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Clean Water Technology Lab – Efficient wastewater treatment


The Clean Water Technology Lab CLEWATEC, a Helmholtz Innovation Lab located at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), is an interface between research and industry where new ideas for sustainable water treatment are continuously tested and developed into breakthrough technological applications. As part of HZDR, CLEWATEC is based at the Department of Experimental Thermal Fluid Dynamics at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics. Together with partners from the industrial and research sectors, CLEWATEC identifies the needs of the wastewater industry, develops novel technologies with the potential to address such needs, and encourages knowledge transfer along the innovation chain to bring these technologies into society.


The Innovation Lab CLEWATEC explores and develops new technological approaches for flexible and efficient wastewater treatment, with a focus in the following fields of expertise:

  • Energy efficiency and plant optimization
  • Resource recovery and zero-emission technologies
  • Digitalization and plant flexibilization

CLEWATEC combines the expertise in the research areas of Fluid dynamics, Biochemistry, Measurement technology and Computer science.

Access to unique Test Labs, sophisticated flow measurement and imaging systems, chemical and biological analytics, as well as extensive computational resources enables CLEWATEC to conduct cutting edge research into its fields of application.

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Removal and treatment of municipal and industrial waste water is of great importance to reduce pollution and eutrophication of natural watercourses and is part of a sustainable use of water resources. The waste water chain comprises of the water consumer, the sewer system and the waste water treatment plant where the clean effluent water reaches the surface watercourse.

The municipal waste water on its own is treated in 10,000 waste water treatment plants with an annual energy consumption of 4,400 GWh in Germany (Fricke, 2009), which is 20% of the energy consumption in the municipal sector. Thereof up to 80% are needed for the biological cleaning in the activated sludge basins (Fricke, 2009).


CLEWATEC deals with new, sustainable technologies for flexible and resource-saving wastewater treatment. The focus is on the recovery of valuable resources in wastewater, advanced measurement and analysis techniques and the energy efficiency of all processes. The basis are new aeration concepts for sewage treatment plants that help save energy, especially in the biological cleaning stages.


  • Access to cutting edge facilities like a digital mobile wastewater pilot plant
  • Development and application of modern simulation tools and measurement methods
  • Strong and multidisciplinary partner network
  • Process optimization and flexibilization
  • Development of new technologies

Scope of application




our offer of cooperation:

  • Real-scale research
  • Modelling and simulations
  • Chemical and microbiological analyses
  • Problem solving adressed by industrial partners in the Test Lab
  • Support for funding applications
  • Licencing of novel techniques
  • Student training through applied research projects

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Uwe Pöpping
+49 351 260-2397
Bautzener Landstr. 400
01328 Dresden

Development status



Energy Efficiency, plant optimization, Digitalization, plant flexibilization.

Contact | Main Office

TransferAllianz e. V.
Christiane Bach-Kaienburg

c/o TransMIT GmbH
Kerkrader Straße 3
D-35394 Gießen