Integrated energy and greenhouse gas control for the treatment of highly concentrated wastewater



Over the last decades, biological processes for nitrogen removal from wastewater have proven their effectiveness and economic efficiency and have been widely implemented to meet increasingly stringent effluent standards. However, it is expected that secondary objectives dealing with the sustainability of wastewater treatment will gain further importance, aiming for reduced energy consumption, minimal addition of chemicals and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.


Research objectives

The overall goal of this doctoral research project is to optimize the energy balance and at the same time control greenhouse gas emissions during the treatment of wastewaters which are highly concentrated in terms of ammonium. As a typical example, the liquid manure fraction which remains after mechanical dewatering will be studied. Energy and greenhouse gas emissions are dealt with on three levels:

  • Application of innovative nitrogen removal processes
  • Energy recovery from biological reactors
  • Minimize greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. N2O)



    • Modelling and simulation
    • Full-scale monitoring campaigns
    • Lab-scale respirometric batch tests



      • Biological nitrogen removal
      • Energy balance
      • Greenhouse gas emissions

      Project Administration

      Researcher: Luis Corbala Robles

      Financing: UGent Special Research Fund 

      Project duration: 01.10.2014 - 30.09.2018