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CARbon BALAncing for nutrient control in wastewater treatment


The objective of this project is to enable transfer of knowledge in the field of wastewater treatment through an exchange programme among eight research groups; early and senior researchers will participate and work on newprocess configurations for wastewater treatment. Innovative unit processes will be studied at bench and pilot scale and combined into wastewater treatment systems optimized with respect to wastewater characteristics and environmental conditions.

The partners’ expertise is complementary with regards to:
- the unit processes that will be included in the proposed configurations (anammox and denitrifying phosphorus accumulating bacteria, attached growth bio-systems, phosphorus recovery, anaerobic digestion and co-digestion, fermentation, sulphur cycle-related biotechnology);
- the ability of representing the studied phenomena (activated sludge modelling, ecological and carbon footprint assessment);
- the context of reference (environmental and economical situation; domestic or industrial wastewater);
- facilities (analytical instruments, laboratories, pilot scale plants);
- scientific and technical background (microbiology, chemistry and engineering).

The project will deal with the need, typical “state of the art” wastewater treatment for biodegradable carbon, both for heterotrophic denitrification and biological phosphorous removal, which is often not sufficiently present in the wastewater itself. External carbon sources are not only expensive but their application increases both the production of excess sludge and the energy and carbon footprint of the treatment, eventually reducing the potential production of biogas.

New process configurations will be based on the idea of balancing the use of organic compounds in order to maximize the role of anaerobic processes while, at the same time, operating biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal; this will facilitate the decrease of the carbon footprint, while maintaining the desirable effluent quality.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/bioprocessing technologies/fermentation
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IRSES - International research staff exchange scheme (IRSES)


Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 189 000
Administrative Contact
Giulio Munz (Dr.)

Participants (2)

EU contribution
€ 176 400
Ul. Gabriela Narutowicza 11/12
80-233 Gdansk
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jacek Makinia (Prof.)
EU contribution
€ 218 200
Lungarno Pacinotti 43/44
56126 Pisa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Giulio Petroni (Dr.)