CatMemReac – CO2reduction in the oxidation of micropollutants – energy-intensive vs. novel solar-based processes

הפחתה של פחמן דו חמצני בחמצון של מיקרו מזהמים – תהליכים עתירי אנרגיה למול תהליכים חדשניים מבוססי קרינה סולרית.

The aim of the German-Israeli water technology cooperation project is to reduce the CO2 footprint in water treatment. This involves replacing energy-intensive processes in the oxidation of micropollutants with new sunlight-based processes.


Prof. Hadas Mamane working in the laboratory with the LED system.
© Tel-Aviv University
Prof. Hadas Mamane working in the laboratory with the LED system.
Dipl.-Ing. Christiane Chaumette in the laboratory.
© Fraunhofer IGB
Dr. Benjamin Wriedt taking samples from the storage vessel of a photoreactor.
© Fraunhofer IGB
Christiane Chaumette (above) and Dr. Benjamin Wriedt (below) taking samples from the storage vessel of a photoreactor.

Objectives and project plan

This project will adapt and demonstrate water technology for the removal of trace organic compounds or micropollutants (OMPs) from water (wastewater effluent/groundwater) by a solar-photocatalytic membrane reactor (CatMemReac).

This is a hybrid system, combining both photocatalysis and low-pressure membrane filtration in a compact design. The photocatalysis-based advanced oxidation process (AOP) will be catalyzed by solar and solar-powered light emitting diodes (LEDs). Thus, harmful trace substances such as the pharmaceutical carbamazepine can be eliminated without residues.

Novel materials, heterogeneous nanocatalysts and metal foam with low lifecycle costs are deployed in eco-efficient processes with low energy demand, thus anticipated to reduce the carbon-footprint of conventionally energy intensive water treatment processes.

Joint definition of target parameters will be followed by catalyst production, characterization and design and piloting of the new treatment method.

Based on the initial results, greenhouse gas emissions (measured in CO2 equivalents) will be estimated within a life cycle assessment.


Our new approach

The innovative and unique aspects will include:

  • Degradation of OMPs using solar-catalytic membranes that minimize energy demand and eco-efficient process operation for membrane cleaning and reuse of effluent.
  • Development and application of a new tool for evaluation of the carbon footprint over the life cycle of emerging water treatment technologies in early stages of technological development.


Past publications to consider

V. Kumar, D. Avisar, V.L. Prasanna, Y. Betzalel, H. Mamane (2020): Rapid visible-light degradation of EE2 and its estrogenicity in hospital wastewater by crystalline promoted g-C3N4, Journal of Hazardous Materials, p.122880.

I. Horovitz, V. Gitis, D. Avisar, H. Mamane (2020): Ceramic-based photocatalytic membrane reactors for water treatment–where to next?, Reviews in Chemical Engineering.

T. Peng, J. Pulpytel, I. Horovitz, A.K. Jaiswal, D. Avisar, H. Mamane, J.A. Lalman, F. Arefi-Khonsari (2019): One‐step deposition of nano‐Ag‐TiO2 coatings by atmospheric pressure plasma jet for water treatment: Application to trace pharmaceutical removal using solar photocatalysis, Plasma Processes and Polymers, 16 (6), 1800213.

I. Horovitz, D. Avisar, E. Luster, L. Lozzi, T. Luxbacher, H. Mamane (2018): MS2 bacteriophage inactivation using a N-doped TiO2-coated photocatalytic membrane reactor: Influence of water-quality parameters, Chemical Engineering Journal, 354, 995-1006.

A. Dandapat, I. Horovitz, H. Gnayem, Y. Sasson, D. Avisar, T. Luxbacher, H. Mamane (2018): Solar Photocatalytic Degradation of Trace Organic Pollutants in Water by Bi (0)-Doped Bismuth Oxyhalide Thin Films, ACS omega, 3(9), 10858-10865.

E. Luster, D. Avisar, I. Horovitz, L. Lozzi, M.A. Baker, R. Grilli, H. Mamane (2017): N-Doped TiO2-Coated Ceramic Membrane for Carbamazepine Degradation in Different Water Qualities, Nanomaterials, 31, 7(8). E206. doi: 10.3390/nano7080206.

I. Horovitz, D. Avisar, R. Grilli, A.D. Enevoldsen, D. Di Camillo, M.A. Baker, L. Lozzi, H. Mamane (2016): Carbamazepine degradation using a N-doped TiO2 coated photocatalytic membrane reactor: influence of physical parameters, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 310, 98–107.

N. Meorn, V. Blass, Y. Garb, Y. Kahane, G. Thoma (2016): Why Going beyond Standard LCI Databases is Important: Lessons From A Meta-Analysis of Potable Water Supply System LCAs, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 21(8); 1134–1147.

N. Meorn, V. Blass, G. Thoma (2020): Selection of the Most Appropriate Life-cycle Inventory Dataset: New Selection Proxy Methodology and Case Study Application, Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 25: 771–783.

N. Meorn, V. Blass, G. Thoma (2020): A National Level LCA of a Water Supply System in a Mediterranean-Semi-Arid Climate – Israel as a Case Study, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 25: 1133–1144.

I. Reim, B. Wriedt, Ü. Tastan, D. Ziegenbalg, M. Karnahl (2018): Impact of the Type of Reactor and the Catalytic Conditions on the Photocatalytic Production of Hydrogen Using a Fully Noble‐Metal‐Free System, ChemistrySelect 3, 2905–2911.

B. Wriedt, D. Kowalczyk, D. Ziegenbalg (2018): Experimental Determination of Photon Fluxes in Multilayer Capillary Photoreactors, ChemPhotoChem 2 (10).

B. Wriedt, D. Ziegenbalg (2020): Common Pitfalls in Chemical Actinometry, Journal of Flow Chemistry 10, 295–306.

S. Triemer, M. Schulze, B. Wriedt, R. Schenkendorf, D. Ziegenbalg, U. Krewer, A. Seidel-Morgenstern (2021): Kinetic analysis of the partial synthesis of artemisinin: Photooxygenation to the intermediate hydroperoxide, Journal of Flow Chemistry 11, 641–659.

Project information

Project titel

CatMemReac – CO2 reduction in the oxidation of micropollutants – energy-intensive vs. novel solar-based processes


Project duration

July 2021 – June 2024


Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Stuttgart (Coordinator)
  • Tel-Aviv University (School of Environmental Engineering and The Porter School of the Environment and Earth Studies), Tel-Aviv, Israel (Coordinator)


We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding the project “CatMemReac“, promotional reference 02WIL1605.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

This is part of the funding program for German-Israeli technology cooperation Cogeril as part of the BMBF strategy “Forschung für Nachhaltigkeit (FONA)“.