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Online course

Activated sludge activity tests

This is the first of the seven courses in this series. It covers the biological removal of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus, and biological sulphate reduction. It contains five videos and a textbook chapter that can be accessed free of charge at this webpage.

Course information

  • About

    This course focuses on the characterization of the conversion capacities of the microbial communities for the major activated sludge processes such as aerobic organic matter removal, biological nitrogen removal (BNR), enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR), and biological sulphate reduction. The course is designed for both academics and practitioners, including graduate and postgraduate students, researchers, laboratory staff, plant operators, consultants, and other sector professionals with a background in sanitary, civil, environmental or (bio)chemical engineering, environmental biotechnology or biochemistry. As the course is at graduate level, participants with knowledge of and experience with the basic concepts of biological wastewater treatment will particularly benefit from it.

  • Syllabus

    The following topics are part of the course:

    • Enhanced biological phosphorus removal;
    • Biological sulphate reduction;
    • Biological nitrogen removal;
    • Aerobic organic matter removal.

    For a detailed table of contents please click here.

  • Objectives │ Activities │ Assessment

    Learning objectives, activities and assessment depend on the delivery mode of the course. In general, learning objectives are more complex for instructor-led courses. This is particularly true for on-campus courses and tailored training because they allow for guided, hands-on, laboratory exercises and assignments. To view the learning objectives, activities and assessment of this course please click here.

  • Contact


Organic matter removal test

This video shows the execution of a batch activity test to assess the aerobic removal of organic matter.

1 of 5

Nitrification test

This video features the use of a titrimetric method for determination of the nitrification activity of an activated sludge.

2 of 5

Anammox activity test

A manometric approach is applied in this test to determine the activity of an Anammox culture.

3 of 5

Sulphate reduction test

The sulfate reduction activity of an activated sludge is estimated by applying a sacrificial bottle test.

4 of 5

Enhanced biological phosphorus removal test

This video shows the execution of an anaerobic-anoxic/aerobic test to determine the P-removal activity of an activated sludge.

5 of 5

Download the chapter

Activated sludge activity tests (8.5 MB)

Available in English, Spanish and Croatian. Coming soon in Russian, Hindi, Marathi and Tamil.

Activated sludge activity tests

This chapter is an integral part of the textbook Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment. It is a complementary part of the course curriculum and includes background information on the processes of interest, details on experimental set-ups, preparation and execution, as well as a results discussion and interpretation, accompanied with examples and additional information. The book is also used for teaching the MSc specialization in Sanitary Engineering at IHE Delft and several other universities worldwide. It is the product of collaborative efforts by research groups and practitioners around the world. You can download your free copy of the book in one of currently available languages.
  • Van Loosdrecht M.C.M., Nielsen P.H., Lopez-Vazquez C.M., Brdjanovic D. Ed. (2016) Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment. IWA Publishing, pg. 350, ISBN 9781780404745 (Hardback) 9781780404752 (eBook)