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Exploring micropollutant biodegradation for improved groundwater quality

  • 10 April, 2024
  • 11:00
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
  • dr. N.B. (Nora) Suttonprof.dr.ir. H.H.M. (Huub) Rijnaars
  • dr.ir. Roel J.W. Meulepas

The quality of groundwater, a major source of drinking water worldwide, is often threatened by micropollutants, such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial substances. The current technologies for micropollutant removal are costly, require much energy, and, most importantly, do not remove these compounds directly from the environment (which remains contaminated). Therefore, there is the need for sustainable and cost-effective technologies to remove micropollutants directly in groundwater. Biodegradation (degradation by microorganisms, such as bacteria) is the most important process for natural removal of micropollutant in the environment. However, this process in groundwater is still insufficient. Hence, with the goal of using micropollutant biodegradation for groundwater protection and quality improvement, this thesis aimed to increase the current understanding on how different environmental factors and microbial community characteristics affect this process in groundwater. Additionally, different approaches to improve micropollutant biodegradation were explored.

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Rita Henriques Rebola Branco

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