High-rate Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

TU Delft Anaerobic Digestion

Target Audience

working professionals with: basic knowledge of (bio)chemistry, chemical conversions, redox reactions, formation of precipitates. Knowledge of wastewater treatment in general. Basic knowledge of process design and reactor technology


Learn the principles, process design, and troubleshooting techniques for anaerobic wastewater treatment and get the full potentials of your anaerobic high-rate reactor.

Maximize the benefits
Anaerobic wastewater treatment is the most energy-efficient technology for treating wastewater. With minimal energy requirement and the conversion of organic pollutants into energy-rich biogas, there’s a double energy gain! This course addresses the fundamental principles, the microbial and physicochemical aspects, reactor technology and current and future applications.

The course presents state-of-the-art technology, focusing on sludge bed reactor systems. It also introduces the diagnostic tools used to determine the reasons for any sub-optimal performance. Sometimes anaerobic reactors suffer from sudden failures. In this course you will learn how to perform a diagnosis on the anaerobic reactor and evaluate why failures are experienced and decide what remedial action is required to restore the full potential benefit of the anaerobic system.

Anaerobic wastewater treatment is applied to a wide range of organically polluted wastewaters. At present, over 5000 reactors are installed worldwide.

Is this course for you?
This course will deepen your knowledge of anaerobic wastewater treatment and provides valuable background information for anybody interested in the field. Students, new professionals in the sector, academics, consultants, end-users from various industries will benefit from the course. You will not only learn about the potential of the system but also how to make a diagnosis when the treatment efficiency is lower than expected.

After taking the course you will be able to dimension and operate your own anaerobic reactor and turn a wastewater treatment plant into a real energy factory.

During the course you will have the opportunity to interact with peers from different countries and institutions working in the field. You will receive feedback from the lecturer and have the chance to work together with other course members on a case-study on which Prof. Dr. Jules van Lier will elaborate further. The connection to industry partners will give you the chance to be acquainted with the world’s top suppliers of anaerobic technology and discuss your views with other experts.

This course has been designed by TU Delft’s international experts on anaerobic wastewater treatment and is based on more than 30 years of research and practical experience in the field.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course you will be able to:

Calculate the energy benefits of applying high-rate anaerobic treatment compared with conventional activated sludge systems
Dimension anaerobic reactors (UASB/EGSB) for industrial wastewater treatment and judge the merits of novel systems
Start-up UASB reactors with low grade seed material
Perform a diagnostic analysis on malfunctioning anaerobic reactors
Control and monitor anaerobic reactors using the COD mass balance