Effective and sustainable removal of micro-pollutants
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Micro-pollutants pose a threat to our environment. How can we sustainably remove this persistent pollution from our water? In collaboration with Wageningen University, we have developed Aurea®. Aurea is the most sustainable technology for removing micro-pollutants in wastewater treatment plants, drinking water production sites, and industrial wastewater treatment plants.

Aurea combines the best properties of biological activated carbon filtration and oxidative treatment. This allows it to remove a wide range of organic micro-pollutants. Aurea has a low energy and resource consumption compared to reference technologies, resulting in low CO2 footprint and operational expenses.

Aurea removes micro-pollutants

With the Aurea technology, you can achieve high chemical and biological water quality, enabling you to meet objectives such as the European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD).

Aurea compared to reference technologies

Higher removal efficiency of micro-pollutants
No reactivation of activated carbon
2 – 4 times lower CO2 footprint
Significant improvement in chemical and biological water quality
Removal of ammonium
Competitive TCO and significant OPEX savings

The process

Aurea combines a biological adsorptive filtration (such as biological activated carbon filtration) with a chemical oxidative treatment phase (such as ozonation or advanced oxidation processes). Organic material such as humic acids, measured as DOC, UV254, or COD, is removed along with a large number of organic micro-pollutants in the biological process. As a result, the subsequent chemical oxidative treatment requires only minimal input of oxidants for the removal of the remaining biorecalcitrant micro-pollutants.

Optionally, a tailored additional biological treatment follows the chemical oxidative phase. An advanced software platform, the Aqua Suite Aurea Controller, manages the technology and ensures stable operation of all Aurea process steps. Automated control ensures optimal process performance and gives you peace of mind.


The benefits

Compared to reference technologies such as ozonation, activated carbon (PAC and GAC), and UV treatment, Aurea has low energy consumption and a low CO2 footprint. This results in minimal operational expenses. Due to its various removal mechanisms (biological degradation, adsorption, and chemical oxidation), Aurea achieves high removal efficiency for a wide spectrum of substances. Furthermore, a reduced need for oxidizing agents (e.g., ozone) enhances safety for operating personnel.

Operational benefits

  • Broad spectrum of micropollutants removed
  • Minimal input of oxidant such as ozone, due to synergy with biological treatment
  • Carbon footprint up to 75% lower, supporting Net Zero targets
  • Reduced dosage of oxidant, this minimises formation of by-products
  • High operational safety due to low oxidant dosage
  • Strongly reduced electricity consumption, beneficial in times of overloaded electricity grids
  • Applicable for green field and existing ozone and/or GAC installations
Effluence Bacf Ozone Discharge Graph


The Aurea technology can be employed for the removal of micro-pollutants in (waste) water. It eliminates pharmaceutical residues, antibiotics, pesticides, biocides, personal care products, corrosion inhibitors, fragrances, and dyes, among other substances.

Typical applications are:

  • Domestic wastewater treatment (post-treatment, 4th purification phase) 
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Drinking water production
hand holding black aggregate material

Test results 

Within the Innovation Program Micro-pollutants in Wastewater - commissioned by STOWA, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Dutch Water Authorities - the Aurea technology has been investigated in a pilot setup at the wastewater treatment plant of Horstermeer (Amstel, Gooi en Vecht Water Authority). The verified outcomes and conclusions of the research have been reported under the name BO3 technology and are publicly available on the STOWA website.

A brief summary of the test results can be found in the STOWA webinar on micro-pollutant removal.

An English version of the test results has been published in Water Matters (Drug Residue Removal, New BACF-Ozone technology).

Implementation on full scale

At the wastewater treatment plant of Zeist (Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Authority), the first full-scale Aurea installation is being implemented with a capacity of 1,250 m3/hour, equivalent to 100,000 inhabitants. Currently, the installation is in the final design phase by the contractor.

A second installation will be placed as post-treatment at the Nereda Verdygo Package Plant in Weert (Limburg Water Company). This package installation will have a capacity of 5 m3/hour. This installation also is in the final design phase by the contractor.


Aurea has been honoured with the prestigious Vernufteling Award in 2024. Presented annually by Koninklijke NLingenieurs in collaboration with industry magazine De Vernufteling, this award recognises Aurea’s innovative technology and groundbreaking approach to addressing environmental challenges and improving water quality. The technology stood out as a prime example of engineering excellence with a significant societal impact, setting a new standard in advancing sustainable solutions for water treatment.
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