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Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) face increasing costs of sludge management, and its disposal is a challenging issue. Anaerobic digestion is the most commonly used method for disposing of municipal and industrial sludge, as it reduces the amount of final sludge and produces biogas for energy generation. However, Anaerobic digestion produces a reject water called centrates, which contains a high amount of ammonium and causes disruptions and inefficiencies in WWTP processes.

To address this issue, we would like develop a bioreactor and bioprocess that uses isolated and selected microorganisms in granular form to treat centrates. Out ultimate goal is to develop an industrial solution.


The project will be driven by Daniel and Vice, members of Hackuarium.

To further improve the bioprocess, we are collaborating with HEPIA to investigate the relationship between Extracellular Polymemic Substance (EPS) coating and bioprocess performance. Efficient granulation and stable granular biomass depend on EPS. The research part of this project aims to define optimal process and operational conditions to produce EPS, which will provide the physical structure of the aerobic granules and enhance the biomass's resilience against harsh conditions.


Only stockage of material and discussion, meetings and administrative work have been done on site in Hackuarium's abc2, to date (Feb 2024). The plan is for any prototype tests to be run in close association with STEP projects and sites. Only P1 controls of systems could be contemplated in the lab, not any wild STEP sludge samples.

Theoretically, however:

The microbiological composition of the population is as described below:


Raw Data:

To note: The project remains interesting historically, with a once 'BelAir' engineer currently involved in #coding4all after having done bioreactor runs near Geneva in the early 2000s for testing microbial community effects for reduction of nitrogen. It is interesting still in the current context.