BONUS CLEANWATER; Innovative research on water technology to remove micropollutants and microplastic from wastewater

BONUS CLEANWATER is a new research project focusing on reducing the input of micropollutants and microplastic into the Baltic Sea by exploring, developing and comparing new eco‐technological approaches. The project will use four innovative technologies which will be explored and further developed to reduce micropollutants and microplastics in wastewater focusing on finding solutions that are both cost- and energy efficient. The project is a collaboration between universities, high-tech companies, and wastewater operators.

The solutions will be developed in close collaboration with the end‐users. The aim is to:

  • develop eco‐technological solutions for removing micropollutants and microplastic from contaminated water
  • determine the dominant source, wastewater or stormwater, for various micropollutants and microplastics
  • develop testing methods for analysis of xenobiotics and microplastics in storm‐, leachate‐ and wastewater.

Tests will be performed both in laboratory- and in pilot scale at selected wastewater treatment plants.


  • More energy efficient ways of ozonation will be explored and tested, with special focus on ways to decrease the formation of unwanted ozonation products.
  • Processes controlling the removal of micropollutants in moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR) will be studied, based on the most recent finding of enhancing the removal for some pharmaceuticals by a factor of about 20.
  • Membrane based technologies will be studied with the aim to increase removal of both microplastics and micropollutants and simultaneously to increase the lifetime of the membranes.
  • Biofilters will be studied for their potential to remove micropollutants and microplastics in decentralized applications.

The project combines fundamental studies on how the respective processes are controlled with applied ones, concerning safety of operation, cost of operation and assumed energy consumption.

Project coordination, participants & contact

Kai Bester (Aarhus University) is coordinating the project. Contact :



The project is funded by the EU, via the BONUS programme, Vinnova (Sweden), Innovation fund Denmark and the German Ministry for Education and Science. The budget is 3.8 million € for the project period April 2017 – March 2020.






More details will soon be available



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