Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Press Release 064/2016

Innovative and Energy-efficient: Clean Water without Chemicals

European Union Funds “Eco-UV“ Research Project with Nearly Four Million Euros – Chemical-free Water Processing and Disinfection of Drinking Water
“Eco-UV” project develops processes for chemical-free cleaning of water in indus-try. (Photo: pixabay.com)

Water is used as a resource, for cooling or as a solvent. Water also is indispensable in industrial production. Environmentally compatible processing of water now is subject of the “Eco-UV” research project funded by the European Union with EUR 3.9 million under the “Horizon 2020” programme. Within the framework of the project, engineers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) plan to develop efficient UV emitters and long-lived electronic systems.


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is applied for processing drinking water among others. Within shortest periods of time, the short-wave radiation can significantly reduce the bacterial count even without chemical additives. The “Eco-UV” EU project of industry and science is aimed at developing an innovative UV technology for water processing, from disinfection of drinking water to the detoxification of industrial process water. In addition, the process to be developed is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and overall environmental pollution. “A high energy efficiency and long service life will be major features of the new system,” Dr. Rainer Kling of KIT’s Light Technology Institute says. He coordinates KIT’s work package. “At KIT, we are working on the key component, a new, mercury-free UV emitter.” In addition, KIT engineers will supply the ballast for this lamp. “With silicon carbide as semiconductor material, we reach a very high power density. This does not only increase efficiency, but also reduces energy consumption and CO2 emission.”


Within the framework of the project, the new UV emitter technology will be tested for long-term stability, aging effects, and dose-effect relations under application conditions. For this purpose, industry and science cooperate under the “Eco-UV” project. The emitters made by KIT will be integrated into a system of Hanovia, a British manufacturer of UV systems (overall project coordinator). The Water Technology Center (TZW)  at the DVGW (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. - Technisch-wissenschaftlicher Verein = DVGW German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) will be responsible for the monitoring and certification of the systems, the Swedish environmental research institute IVL will make a complete lifecycle assessment of costs and benefits for the environment compared to conventional UV technologies From the results, test protocols will be derived for various end user applications. They may serve as a basis for a future standardized validation of UV applications in the EU.


Eco-UV is financed from funds of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant No. 641.702.


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

le, 27.04.2016
Monika Landgraf

Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer

Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presseUax8∂kit edu

Margarete Lehné

Margarete Lehné
Deputy Head of Press Office

Phone: +49 721 608-41157

margarete lehne∂kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Margarete Lehné
Stellvertretende Pressesprecherin
Phone: +49 721 608-21157
Fax: +49 721 608-45681
margarete lehneQpg2∂kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.