PEPcat – Energieeffiziente erweiterte Oxidation zur Elimination organischer Substanzen aus Abwasser mittels plasmonisch verstärkter Photokatalyse

Project duration: 2019–2022
Principle investigators
  • Prof. Dr. Henner Hollert, Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxicology, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Dr. Sabrina Schiwy, Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxicology, Goethe University Frankfurt (Co-PI)

Coordination at the Goethe University
  • Msc Aliaksandra Shuliakevich
  • Simone Hotz
  • Holger Geupel

Project partner
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Pinnekamp, Prof. Dr. Thomas Wintgens und Dr. Gang Yao, Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft (ISA), RWTH Aachen University (Projektkoordination)
  • Dr. Ulrich Plachetka, AMO Aachen
  • Dr. Martin Wett, Hollinger Ingenieure GmbH
  • Nico Meyer, Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH
  • Steffen Johne, Umex Dresden

Chinese partner
  • Beijing Capital Company, Limited, subsidiary of Beijing Capital Group (BCG)
  • Tsinghua University
  • Beijing University of Technology
  • Renmin University of China
  • Research Center for EcoEnvironmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

PEPcat webpage:

Project description

In times of climate change extreme weather events such as long periods of drought are becoming more frequent. Therefore, water reuse gets more important. Water reuse describes the use of purified municipal or industrial wastewater that has been treated for further use and can then be applied in various areas. The potential of a possible reuse depends on the concentration of pollutants and nutrients, the volume flow, the technically and economically reasonable treatment processes and the legal framework.
In the joint project Pepcat a novel process for oxidative water purification is being developed. The aim is to increase the elimination of so-called organic trace substances, such as pharmaceutical residues, which are insufficiently retained in the normal treatment process. The project aims to develop a coating technology to enable the post-treatment of wastewater treatment plant effluents using sunlight. Thus, enabling a suistainable process in which no energy or chemicals are used. In this demonstration project plasmonically enhanced photocatalysis with sunlight will be applied for a further treatment of waste water. Experiments with waste water will be carried out at the wastewater treatment plants Aachen-Soers and Beijing Dongba. To analyse the efficiency of the wastewater technologies (UV/TiO2 and Solar-TiO2) a battery of effect-based methods will be applied to examine the treated wastewater for its ecotoxicological potential. In addition to the three standard test organisms (algae, daphnia, fish), mechanism specific investigations (e.g. endocrine and mutagenic effects) will be performed.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Henner Hollert

Goethe University Frankfurt
Biologicum, Campus Riedberg
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Room: 3.319
Phone: +49 (0)69 798 42171
Fax: +49 (0)69 798 42161
Email: hollert(at)bio(dot)uni-frankfurt(dot)de

Former Affiliation: