Sif Burlin Svendsen


Sif Burlin Svendsen


Pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the aquatic environment, where they can have harmful effects.

The main route to the environment is via wastewater, as pharmaceuticals are only in a limited extend or not at all removed during conventional wastewater treatment.
With my PhD project, I will focus on an already promising after-treatment technique; Moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR) are small plastic chips with an attached biofilm, suspended in water tanks. Full scale MBBR systems are already established as an integrated part of some wastewater treatment plants, where they are in use for removal of nutrients (N and P). However, more recent studies have shown that MBBR systems also have a great potential of degrading micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals.

I will work with and optimize the ratio between feast and famine for the MBBR's - how much and how often to feed the biofilm to ensure biomass growth, while keeping them hungry enough to degrade the pharmaceuticals. Experiments will be carried out at both lab scale with 1 L reactors and in full scale (approximately 1200 m3) at Kalundborg forsyning

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