Management and processing of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes


Basic knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, unit operations or equivalent

The world population is increasing and the standard of living is growing. This result in production of increasing quantities of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes which in turn give rise to further environmental problems such as soil and water contamination and emission of greenhouse gases. In addition our increasing use and disposal of natural materials has caused several critical natural resources to become limited. Thus, new and improved methods are required for managing our waste. The course will on both methods for evaluating the environmental impacts of waste management systems (such as life cycle assessment) and on state-of-art processes for treating the waste aiming at energy and materials extraction and recycling. In addition the course will give the students an introduction to the problem based, project oriented learning method that is practiced at Aalborg University.

Topics covered include 

  • Memebrane Bioreactors for wastewater treatment
  • Recycling of phosphorus from waste
  • Integrated bioprocess and membrane systems for treatment of liquid waste
  • Biofiltration for treatment of contaminated air
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from waste management systems
  • Environmental and life cycle assessment of waste management systems
  • Waste to energy systems
  • The students have to choose one of two projects based on problem-based project oriented learning method.

Project 1: Membrane bioreactors
Membrane bioreactors is an alternative to conventional waste water treatment with the potential for removing micropollutants, recycle nutrients (phosphorus), and in general improve the quality of the water. One major problem is clogging of the membrane (fouling). This seems to be closely related to the composition of the sludge in the MBR tanks, hence fouling can be reduced by changing the operation the MBR reactors. During the project a test MBR cell will be used to test different types of sludge to simulate the membrane flux and develop strategies for increasing the flux.

Project 2: Life cycle assessment/environmental assessment of waste management systems.
Waste management give rise to many different environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions water and soil pollution, odour emissions and noise pollution. These systems, however, may also provide energy or materials recovery thereby reducing the pressure on our natural resources. This project will focus on making an environmental assessment of the waste management system for a city or a region based on data from the waste processing plants in the city or region. The aim is to identify the environmental impacts of the waste management and to propose possible improvements to the system. As part of the project, visits to waste processing plants in the Aalborg region may be arranged based on student interest.


Extensive course slides will be made available prior to the course, further a literature list will be set up.



Morten Lykkegaard Christensen

Morten Lykkegaard Christensen received his Ph.D degree in “sludge dewatering” in 2006 from Aalborg University, Denmark. He is aasociate professor int he Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering where he works with liquid waste treatment, dewatering, membrane filtration





Tjalfe F. Poulsen

  Tjalfe G. Poulsen received his Ph.D degree in “contaminated soil cleanup” in 1997 from Aalborg University, Denmark. He is associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology where he works with solid waste management and gaseous biofilter material characterization.