Wednesday, 30 November 2022


The research, development and innovation activities of the Institute's staff are partly carried out on the basis of independent issues and partly through cooperation with the University of Szeged's major research areas and with other Hungarian and international institutes. Our students regularly participate in our research work through TDK (Scientific Student Conferences) works and through their thesis and diploma work.



Prof. Dr. Cecilia Hodúr DSc

Investigation of impulse- and component transport at waste- and wastewater utilisation

• Increase membrane filtration parameters by enzymatic pretreatment
• Minimize flux reduction by increasing shear strength
• Vibration membrane filtration and waste processing
• Use of combined operations in waste, water and sewage treatment
• Generation of fuel ethanol from third-generation carbohydrate sources

Prof. Dr. Zsuzsanna László, PhD

AOP and membrane techniques in water treatment

  • Removal of organic micro-pollutants (as pesticide residues, pharmaceutical residues, mineral oil contaminants) by membrane separation techniques (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis).
  • Reduction of membrane fouling by chemical methods coupled with membrane separation, primarily by advanced oxidation processes (ozone, hydrogen peroxide, UV light, Fenton reaction)
  • Investigation of the interaction between the membrane surface and the fouling materials based on the measurement of the contact angle between the fluid and the membrane, and determination of surface free energy.

    Dr. Szabolcs Kertész, PhD

    • Efficiency improvement of membrane separation processes (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis) in water- and wastewater treatment
      • Membrane separation techniques in process intensification
      • Decreasing of membrane fouling by membrane module vibration
      • Testing the effects of wastewater pre-treatment techniques on further filtration
      • Optimisation of operational parameters for dairy wastewater treatment
      • Food industrial wastewater purification by nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.


    Dr. Sándor Beszédes, PhD

    • Development and efficiency investigation of microwave sludge conditioning methods
    • Investigation of the effects of thermal pre-treatments on anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge
    • Intensification of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose containing wastes and by-products by thermal and thermochemical pre-treatments
    • Investigation of the relationship between dielectric parameters and biodegradability of wastewater, sludge and other waste and by-products


    Dr. Gábor Veréb, PhD

    Utilization of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) and membrane separation in water treatment

    • Elimination of organic contaminants by different advanced oxidation processes (heterogeneous photocatalysis, ozonation, Fenton- and photo-Fenton reactions, UV photolysis).
    • Elimination of water contaminants by coagulation/flocculation methods.
    • Investigation of the elimination of organic contaminants by membrane separation processes (microfiltration, ultrafiltration).
    • Decline of membrane fouling by advanced oxidation processes.
    • Investigation of the interactions between the membrane surface and the contaminants.
    • Preparation, characterization and utilization of photocatalytic nanopraticle- and nanocomposite modified membrane surfaces.
    • Investigation of the toxicity of oxidation by-products, which are produced during the application of advanced oxidation processes.


    Research Teams

    Research group for waste utilization and renewable energy (HUMEK)

    One of the main research are of HUMEK is to develop novel and energetically efficient extraction processes of bioactive components from food industry wastes and by-products. Another research focus is to investigate the efficiency of bio-energetic utilization of agrifood waste.

    During our research work and projects the group build partnership in the framework of joint research projects with MTT Agrifood Research Institute (Finland) and Research Institute on Bioengineering, Membrane Technology and Energetics (Hungary).

    Detailed area of research and results of the HUMEK group:

    • Development of novel, low solvent demanded microwave assisted extraction (MAE) method for extraction of antioxidants from plant origin food industry by-products (collaboration with MTT Finland)
    • Development of MAE process for pectin extraction from by-products of berry processing, quality assessment of pectin extracted by different extraction method (collaboration with Research Institute on Bioengineering, Membrane Technology and Energetics)
    • Development of microwave pre-treatment method for enhanced saccharification of lignocellulose materials, investigation of the effect of electromagnetic field at microwave frequencies on the kinetic of enzymatic processes
    • Investigation of microwave pre-treatment method for enhanced aerob and anaerobic biodegradability of food industry sludge, optimisation of microwave conditioning for enhanced biogas production
    • Development of continuously flow microwave reactor and dielectric measurement system to investigate the applicability and energetic efficiency of microwave treatments of liquid and semi-solid waste and by-products
    • Development of green membrane separation process (reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration) to concentrate the organic matter fraction of wastewater before anaerobic digestion
    • Separation of different bioactive components form liquid food industry by-products and effluents by membrane processes
    • Modelling of fouling behaviour in pressure driven membrane separation process for enhanced capacity and rejection

    Selected publications:

    • S. Beszédes, L. Ludányi, G. Szabó, C. Hodúr: Microwave enhanced biodegradability of meat processing wastewater sludge. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 16(1), 149-155, 2017
    • Szabolcs Kertész, Ádám Veszprémi, Zsuzsanna László, József Csanádi, Gábor Keszthelyi-Szabó, Cecilia Hodúr: Investigation of module vibration in ultrafiltration, Desalination and Water Treatment 55(10) (2015) 2836-2842.
    • N. Pap, S. Beszédes, E. Pongracz, L. Myllykoski, G. Miklósné, E. gyimes, C. Hodúr, R.L Keiski: Microwave assisted extraction of anthocyanins from black currant marc. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 6(10), 2666-2674, 2013
    • Bélafi-Bakó, Katalin; Cserjési, Petra; Beszédes, Sándor; Csanádi, Zsófia; Hodúr, Cecilia.: Berry Pectins Microwave-Assisted Extraction and Rheological Properties. Food And Bioprocess Technology,5 ,1100-1105., 2012
    • Szabolcs Kertész, Péter Bor, Cecilia Hodúr, József Csanádi, Gábor Veréb, Ildikó Kovács, Gábor Keszthelyi-Szabó, Zsuzsanna László: Effects of shear rate on membrane filtration, Desalination and Water Treatment 69 (2017) 43-49.
    • Ildikó Kovács, Szabolcs Kertész, Gábor Veréb, Ibolya Zita Papp, Ákos Kukovecz, Cecilia Hodúr, Zsuzsanna László: Membrane fouling control by means if TiO2 coating during model dairy wastewater filtration, Desalination and Water Treatment 73 (2017) 415-421.
    • Sándor Beszédes, Zsuzsanna László, Zsuzsanna H. Horváth, Gábor Szabó, Cecilia Hodúr: Comparison of the effects of microwave irradiation with different intensities on the biodegradability of sludge from the dairy- and meat-industry. Bioresource Technology, 102, 814-820, 2011
    • Kertész Szabolcs, Landaburu-Aguirre Junkal, García Veronica, Pongrácz Éva, Hodúr Cecilia, Keiski Ritta; A statistical experimental design for the separation of zinc from aqueous solutions containing sodium chloride and n-butanol by Micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration; Desalination and Water Treatment 9 (2009) 221-228.


    Membrane and Environmental Techniques Research Group

    Our research team (METRG) investigates the combination of advanced oxidation processes and membrane technology.

    While membrane filtration can be used to treat waters and waste waters with very good efficiency, a wide variety of problems are currently unresolved such as membrane fouling, which results in a decrease in water flux, increased operating costs, and reduced life time of the membrane. Another problem to be solved is the fate of the retentate of the filtration process containing high amount of concentrated pollutants, thus the possibility of further utilization is also investigated.

    Our research team studies the effect of pre-treatments based on advanced oxidation processes (eg. ozone, hydrogen peroxide, UV light, Fenton reaction, and their combinations) on membrane fouling, on changes in flux and retention values ​​during membrane filtration. These methods have been successfully applied e.g. for the filtration of dairy and meat waste water. We have also proved that the pre-treatment results in a higher bio-degradability of the residual concentrate, which enables the further biological treatment.

    One of our research area is to examine the filterability of waters with high organic, especially hydrocarbon content; these results may be useful in development of technologies dealing treatment of waste thermal waters.

    Our research team also investigates the possibility of reducing membrane fouling. Physical procedures are used such as ultrasonic treatment and/or membrane module vibration to investigate whether we can achieve effective results without the addition of additional chemical substances. Vibration-free and vibration membrane filtration is carried out with identical parameters (same pore size and membrane) to achieve comparable result. To characterize the membranes, we apply contact angle measurements, determination of surface free energy, or electron microscopic images about the membrane surface and cross-section for both the untreated base membranes and the fouled membranes. Our results are used to predict and model membrane fouling.

    Combining the various processes mentioned above with membrane separation techniques, whether pre-treatment or post-treatment, is a recent promising research topic. In order to increase efficiency (such as higher flux, membrane retention, and lower resistance values) our team has developed a number of methods. Our results are published and being published continuously in prestigious Hungarian and international scientific journals.

    Major publications of the research team:

    1. Gábor Veréb, Mihály Zakar, Ildikó Kovács, Katalin Pappné Sziládi, Szabolcs Kertész, Cecilia Hodúr, Zsuzsanna László; Effects of pre-ozonation on case of microfiltration of oil contaminated waters using polyethersulfone membrane at various filtration conditions, Desalination and Water Treatment 73 (2017) 409-414.
    2. Zsolt László Kiss; Lajos Kocsis; Gábor Keszthelyi-Szabó; Cecilia Hodúr; Zsuzsanna László: Treatment of oily wastewater by combining ozonation and microfiltration, Desalination and Water Treatment pp. 1-8. (2014)
    3. Kiss Zsolt László; Szép Angéla; Kertész Szabolcs; Hodúr Cecilia; László Zsuzsanna: Treatment of waste thermal waters by ozonation and nanofiltraton, Water Science and Technology (ISSN: 0273-1223) 67: (6) pp. 1272-1279. (2013)
    4. Zs László; Sz Kertész; S Beszédes; Zs H Hovorka; G Szabó; C Hodúr: Effect of pre-ozonation of the filterability of model dairy waste water in nanofiltration. Desalination 240: pp. 170-177. (2009)
    5. S Beszédes; Sz. Kertész; Zs László; C Hodúr: Biogas production of ozone and/or microwave pre-treated canned maize production sludge. Ozone-Science & Engineering 31: pp. 257-261. (2009)




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