Wolfgang Gernjak

Institut Català de Recerca de l'Aigua

Engineering Sciences

2002 MSc in Analytical and Physical Chemistry from Vienna University of Technology, Austria. 2006 PhD in Land and Water Management from BOKU Vienna, Austria. 2000-2008 External Research Staff & post-doc, Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain - Solar advanced oxidation & desalination. 2008-2014 Senior research fellow, The University of Queensland, Australia - Group leader: Drinking and recycled water. 2014-2015 Ramon & Cajal research fellow, Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) - Group leader: Water Supply and Advanced Treatment. 2015- ICREA Research Professor at Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) - Group leader: Water Supply and Advanced Treatment.

Research interests

I aim to innovate the ways we treat water applied to water reuse, desalination, and drinking water to realize a vision for smart and water sensitive cities and societies. Specifically, I am an expert on numerous novel advanced oxidation processes or membrane filtration such as reverse osmosis but have also broad knowledge on many other processes. The focus of my research is on technology innovation. For example, I research novel membrane processes such as forward osmosis or innovative lighting solutions for UV driven advanced oxidation processes (utilizing vacuum UV or LEDs). A key aspect is that those technologies are then assessed in the context of complete treatment trains or more holistically, as buliding block of solutions for cities. My research on water treatment technology is typically strongly connected to controlling water quality hazards to end-users, including trace organic contaminants, disinfection byproducts, and also pathogens.

Selected publications

- Sauchelli M, Pellegrino G, D'Haese A, Rodríguez-Roda I & Gernjak W 2018 'Transport of trace organic compounds through novel forward osmosis membranes: Role of membrane properties and the draw solution', Water Research, 141 pp. 65-73.

- Verdaguer M, Molinos-Senante M, Clara N, SantanaM, Gernjak W & Poch M 2018, 'Optimal fresh water blending: A methodological approach to improve the resilience of water supply systems', Science Of The Total Environment, 624, 1308 - 13    15.

- Andrés García E, Agulló-Barceló M, Bond P, Keller J, Gernjak W & Radjenovic J 2018, 'Hybrid electrochemical-granular activated carbon system for the treatment of greywater', Chemical Engineering Journal, 352, pp. 405-411.

Selected research activities

In 2018, the Triceratops project (MINECO funded) was finalized, in which with post-doctoral fellow Inma Velo Gala we investigated novel advanced oxidation processes, such as the UV/HOCl or the UV/peroxodisulfate processes in the context of drinking and recycled water production. Also, novel configuration for the use of vacuum UV to degrade trace organic contaminants are being tested by PhD candidate Nimmy Kovoor George in the scope of my collaboration with Wetsus (Netherlands), Trojan UV (Canada) and PWN Technologies (Netherlands). Marc Sauchelli has shifted the focus in his PhD from researching trace organic contaminant transport to fouling mechanisms in forward osmosis. In the industrial doctorate of Mireia Plà we are developing algorithms for providing water quality measurements based on online UV-Vis spectroscopy in different water sources.

This year we finalized the COST Action NEREUS focused on tackling emerging challenges in water reuse, where I participated and co-authored a review paper (Rizzo et al, 2019). I participate also in the expert panel advising the Catalan Water Agency during their water reclamation trial to be carried out in 2019 in the Llobregat River.