226.049 Anaerobic Wastewater and Sludge Treatment
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020S, VO, 1.5h, 2.0EC


  • Semester hours: 1.5
  • Credits: 2.0
  • Type: VO Lecture

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to describe and explain the contents of the lecture, to elucidate advantages of different technologies of anaerobic wastewater / sludge treatment as well as to give simple practical examples.

Subject of course

In biological wastewater treatment, a distinction is made between aerobic and anaerobic treatment methods. In practice, aerobic processes are primarily used for purification of effluents with relatively low concentrations of organic contaminants (e.g. municipal sewage). Anaerobic processes are primarily used in the treatment of sludge and highly concentrated industrial wastewater.

In this lecture, you will be introduced to the microbiological principles, the specific procedures and the fields of application of anaerobic biological wastewater treatment. You will learn about specific parameters for the assessment of industrial wastewater and we will have a look at some interesting industrial wastewater treatment case studies.

The second part of the lecture deals with the treatment and disposal of sludge from municipal biological wastewater treatment plants. This includes the current development of various processes for P-recycling from municipal sewage sludge. Phosphorus, an essential element for all organisms, which was added to the list of critical resources in the EU in 2014, can be recovered from the sludge after a targeted P-removal in the wastewater treatment process (bio-P, precipitation) and used as fertilizer in agriculture.

A further main topic of the lecture is the consumption and production of energy in wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater treatment plants are among the major electricity consumers in many municipalities. You will learn why this is not a necessity and how to prepare and operate wastewater treatment plants without any external energy input or even with an energy surplus that can be sold to the electricity provider.

You will get information on the main sources and sinks of energy in the wastewater and sludge treatment process, learn about the most efficient way to use gas generated during the sludge digestion process and about the pros and cons of co-fermentation, get an idea of what in meant by "Organic Rankine Cycle" and whether the idea of the energy-positive sewage treatment plant can actually be realized. In addition, the importance of wastewater treatment with regard to greenhouse gas emissions is discussed.

Teaching methods


Mode of examination


Additional information

The lecture will not take place in the summer semester 2020. (03.03.2020)

The preliminary lecture meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 03, 2020, at 10 am in the IWR Semianrraum AD0117 on the first floor.



Course dates

Tue10:00 - 10:3003.03.2020 IWR Seminarraum, Raumnummer AD0117, Stiege 1, 1. StockVorlesungsvorbesprechung

Examination modalities

During the oral exam, the entire content of the lecture will be requested, focusing on the understanding of the biological / chemical / physical contexts as well as on the implementation of knowledge in practical examples.

Course registration

Not necessary



No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

The mastery of the content of lecture 226.026Wassergütewirtschaft/Water Quality Management (in the Bachelor's degree) is required.

The visit of lecture 226.043 Abwasserreinigung/Waste water treatment is recommended.

Preceding courses

Accompanying courses