Wolfgang Gernjak

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

– Velo-Gala I, Farre MJ, Radjenovic J & Gernjak W 2019, ‘N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) Degradation by the Ultraviolet/Peroxodisulfate Process’, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 6, 2, 106 – 111.

– Sbardella L, Veto-Gala I, Comas J, Rodriguez-Roda Layret I, Fenu A & Gernjak W 2019, ‘The impact of wastewater matrix on the degradation of pharmaceutically active compounds by oxidation processes including ultraviolet radiation and sulfate radicals’, Journal Of Hazardous Materials, 380, UNSP 120869.

– Rizzo L, Malato S, Antakyali D, Beretsou VG, Đolić MB, Gernjak W, Heath E, Ivancev-Tumbas I, Karaolia P, Lado Ribeiro AR, Mascolo G, McArdell CS, Schaar H, Silva AMT & Fatta-Kassinos D 2019, ‘Consolidated vs new advanced treatment methods for the removal of contaminants of emerging concern from urban wastewater‘, Science of the Total Environment, 655, pp. 986-1008.

Selected research activities

Organized and chaired workshop: International experiences in potable reuse – what and how can we best learn? October 4th, 2019, Girona.

Relevant talks:

06/2019: Gernjak, W. Lamp driven advanced oxidation processes. At: 6th European Conference on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation Processes. Invited plenary presentation. Portoroz, Slovenia.

Supervison of PhD theses:

  • M. Sauchelli Toran (completed in 2019). Mass Transport and Fouling of Novel Forward Osmosis Thin-Film Composite Membranes.
  • M. Plá-Castellana (since 2017). Chemometric tools for water quality assessment with online UV-Vis spectrometers.
  • N. Kovoor George (2018- ). A novel advanced oxidation process based on a dual wavelength (185nm/254nm) approach.
  • N. Tsiarta (2019- ). Hybrid ozone-ceramic membrane process: increasing hydroxyl radical yield and OMP reduction while reducing membrane fouling.
  • A. Kumar (2019- ). Design, development and characterization of atmospheric plasma system for wastewater treatment.