Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

This course is designed to provide participants with an understanding of AnWT and related technologies to be able to implement and spread environmental protection technologies that focus on resource preservation. 

For whom?

The course targets mid-career professionals responsible for or dealing with wastewater treatment. A basic understanding of the principles of wastewater treatment (biology, chemistry, process technology) is required; the course language is English.


While there is not a strict prerequisite to undertaking this course it is recommended that the participants have clear concepts on:

  • Microbiology (First-year undergraduate level, eg. classification of microbial life, autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms, growth requirements...) 
  • Chemistry (First-year undergraduate level, eg. chemical bonds, balancing reactions equations, oxidation-reduction reactions, solubility equilibrium, Gibbs free energy...)

In case you desire to update/refresh these concepts you can have a look at our free online preparatory courses on Microbiology and Chemistry via the link "". 

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. have a proper understanding of Anaerobic wastewater treatment (AnWT) and technologies making use of anaerobic treatment
  2. know how to calculate on COD balances
  3. be able to design a basic UASB reactor
  4. know how anaerobic reactor effluent can be treated
  5. be introduced to innovations in anaerobic wastewater treatment such as anaerobic MBRs

Course structure

The course can be followed within the 3 week complete short course Resource Oriented Wastewater Treatment and Sanitation, but can also be taken separately as a 1 week course.

Course content

The IHE Delft Anaerobic Treatment short course presents the following topics:

  • Anaerobic reactor technology
  • Basic calculations, working with COD balancing, bio-essays
  • Microbiology and biochemistry of anaerobic conversions
  • UASB: principles, design, start-up, affecting factors
  • Treatment of anaerobic reactor effluent
  • Anaerobic membrane bioreactors
  • Case studies

The participants will be offered substantial fundamentals topped with the latest insights in anaerobic wastewater treatment. The course will be awarded with a IHE Delft certificate.


The classes are taught by global experts in the field of anaerobic wastewater treatment research, including Professor Jules van Lier from IHE Delft/TU Delft and Professor Carlos Chernicharo from the Federal University of Minas Gerais.


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