CLEANWATER - Sweden Water Research


BONUS CLEANWATER was a research project working with solutions to reduce microplastics and micropollutans in the Baltic Sea. The project focused on innovative research on water technology to remove micropollutants and microplastic from wastewater. The solutions were developed in close collaboration with end-users.

BONUS CLEANWATER was a 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 used four innovative technologies which were explored and further developed to reduce micropollutants and microplastics in wastewater focusing on finding solutions that are both cost- and energy efficient. CLEANWATER was a collaboration between universities, high-tech companies, and wastewater operators.

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


• 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 microplastics and micropollutants and simultaneously to increase the lifetime of the membranes.
• Biofilters will be studied for their potential to remove micropollutants and microplastics in decentralized applications.
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.


The project was funded by the EU, via the BONUS programme, Vinnova (Sweden), Innovation fund Denmark and the German Ministry for Education and Science. The budget was 3.8 million € for the project period April 2017 – March 2020.


  • develop eco‐technological solutions for removing micropollutants and microplastic from contaminated water
  • determine the dominant source, wastewater or stormwater, for various micropollutants and microplastics
  • develop testing methods for analysis of xenobiotics and microplastics in storm‐, leachate‐ and wastewater