Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action IF - WISEFLOW


Full title: Whole-plant Assessment of Innovative, Sustainable and Energy-efficient Future Layouts of Wastewater Treatment Plants

H2020-MSCA-IF-2018  Project no. 846316

Promotor: Prof. Eveline I. P. Volcke    

Duration: 24 months (1 April 2019 – 31 March 2021)

Partner organizations: VEOLIA Research and Innovation (VERI) and French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA)   


The WISEFLOW project addresses multiple, and oftentimes conflicting, current and future challenges of wastewater treatment plants: load increases due to population growth and urbanization, stricter effluent quality limits, space limitations for building new plants, energy-efficiency and last but not the least, sustainability.

A promising perspective to address these challenges is through the integration of existing and novel technologies, in a smart and innovative way, within wastewater treatment plant configurations. These technologies include, but are not limited to: anaerobic treatment, high-rate activated sludge units, chemically enhanced primary treatment, aerobic granular sludge systems and shortcut nitrogen removal processes. Moreover, besides description of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in biochemical processes, attention will be paid to the fate of sulfur, which has deleterious effects and is often overlooked but is particularly present in coastal areas.

Research in this project will focus on key process engineering aspects, i.e. design and control, as the missing link to bring sustainable schemes for municipal wastewater treatment into practice. Through model-based analysis of unit processes and integrated schemes, including model calibration and validation based on experimental full- and lab-scale data, the proposed schemes will be optimized, evaluated and compared using multi-criteria objective analysis and newly-developed evaluation criteria. The overall multi-criteria evaluation and optimization of these novel wastewater treatment plant schemes is technically challenging and inherently innovative.

The developed methodology and insights gained from this project will not be only most valuable as such, but will also be transferable to additional novel treatment technologies coming up in the future.


The WISEFLOW project aims to develop novel and innovative wastewater treatment process layouts.  The processes will be optimized, and thereafter, multi-criteria objective assessment techniques will be applied to evaluate and compare the performance of the various process layouts amongst each other, as well as with respect to a conventional activated sludge-based wastewater treatment plant.

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is the beneficiary organization in this project.


Dr. Kimberly Solon
Biosystems Control Research Group, Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 (0)9 264 61 93