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

- Rizzo, Luigi; Gernjak, Wolfgang; Krzeminski, Pawel; Malato, Sixto; McArdell, Christa S; Perez, Jose Antonio Sanchez; Schaar, Heidemarie; Fatta-Kassinos, Despo 2020, 'Best available technologies and treatment trains to address current challenges in urban wastewater reuse for irrigation of crops in EU countries.', The Science Of The Total Environment, 710, 136312 - 136312.

- Toran, Marc Sauchelli; D'Haese, Arnout; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi; Gernjak, Wolfgang 2020, 'Fouling propensity of novel TFC membranes with different osmotic and hydraulic pressure driving forces', Water Research, 175, 115657.

- Sbardella, Luca; Velo Gala, Inmaculada; Comas, Joaquim; Morera Carbonell, Serni; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi; Gernjak, Wolfgang 2020, 'Integrated assessment of sulfate-based AOPs for pharmaceutical active compound removal from wastewater', Journal Of Cleaner Production, 260, 121014.

Selected research activities

In 2020 I commenced several new grants and activities. The H2020 project iWAYS develops heat and water recovery solutions for several process industries, implementing circular economy principles. The main technology studied by ICRA is membrane distillation. We also commenced the Catalan funded projects SUGGEREIX, developing a decision support system for reclaimed water treatment and the TRAÇA project that develops the knowledge base for the Catalan actuation to protect the lower Llobregat and the Barcelona regions drinking water supplies. Both link intrinsically with our ongoing INVEST project funded by the AEI. Regarding novel treatment technologies, the collaboration with Wetsus (Netherlands), Trojan Technologies (Canada) and others continues to develop novel oxidation processes based on Vacuum UV radiation. Within the MSCA EJD NOWELTIES, I supervise two PhD theses commenced in 2020, one on catalytic ozonation and another on developing plasma initiated oxidation processes. The latter also closely links to CA19110 - Plasma applications for smart and sustainable agriculture, also started in 2020.