Materials in Environmental Engineering

Materials in Environmental Engineering group develops more sustainable and technically unique materials to answer the grand challenges of pollution and green transition. The research revolves mainly around geopolymers and alkali-activated materials as they offer versatile, cost-effective, and low environmental footprint in comparison to competing materials.

Research group information

Research group description

Our group does research over three major themes:

  • development of improved material preparation methods
  • modifying the surface functionalities
  • testing the materials in applications of water and wastewater treatment.

Overall, the aim is to gain detailed understanding about the connections between the material characteristics and their performance in applications. The material preparation development aims for simple and up-scalable techniques. For example, we have developed a method to generate highly porous geopolymer granules using a “one-pot synthesis” approach. The surface functionalization aims, for example, to a stable attachment of catalytically active metals or organic moieties to the material surface. The applications of the developed materials include water and wastewater treatment (e.g., adsorbents, membranes, catalyst supports, disinfecting materials, or filtration media). One recent completely new research opening is the efficient separation of microplastics from water with a geopolymer-based superhydrophobic filtration media.