Aerobic granular sludge, a new technology for municipal wastewater treatment plants – the state-of-the-art

More stringent discharge limits and increased load due to population growth and centralisation create needs of upgrading and enlarging the existing municipal wastewater treatment plants. At the same time expansion of housing areas close to the treatment plants increase the demands of retrofits and upgrades that are space efficient.

The aerobic granular sludge (AGS) technology is an innovative, compact and energy efficient wastewater treatment process that seems to be mature for full-scale implementation around the world. However, in general the knowledge about the technology in Sweden is inadequate. In two years the first Nordic AGS plant will be started at Österröds Wastewater Treatment Plant in Strömstad, Sweden (construction start spring 2017). A Swedish stakeholder group interested in the AGS technology has been formed consisted of the Municipality of Strömstad, Uppsala Vatten, VA SYD, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden Water Research and H2OLAND.

This project aims to increase the knowledge of the AGS technology in Sweden. A state-of-the-art report including special challenges for Swedish conditions and comparison with other treatment methods will be written in Swedish. The project includes a literature review, workshops, study visits and interviews of specialists. The project group consists of experts from the utilities, AGS researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and one experienced consultant. The project is partly funded by the Swedish Water & Wastewater Association (34,600 EUR).

The overall purpose of the project is to increase the knowledge about the AGS technology in Sweden. The aims are to

  • write a state-of-the-art report in Swedish about the AGS technology,
  • identify special challenges and potentials for the AGS technology in Swedish conditions, for example regarding wastewater characteristics, very stringent phosphorus discharge limits and possibilities of retrofits and extentension of existing wastewater treatment plants,
  • compare the AGS technology with other technologies such as activated sludge, moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR), and
  • describe the different stages that is needed to make the AGS technology a mature technology in Sweden (e.g. further studies, pilots and follow-up of the first full-scale plant in Strömstad).

Project members from Sweden Water Research

Partners in this project