About the project - Sweden Water Research

Reducing micropollutants & microplastics

By exploring, developing and comparing eco-technological approaches

About the project

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. CLEANWATER is a collaboration between universities, high-tech companies, and wastewater operators.

The solutions will be developed in close collaboration with the end‐users. Tests will be performed both in laboratory- and in pilot scale at selected wastewater treatment plants.

BONUS CLEANWATER addresses three current problems:

  1. The lack of knowledge on micro-pollutants and micro-plastic, on pollution loads into the Baltic Sea for which pollutants wastewater effluents or stormwater are the relevant sources.
  2. The lack of energy efficient and eco-technology based treatment systems to remove micro-pollutants and micro-plastic from sewage and stormwater (combined sewer overflow (CSO) and rain runoff).
  3. The lack of cost-efficient high frequency testing methods for micro-pollutants and high validity testing for micro-plastic particles.


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.

• 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 micro-plastics and micropollutants and simultaneously to increase the lifetime of the membranes.
• Biofilters will be studied for their potential to remove micropollutants and microplastics in decen-tralized applications.

PDF about the project

Download a pdf here, to learn more about the Project.


BONUS CLEANWATER project has received funding from BONUS, funded jointly by the EU and Innovation Fund Denmark, Sweden’s innovation agency VINNOVA and the German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF). The budget is 3.8 million € for the project period April 2017 – March 2020.

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