Comparison of different release batch tests for mapping the potential of enhanced biological phosphorus removal at wastewater treatment plants


Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has been recognised as the most sustainable process to remove phosphorus from municipal WWTPs. However, EBPR processes often experience fluctuant performance or unpredicted upsets due to weak influent carbon levels, excessive nitrate loading, nutrient limitation, hydraulic shocks and toxicity.

Laboratory batch tests to evaluate the EBPR activity in the activated sludge could be a useful tool to e.g. (i) map variations in EBPR potential in a sludge, (ii) calibrating a process model, and (ii) following a start-up of an EBPR process.

The batch tests normally used for measuring the potential EBPR activity is sometimes questioned to suffer from low accuracy and specificity. Therefore new methods have been developed.

NSVA (Nordvästra Skånes Vatten och Avlopp AB) operates the water and wastewater works in seven municipalities in northwestern Scania. The two largest WWTPs are operating the EBPR process.


The main objective of this project is to compare the ordinary laboratory batch test for EBPR activity with at least two other laboratory batch tests in terms of simplicity and accuracy.


The batch tests are performed at the laboratory at the Department of Chemical Engineering. EBPR sludge from Lundåkra and Öresund WWTPs is used in the tests.


Autumn 2022

Interested to perform this Master´s thesis?

Contact the one of the supervisors for the project.

  • David Gustavsson, research leader, Sweden Water Research (
  • Karin Jönsson, senior lecturer, Lund University (