Treatment of Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater by Advanced Oxidation Processes

Key Information

Academic Supervisors: Dr Chedly Tizaoui and Dr Paul Williams  

Industry Supervisor: Dr Michael Gerardo

Expected Interview Date: May 2022


Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the statutory water and sewerage undertaker that supplies over three million people in Wales and some adjoining parts of England. We are owned by Glas Cymru, a single purpose, not-for-shareholder company. We provide essential public services to our customers by supplying their drinking water and then carrying away and dealing with their wastewater in a sustainable manner, one which protects our environment

The presence of several chemicals in water poses a serious threat to the aquatic environment due to their toxic effects. Therefore, the removal of these compounds from wastewater should be evaluated and optimised to ensure a sustainable environment and protection of human health. Although wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been an essential component for the protection of the environment, the growing use and introduction of new chemicals in the society meant that conventional WWTPs are becoming unable to remove these chemicals. As part of the Chemical Investigation Programme 3 (CIP3) in the UK, three chemicals have been particularly identified as requiring monitoring due to their environmental risk. These chemicals are fluoranthene, TBT – tributyltin, and DEHP – di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate (FTD). Although these three chemicals are currently monitored under CIP3, Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) may be imposed for them in the future. Thus, evaluation of treatment technologies that could enable the removal of FTD in a cost-effective manner is extremely important.

Focus of the Research Project:

This project will focus on advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) based on ozone and granular activated carbon to remove FTD.  The aims of the project are:

  • Develop an overview of the research that has been carried out to date on FTD.
  • Benchtop test of multiple ozone-based AOPs/GAC to investigate the removal/destruction rates taking into account contact time, ozone dose, and different types of radical promotors.
  • Tests to be carried out on standard solution and on spiked final effluent from two different wastewater treatment plants (activated sludge plant and a biofilter).
  • An assessment of cost benefit analysis and direction for future research into testing and scaling up the solution.


All work will be carried out at Swansea University. However, this project will involve some site visits to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to understand how conventional wastewater treatment is carried out. The project will also involve sample collection from two WWTPs and possible visits to the Welsh Water labs.


COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.

COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry, providing access to world class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed. All applications will be anonymised prior to short listing.

Are you considering making an application and have questions you’d like answered? Come and have a 1-2-1 chat with us at our applicant surgeries (Link) . We encourage all applicants to review our hints and tips document found here.

Sponsoring Company: Welsh Water


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g., IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Full eligibility can be found at


MSc Only – Fees at UK rate and Stipend £12,500.00, both for the period of one year.

For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website. Student Eligibility | M2A (

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not apply).

Closing Date: 3rd April 2022

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to:

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