June 20th 2018

MCI technology awarded renowned Energy Globe Austria

MCI research cooperation with SFC Umwelttechnik, IonOXess and Technical University of Munich yields sensational results in the reduction of anthropogenic trace elements in wastewater

Laudator Johannes Kastenhuber übergibt den Energy Globe Award an Simon Jabornig von SFC. Foto: Hermann Walkolbinger
The Energy Globe in the category “Water” went to the C-ION cooperative project. Photo: Hermann Wakolbinger

MCI announces yet another success: at the recent 2018 Energy Globe Austria Awards, a submission based on a technology of MCI convinced the jury at all levels. The Energy Globe in the category “Water” thus went to the C-ION cooperative project. MCI carried out this research project together with the consulting and contracting company, SFC Umwelttechnik, the MCI spin-off IonOXess and the Technical University of Munich in 2017. The project was supported by the State of Tyrol and the State of Salzburg. SFC Umwelttechnik from Salzburg submitted the project to the Energy Globe Award on behalf of all partners involved.

As part of the winning project, C-ION, a highly effective disinfection and purifying process, was developed to remove anthropogenic trace substances and problematic germs from wastewater. The effectiveness of the innovative process combination was impressively demonstrated in the Bad Reichenhall sewage plant. Up to 95 percent of man-made trace elements could be eliminated. The method is also particularly energy- and resource-efficient. The process combination is now ready to be introduced to the market. Planning for use in industrial plants is underway.

Innovative C-ION technology

Despite the high grade of purity achieved, wastewater in treatment plants still contains substantial quantities of anthropogenic or man-made trace substances, which, in the course of time, can find their way back into our rivers. In order to remove these, we require additional elaborate treatment technologies.

As part of the joint project of MCI, IonOXess, SFC and Technical University of Munich, a new technology has now been developed. This enables a highly effective removal of trace substances in the most sustainable and resource-saving way possible. An ultrafiltration membrane combined with non-thermal plasma (NTP) achieves a mechanical separation of solids and simultaneous chemical-oxidative treatment. After a treatment duration of 40 minutes, the trace substances could be reduced by more than 70 percent, and some compounds could even be reduced by 95 percent. The number of germs present was reduced almost to zero. Furthermore, it could be proved that the new process is much more energy-efficient and uses substantially fewer resources than conventional processes. The savings amount to up to 50 percent.

The research focused, in particular, on the degradation of the trace substances diclofenac, sulfamethoxazole and carbamazepine.


Günther Platter, State Governor of Tyrol: “Tyrol provides plenty of opportunity for ideas to grow. We are happy that the State of Tyrol has been able to contribute to the success of this project as part of our business development program. Together with its partners, MCI is one of the key driving forces in the Tyrolean technology offensive. The institution’s network with partners from industry and business is, in fact, exemplary. The Energy Globe Award initiated in Austria is recognized worldwide. I congratulate the award winners on their achievement, which generally benefits business in Tyrol.”

Marco Rupprich, Head of the MCI Department of Environmental, Process & Energy Engineering: “As partners in the C-ION project, we were able to clearly demonstrate through the example of the Bad Reichenhall wastewater treatment plant, that our innovative process combination reduces trace elements by up to 95 percent. The next step will be to apply the combination on an industrial scale and to establish the process in the market.”

MCI Rector Andreas Altmann: “MCI unites science, technology, and innovation and creates solutions. Congratulations to our great team.”

Energy Globe Award

The Energy Globe Award, founded in Austria in 1999, is now the world’s most prestigious environmental award. It honors outstanding sustainability projects with a focus on resource conservation, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies.

Innovative projects and initiatives from 170 countries apply for the Energy Globe Awards, which are presented on a regional, national and international level in six categories: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Youth, and Sustainable Plastics.