RheinEnergie AG

Köln, Germany

RheinEnergie AG

Köln, Germany
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The use of iodinated contrast media (ICM) is restricted to ambulatory and stationary computed tomographic examinations. Due to their limited transformation in the human body and wastewater treatment plants, ICM are frequently detected in the aquatic environment. The elimination of these compounds from the human body is typically very fast (T1/2 ∼2 h). Consequently, temporary separation of the patients' urine from sewage is an effective measure to decrease emissions of ICM into the water cycle. An interesting option to collect the first urine fractions (8-10 h after the examination) is the usage of collecting-bags filled with absorber material. The resulting solidified urine is discarded as household waste and burned accordingly. In the here presented study an alternative decentralized approach using zerovalent iron (ZVI) for the dehalogenation of ICM is presented. Effective treatment can be realized by using nanoscale ZVI. However, limited patient compliance must be expected due to the comparably high level of complexity of the derived procedure. © DIV Deutscher Industrieverlag GmbH / Vulkan-Verlag GmbH - 01/2017.


Jekel M.,TU Berlin | Dott W.,RWTH Aachen | Bergmann A.,Water Center | Dunnbier U.,Berliner Wasserbetriebe | And 11 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2015

An increasing number of organic micropollutants (OMP) is detected in anthropogenically influenced water cycles. Source control and effective natural and technical barriers are essential to maintain a high quality of drinking water resources under these circumstances. Based on the literature and our own research this study proposes a limited number of OMP that can serve as indicator substances for the major sources of OMP, such as wastewater treatment plants, agriculture and surface runoff. Furthermore functional indicators are proposed that allow assessment of the proper function of natural and technical barriers in the aquatic environment, namely conventional municipal wastewater treatment, advanced treatment (ozonation, activated carbon), bank filtration and soil aquifer treatment as well as self-purification in surface water. These indicator substances include the artificial sweetener acesulfame, the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen, the anticonvulsant carbamazepine, the corrosion inhibitor benzotriazole and the herbicide mecoprop among others. The chemical indicator substances are intended to support comparisons between watersheds and technical and natural processes independent of specific water cycles and to reduce efforts and costs of chemical analyses without losing essential information. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Heinrichs G.,RWTH Aachen | Hubner I.,RheinEnergie AG | Schmidt C.K.,RheinEnergie AG | de Hoog G.S.,Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures Fungal Biodiversity Center | And 2 more authors.
Mycopathologia | Year: 2013

Formation of tenacious and massive black biofilms was occasionally observed at the water-air interphase of water taps and in associated habitats at several locations in Germany. Exophiala lecanii-corni was proven to be the dominant component of these biofilms. Water utility companies were interested to understand by which route fungi building these black biofilms enter their habitat at affected sites in domestic sanitary. A wide variety of fungi is known to be common in wet indoor environments, as well as in the drinking water resources. Two possible routes of entry are therefore considered as follows: (a) distribution by the drinking water system or (b) a retrograde route of colonisation. Previous compositional analysis revealed that the black constituents of biofilms primarily belong to the herpotrichiellaceous black yeast and relatives. Therefore, a systematic search for black fungi in the drinking water system was performed using Sabouraud's glucose agar medium with chloramphenicol and erythritol-chloramphenicol agar as isolation media. Cadophora malorum was the dominant fungus in the investigated drinking water systems, and samples taken from the house connections (n = 50; 74 %, <200 cfu/L), followed by a so far undescribed Alternaria sp. (28 %; <10 cfu/L) and E. castellanii (26 %; <10 cfu/L). Of note, C. malorum was not present in any previously analysed biofilm. Since E. lecanii-corni was not found in any water sample from the distribution system tested, but represented the most abundant species in dark biofilms previously analysed, a retrograde route of contamination in case of E. lecanii-corni can be assumed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Gunten U.V.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Gunten U.V.,ETH Zurich | Salhi E.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Schmidt C.K.,Water Technology Center | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

N,N-Dimethylsulfamide (DMS), a newly identified, ubiquitous degradation product of the fungicide tolylfluanide, has been shown to be a N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) precursor during ozonation. In this study, batch ozonation experiments in ultrapure buffered water, surface water, and tap water were performed to determine the kinetics and elucidate the mechanism of NDMA formation from DMS. It was found that at circumneutral pH, DMS reacts slowly with ozone (k ≈ 20 M1 s1) and moderately with hydroxyl radicals (k = 1.5×109 M1s1). The reaction of DMS with these oxidants does not lead to NDMA. NDMA was only formed if bromide was present during ozonation of DMS-containing waters. Bromide is oxidized to hypobromous acid (HOBr) by ozone which then reacts with the primary amine of DMS to form a Br-DMS species. The rate limiting step of the formation of Br-DMS is the formation of HOBr. The reaction to form Br-DMS has an apparent second order rate constant at pH 8 of >3×104 M 1s1. The Br-DMS is transformed by ozone to NDMA and nitrate (k - 5000 M1 s1), with yields of 54% and 39%, respectively, based on the primary amine nitrogen of DMS. These reactions release bromide, making bromide a catalyst. NDMA is also formed during ozonation of DMS in the presence of hypochlorous acid (20-30% yield). The last step of NDMA formation is an intramolecular rearrangement with sulfur dioxide extrusion. On the basis of the mechanistic and kinetic information, it was possible to model NDMA formation in DMS-containing Lake Zurich water. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Goen T.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Schmidt C.K.,RheinEnergie AG | Wilhelm M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Holzer J.,Ruhr University Bochum
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2012

In Cologne, Germany, increased concentrations of perfluorinated compounds (PFC) have been observed in two private wells used for drinking water purposes. Both wells are located in the vicinity of a fire training area. Use of well water as a source of drinking water was prohibited by the Public Health Department of the City of Cologne. A human biomonitoring (HBM) survey was performed among all persons, who consumed water from these private wells (N=10). PFC concentrations in water of the private wells and in blood samples were analysed by tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Repeated water analyses (seven measurements between December 2009 and November 2010) indicated a decrease of PFOS from 8.35 to 1.60μg/l, (PFHxS: 2.36-0.15μg/l; PFOA: 0.16-0.03μg/l) in one private well. Although situated close together, PFC-concentrations in the other private well were significantly lower. PFOS-concentrations in blood samples of private well water consumers ranged from 4.8 to 295μg/l (PFHxS: 12.1-205μg/l; PFOA: 4.0-18μg/l). Although no data on the formulation of the firefighting foams applied on the fire training area is available, firefighting foams are supposed to be the most likely source of contamination. These findings give reason to track systematically the application of PFC-containing firefighting foams in order to identify contaminations of surface, ground and drinking waters. © 2011 Elsevier GmbH.


Schmidt C.K.,RheinEnergie AG | Raue B.,DVGW Technologiezentrum Wasser | Brauch H.-J.,DVGW Technologiezentrum Wasser | Sacher F.,DVGW Technologiezentrum Wasser
International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

A novel analytical method for the trace-level determination of the organic phosphonates 1-hydroxyethane(1,1-diphosphonic acid) (HEDP), nitrilotris(methylene phosphonic acid) (NTMP), ethylenediaminetetra(methylene phosphonic acid) (EDTMP), hexamethylenediaminetetra(methylene phosphonic acid) (HDTMP) and diethylenetriaminepenta(methylene phosphonic acid) (DTPMP) in natural waters is described. Key-elements of the novel method are the destruction of the various metal complexes which are present in natural water samples by a strong cation exchange resin, the subsequent 50-fold pre-concentration of the analytes by a weak anion exchanger and their final determination by ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Addition of the complexing agent diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) to the eluent of the anion exchanger leads to a significant improvement of the chromatographic performance for all phosphonates, but especially for EDTMP. Detection of the phosphorous species in ICP-MS is done via the molecular ion 47PO+ which exhibits high sensitivity and which is only marginally affected by interferences. Validation of the method gives excellent performance parameters with recoveries close to 100%, limits of detection below 0.1 μg/L for each individual target compound and standard deviations for replicate analyses below 10%. Application of the novel method to environmental samples shows that trace amounts of HEDP and DTPMP may be found in river waters affected by discharges of municipal or industrial wastewater treatment plants. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


Scheurer M.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Brauch H.-J.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Schmidt C.K.,RheinEnergie AG | Sacher F.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts | Year: 2016

Nitrification and urease inhibitors (NUIs) decelerate the bacterial oxidation of nitrogen species by suppressing the activity of soil microorganisms. Thus, nitrogen losses can be limited and the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers can be increased. After application NUI transfers to surface water may occur through leaching or surface run-off. In order to assess the occurrence of nitrification and urease inhibitors in the aquatic environment a multi-analyte high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method was developed. 1H-1,2,4-Triazole and dicyandiamide (DCD) were detected for the first time in German surface waters. Only at a few sites 1H-1,2,4-triazole has been episodically detected with concentrations up to the μg L-1-range. DCD was ubiquitously present in German surface waters. An industrial site was identified as the point source of DCD being responsible for exceptionally high DCD concentrations of up to 7.2 mg L-1 in close proximity to the point of discharge. Both compounds were also detected in at least one wastewater treatment plant effluent, but their concentrations in surface waters did not correlate with those of typical markers for domestic wastewater. Other NUIs were not detected in any of the samples. Laboratory-scale batch tests proved that 1H-1,2,4-triazole and DCD are not readily biodegradable, are not prone to hydrolysis and do not tend to adsorb onto soil particles. Ozonation and activated carbon filtration proved to be ineffective for their removal. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Heinrichs G.,RWTH Aachen | Hubner I.,RheinEnergie AG | Schmidt C.K.,RheinEnergie AG | de Hoog G.S.,Fungal Biodiversity Center | And 2 more authors.
Mycopathologia | Year: 2013

Mass growth of dark fungal biofilms on water taps and associated habitats was observed in various German drinking water distribution systems recently. Customers of affected drinking water systems are anxious about potential and unknown health risks. These environments are known to harbour a fungal flora also comprising a variety of fungal opportunists that are well known to cause superficial mycoses in humans (Exophiala equina, Exophiala lecanii-corni) but are not known to establish dark biofilms so far. To gain profound insight on composition of respective biofilms, a metagenomic approach using Tag-Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (TEFAP) of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 region in comparison with a classical cultivation approach using Sabouraud agar with chloramphenicol and erythritol-chloramphenicol-agar was performed. E. lecanii-corni was found to be the major component in 10 of 13 biofilms analysed independently of the method used. Alternaria sp., E. equina, Fusarium spp. and Ochroconis spp. were also relatively abundant. As expected, TEFAP usually revealed a higher diversity than the cultivation approaches. For example, opportunistic species like Candida albicans or Exophiala dermatitidis were detected in very low amounts. In conclusion, TEFAP turned out to be a promising and powerful tool for the semi-quantitative analysis of fungal biofilms. Referring to relevant literature, potential biological hazards caused by fungi of the dark biofilms can be regarded as low. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Holbeck B.,University of Bonn | Amelung W.,University of Bonn | Wolf A.,RheinEnergie AG | Sudekum K.-H.,University of Bonn | And 2 more authors.
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2013

Frequently, organic fertilizers are applied to maintain or to increase soil fertility and plant yields. However, as the N availability of organic fertilizers is difficult to calculate, applied fertilizer N may be subject to loss, particularly through leaching. The objective of this study was to evaluate the fate of fertilizer N from two common organic manures (chicken manure, mushroom compost) in arable topsoil during one winter cover cropping and cropping season. For this purpose, 15N-labelled fertilizers were produced by feeding chicken with 15N-labelled maize pellets and by incubating a mushroom substrate with 15N-labelled mineral fertilizer, respectively. Thereafter, the 15N uptake by a mustard winter cover crop, its release to the main crop (sugar beet), and its retention in soil were investigated in two differently textured soils under otherwise identical conditions during a period of 400 days. Mineral K15NO3 fertilizer served as control. In the surface soil (0-10cm), only 20-40% of the applied 15N was recovered after the first 50-60 days, which was the period of mustard growth. Thereafter, the amount of 15N recovered in the soil increased again until day 259, reflecting the re-release of the fertilizer N from the winter cover crop in all treatments. The fertilizer N recovery in the winter cover crop itself was highest for mushroom compost (60%), followed by mineral fertilizer (50%) whereas it was almost not detectable for chicken manure (3%). Soil texture did not affect the overall retention of the fertilizer N in soil, and even after 400 days we recovered 67% of the fertilizer N from mushroom compost, 37% from chicken manure and 28% from the mineral fertilizer (0-30cm). The following main crop, sugar beet, still utilized between 7 and 13% of the initial fertilizer addition from the previous summer. We conclude that mustard winter cover cropping after organic fertilization is efficient in retaining available N during winter time, and mushroom compost is better than mineral N-fertilizer and chicken manure in respect of being a slow and sustainable N fertilizer source for the plants at reduced N losses. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Steinkamp D.,Rhein Energie AG
BWK - Energie-Fachmagazin | Year: 2011

Energy conversion has become a popular topic in the aftermath of the 3/11/2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The concept has been around for ≈ 30 yr in Germany, which currently sources ≈ 20% of its electricity mix from renewable energy. Germany's early adoption of energy conversion has allowed it to address energy demand concerns. Nevertheless, there are still other energy industry-related challenges that the country needs to tackle.

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