Water Quality Management

Technical Center

Equipment and infrastructure of the "von der Emde" Technical Center*

* Prof. DDr. Wilhelm von der Emde; born14. Mai 1922 in Kassel was a pioneer in biological wastewater treatment, Professor at TU Wien from 1964-1987 and the first head of the Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management
Link Wikipedia (in german)

Continous Monitoring and Conditioning of native Wastewater for the Lab Plants

Wastewater Sampler

Thermostatized sampler with 50L store.

Via this sampler wastewater from the public sewerage system is lifted into the technical area and temporarily stored. From here, experiments can be continuously supplied with feed (maximum 28L / h).

Equipment in the "von der Emde" Technical Center

Semiindustrial Wastewater Treatment Plant

This semi-technical model wastewater treatment plant with approx. 2 population equivalents (PE) capacity is the heart of the Von der Emde Technikum.

It consists of three stainless steel tanks with a total volume of 375 L and comprehensive sensor equipment as is common on full scale plants with several thousand PE capacity. Conductivity-, pH-, oxygen-, turbidity-, and MIF- sensors.

Fully automatic control of the inlet-, return- and internal recirculation pumps via Siemens Simatic. Freely programmable daily flow of the volume flows and time-interval block control of the agitators and aeration in nitrification and denitrification tanks. An automatic, freely adjustable excess sludge discharge from the aeration tank or the secondary clarifier is possible.

Currently, the plant is operated with pre-denitrification (DN); other configurations such as intermittent- and post- DN are also possible due to the flexible design of the wastewater treatment plant.

In this configuration, the plant is a joint development of the Research Unit for Water Quality Management and ADIRO Automatisierungstechnik GmbH.

Glass wastewater treatment plants behrotest®

Two laboratory wastewater treatment plants KLD 4N with pre-denitrification stage and continuous return sludge pumping. All tanks are double-walled and can be heated or cooled. Oxygen supply control via oxygen probe with limit switch and time / pause control.

These two glass laboratory wastewater treatment plants are currently used for microbiological and molecular biological investigations and are operated with synthetic wastewater.

Membrane-testing unit „Memcell Classic”

The membrane lab- testing unit “Memcell Classic” from OSMO (Germany) is suitable for testing flat membranes with an active membrane area of 80 cm2. The testing unit can be operated at pressures between 1 and 64 bar. Therefore, all types of pressure-operated membranes (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis), regardless of the pore size, can be examined. The testing unit is operated in cross-flow, for an optimal permeate drainage a permeable sinter plate is used. The retentate is circulated back into the storage tank. All components are made of stainless steel (1.4571) and are therefore suitable for a wide variety of media, from drinking water to waste water. The sample volume is 0.5 to 2 L and can be heated or cooled via a double-walled container.

Ultrafiltration Membrane system

In spring 2022, an ultrafiltration membrane plant was installed in the Technical Center of the TU Wien, which was planned by the Research Unit for Water Quality Management together with the company Adiro Automatisierungstechnik GmbH and built by Adiro. It has a throughput of about 15 L/h within a pressure range of up to 2,0 bar. The employed hollow fibre membrane units are interchangeable which allows the system to be used as a membrane test bench. A dosage pump for polymer and a static mixer are positioned after the feed pump which allows to study the influence of polymer on the cleaning performance. The system can be used in “Dead-End” as well as in “Cross Flow” mode. Currently the system is used to filter the effluent of the pilot wastewater treatment plant of the TU Wien.

Electrodialysis testing-unit BED 1-3

The electrodialysis laboratory system from PCCell (Germany) consists of three storage containers with separate pump units, a separate electrolyte container including the associated pump unit, the membrane stack, and conductivity and temperature measuring cells. The membrane stack consists of the two electrodes and 10 pairs of membranes, which are separated by spacers. Both conventional electrodialysis processes and electrodialysis processes with bipolar membranes can be implemented with the laboratory system. While conventional electrodialysis focuses on the concentration of saline solutions or the removal of salts from dilute streams, acids and bases can be obtained from saline solutions when using bipolar membranes.


Control technology demonstration system for practical training for controller design and sensor technology. System made up of flexibly combinable components for application-oriented learning of control engineering principles using simple training examples.

Two 1.5L tanks, pump, level-, flow-, and pressure sensors. Connection to the FESTO didactics Software package via USB interface.

Ozone laboratory facility

The laboratory has an ozone generator manufactured by Fischer Technology, type OZ 500 / 5, with an ozone production capacity of 5 g / h and an associated residual ozone destroyer.

The ozone generator is suitable for oxygen- and air feed (molecular sieve from Lenntech, Model No. 1265). Usually, by continuous gassing of an ice-cooled reactor filled with deionized water, the production of a solution of ozone is carried out. This is dosed depending on the desired ozone dose in defined amounts to the test medium. Alternatively, the gaseous ozone can be introduced via fine-bubble aeration (aquarium aerator stone) directly into the test medium.

Adsorption tests

To determine the adsorptive properties of selected substances (e.g., methylene blue, organic trace substances) on different adsorbents, e.g. Activated carbon can be carried out in the laboratory various experiments:

  • Shaking experiments to determine the adsorption capacity
  • Shaking experiments to determine the adsorption kinetics
  • Column experiments to determine the long-term adsorption behavior

Various experimental setups for current research projects

For example: 

  • Supernatant treatment with Linpor® MBBR
  • MABR, membrane aerated biofilm
  • BioMAra pilot plant

Further technical equipment

  • Sample- and chemical refrigerator
  • Chemical cabinets with extraction
  • Central compressed air supply for oil-free and dry compressed air
  • Spectrometer probe for CODeq, TSS; i :: scan by s :: can
  • Various handheld instruments for pH-, conductivity- and oxygen measurement
  • Laboratory scales
  • ...


Head of Laboratories

Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Ernis Saracevic

Email: Emailerni(at)
Tel.: +43 (0)1 58801 - 22660
Fax: +43 (0)1 58801 - 22698