Water treatment is a technological branch aimed at reaching such properties of water to meet the quality requirements with respect to its further use. It uses the knowledge of many scientific disciplines, e.g. hydrochemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry of surfaces, hydrodynamics, civil and chemical engineering or mathematic modelling. Particularly, the treatment of water for drinking purpose is still a current issue due to the growing population. The drinking water treatment includes the following technological processes: pH adjustment, possibly pre-oxidation; formation of suspension (destabilisation/coagulation and aggregation/flocculation of undesirable impurities by the means of iron/aluminium reagents); separation of formed suspension (sedimentation, flotation, filtration); and disinfection. The processes of suspension formation and separation can be combined into one technological step with the use of clarification in specially constructed devices – clarifiers. For removal of dissolved substances in lower concentration, adsorption (onto activated carbon, organic resins, ion exchangers) or membrane processes (micro-, ultra-, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis) can be used.

The research at the Institute of Hydrodynamics is aimed at the study of mechanisms of removal of problematic substances from water. Firstly, it is the AOM (Algal Organic Matter) – organic matter originating from the metabolic activity and decay of algae and cyanobacteria, removed by the conventional treatment, i.e coagulation (suspension formation by the means of iron/aluminium coagulants and its subsequent separation), possibly also using pre-oxidation (by potassium permanganate, ozone, chlorine, UV radiation). Secondly, there are micropollutants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals) that are removed by adsorption onto activated carbon. Recently, an occurence and characterization of microplastics in drinking water has become our new research topic. Since microplastics are micropollutants with potential health risks, their presence in drinking water is undesirable. The research in this field is also aimed at the occurence of microplastics in raw water sources and at microplastic removal by individual water treatment pocesses. This is especially important, since no special technology has been designed for microplastics removal so far. Further, the research is aimed at the influence of physical-chemical parameters (type and dose of coagulant, pH, alkalinity, temperature) and hydrodynamic conditions (magnitude and distribution of shear rate) on the properties of flocs (size, structure, porosity and shape) formed during conventional water treatment. Floc (aggregate) properties fundamentally influence the efficiency of their subsequent separation. It is necessary to understand the mechanisms of aggregation and the evolution of aggregate properties in dependence on mentioned conditions to optimize the aggregate formation for particular separation processes.

Research topics

Students (MSc., Ph.D.)

  • Mgr. Lenka Čermáková
  • Bc. Kateřina Fialová
  • Mgr. Monika Filipenská
  • Mgr. Kateřina Novotná
  • Ing. Radim Petříček

Selected papers

Pivokonsky, M., Cermakova, L., Novotna, K., Peer, P., Cajthaml, T., Janda, V., 2018. Occurrence of microplastics in raw and treated drinking water. Science of The Total Environment 643, 1644-1651.

Branyikova I., Filipenska M., Urbanova K., Ruzicka M., Pivokonsky M., Branyik T., 2018. Physicochemical approach to alkaline flocculation of Chlorella vulgaris induced by calcium phosphate precipitates. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 166, 54-60.

Pivokonský, M., Načeradská, J., Kopecká, I., Barešová, M., Jefferson, B., Li, X., Henderson, R.K., 2016. The impact of algogenic organic matter on water treatment plant operation and water quality: a review. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 391-335.

Pivokonský, M., Načeradská, J., Brabenec, T., Novotná, K., Barešová, M., Janda, V., 2015. The impact of interactions between algal organic matter and humic substances on coagulation. Water Research, 84, 278-285.

Pivokonský, M., Šafaříková, J., Barešová, M., Pivokonská, L., Kopecká, I., 2014. A comparison of the character of algal extracellular versus cellular organic matter produced by cyanobacterium, diatom and green alga. Water Research 51, 37-46.

Pivokonský, M., Šafaříková, J., Pivokonská, L., Barešová, M., Kopecká, I., 2014. A comparison of the character of algal extracellular versus cellular organic matter produced by cyanobacterium, diatom and green alga. Water Research 51, 37-46.

Kopecká, I., Pivokonský, M., Pivokonská, L., Hnaťuková, P., Šafaříková, J., 2014. Adsorption of peptides produced by cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa onto granular activated carbon. Carbon 69, 595-608.

Šafaříková, J., Barešová, M., Pivokonský, M., Kopecká, I., 2013. Influence of peptides and proteins produced by cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa on the coagulation of turbid waters. Separation and Purification Technology 118, 49-57.

Bubáková, P., Pivokonský, M., Filip, P., 2013. Effect of shear rate on aggregate size and structure in the process of aggregation and at steady state. Powder Technology 235, 540-549.

Pivokonský, M., Šafaříková, J., Bubaková, P., Pivokonská, L., 2012.  Coagulation of peptides and proteins produced by Microcystis aeruginosa: Interaction mechanisms and the effect of Fe-peptide/protein complexes formation. Water Research 46, 5583-5590.

Bubáková, P., Pivokonský, M., 2012. The influence of velocity gradient on properties and filterability of suspension formed during water treatment. Separation and Purification Technology, 92, 161-167.

Hnaťuková, P., Kopecká, I., Pivokonský, M., 2011. Adsorption of cellular peptides of Microcystis aeruginosa and two herbicides onto activated carbon: Effect of surface charge and interactions. Water Research 45, 3359-3368.

Offered topics of diploma and Ph.D. thesis

  • Influence of algal organic matter (AOM) on coagulation and flocculation
  • Adsorption of algal organic matter (AOM) onto activated carbon

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Prezentation of Water treatment research team
Lecture "Interakce koloidních částic při úpravě vody"