give an important input for WWTP optimisation in future, which was the main objective of this project. Pharmaceutical residues in surface water were already detected in several European studies. Some of these compounds are of concern regarding ecosystem health but also if surface water is used as drinking water source as it is mainly the case in Luxembourg. BioPharm will contribute to reduce the emissions of human pharmaceuticals in rivers before energy intensive post-treatments (e.g. ozonation, UV-irradiation) become necessary in conventional WWTP effluents. 

The research project was conducted in partnership with the Luxembourg University and supported by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR/AFR). Furthermore, the project has been carried in close collaboration with Université Laval (Québec, Canada) as well as the Luxembourg Water Management Agency.

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Faculty of Science and Engineering - Université Laval
Peter Vanrolleghem - Department of civil engineering and water engineering - Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot - 1065, Médecine avenue, Office 2974
Québec (Québec) - Canada - G1V 0A6 - Telephone : +1-418-656-5085 Email : peter.vanrolleghem@gci.ulaval.ca
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