David Gustavsson

Research Leader, VA SYD

David Gustavsson is focus area leader of focus areas Removal of organic micropollutants in wastewater, Circular wastewater systems and Resource efficient and environmental friendly wastewater treatment

David started to work at Malmö Water & Sewage Works/VA SYD in 2006. He is hired (100%) into Sweden Water Research as research leader. His research focus on making the centralised municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) more efficient, not only by actions inside the fence of the WWTP but also by upstream work. He is especially interested in biological processes, system analyses, recycling loops of plant nutrients and urine separation.

Fyra små glasflaskor med olikfärgat innehåll

Ongoing Projects

Decentralized wastewater treatment

In the Oceanhamnen district of Helsingborg, wastewater is source-separated into two fractions: greywater and blackwater….

Gräs som växer i rader av betongcirklar

Ongoing Projects

Phosphorus availability in sludge biochar

The soil’s chemical properties that relate to phosphorus availability will be be studied continuously. One…

Bild på Ellinge Avloppsreningsverk

Ongoing Projects

FramBliK – The future biofilm process, still with continuous operation

The overall aim of this project is, in pilot-scale, study and develop a compact and…

Completed Projects

ELSA – Efficient aeration at the Swedish wastewater treatment plants

In the ELSA project, the foremost Swedish experts in aeration and operation and process engineers…

Ongoing Projects

Ideal Carbon Utilisation (ICU)

PHD PROJECT In municipal wastewater treatment, easily available carbon is needed as energy source for…

Completed Projects

Micropollutant removal at Sjölunda WWTP – bromate formation in ozonation and regeneration of activated carbon

Previously, micropollutants at Sjölunda WWTP have been mapped and this study answers some supplementary questions…

Completed Projects

Increased production of biogas through industrial symbiosis – co-digestion of steam pretreated straw and sewage sludge

The potential could be realised in a socio-economically profitable way through industrial symbiosis between agricultural…

Completed Projects

NPHarvest – Sustainable recycling of phosphorus and nitrogen

NPHarvest consists of a pre-treatment with calcium hydroxide which results in the precipitation of phosphorus…

Grafer på en dataskärm

Ongoing Projects

Characterisation of municipal wastewater

Existing load data from WWTPs are important, but are often deficient, and standard values for…

Bild på Ellinge Avloppsreningsverk

Completed Projects

Nutrient recycling from wastewater – literature study: an overview of technologies, costs and environmental impact

The report describes established and new technologies for nitrogen recovery from waste­water and compares the…

Completed Projects

Residues to best use – biochar as solution and product in the circular and climate positive society

A VA SYD PROJECT The project will continue to develop pyrolysis for seed residues, sewage…

Foto granuler mot mörk bakgrund.

Completed Projects

AGNES – Aerobic Granular sludge – Nutrient removal and recovery Efficiency in Sweden

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.

Completed Projects

HÅVA – Sustainability Analysis for Wastewater Heat Recovery

Can heat recovery be implemented on a large scale without unacceptable impact on the wastewater system and the environment?

Completed Projects


An introduction of anammox bacteria, as a significant nitrogen removal process in the mainstream of…

Lindblom E., Arnell M., Flores-Alsin X., Stenström F., Gustavsson D. J. I., Yang J. & Jeppsson U. (2015) Dynamic modelling of nitrous oxide emissions from three Swedish sludge liquor treatment plants. Water Science and Technology 73(4), pp. 798-806.

Gustavsson D. J. I. (2016) Is it worth to implement anammox in the mainstream at Swedish wastewater treatment plants? In Swedish. Vattenstämman 2016. Göteborg, Sweden, May 10-11, 2016.,

Gustavsson D. J. I. (2016) Pilot and prototype experiences at Sjölunda WWTP. Workshop – The future is here: experiences in the full-scale implementation of mainstream deammonification for leading edge nitrogen removal. The 13th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies. Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, June 13-16, 2016.,

Gustavsson D. J. I. (2016) What is sustainable wastewater handling? In Swedish. VA-mässan 2016, Jönköping, Sweden, September 27-29, 2016.,

Bengtsson, S., de Blois M., Flodin, J., Olsson, J., Jonstrup, M., Myring, K., Johansson, J., Wilén, B.-M., Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2017) Aeroba granuler, en ny reningsteknik för kommunala avloppsreningsverk. En kunskapssammanställning. (In Swedish) Svenskt Vatten Utveckling rapport nr. 2017-19.,

Show publication

Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2017) Stora avlopp och kretslopp – dagens och morgondagens teknik. (In Swedish) Nationell konferens Vatten Avlopp Kretslopp (VAK). 16-18 mars 2017, Norrköping, Sverige.,

Edefell, E., Jönsson, K., Persson, F., Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2017) Start-up of partial urine nitrification in an MBBR. 10th IWA International Conference on Biofilm Reactors. 9-12 maj 2017, Dublin, Irland.,

Gustavsson D. J. I., Okhravi A., Persson F., Llano Alvarez N. & la Cour Jansen J. (2015) Experiences of repression of nitrite production in nitritation-anammox on municipal wastewater. Article: Proceedings of IWA Specialist Conference on Nutrient Removal and Recovery: moving innovation into practice, Gdansk, Poland, May 18-21, 2015, pp. 230-236.,

Persson F., Suarez C., Hermansson M., Plaza E., Sultana R., Gustavsson D. J. I. & Wilén B.-M. (2015) Microbial community structure of nitritation-anammox biofilms at main stream conditions. Article: Proceedings of IWA Conference Nutrient Removal and Recovery 2015: moving into practice. Gdansk, Poland, May 18-21, 2015, pp. 465-471.,

Gustavsson D. J. I., Persson F. & la Cour Jansen J. (2014) Manammox – mainstream anammox at Sjölunda WWTP. Article: Proceedings of 9th IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal, September 21-26, 2014.,

Gustavsson D. (2019) Hvordan forbedre avløpsrensing i urbane områder og samtidig oppnå økt gjenbruk av plantenæringsemner. Status for sirkulær økonomi i avløpsbransjen. Norwegian seminar in a forum for circular economy in the Norwegian wastewater business. Oslo, Norway, November 13, 2019.,

Gustavsson, D.J.I., Suarez, C., Wilén, B.-M., Hermansson, M. & Persson, F. (2020) Long-term stability of partial nitritation-anammox for treatment of municipal wastewater in a moving bed biofilm reactor pilot system Science of the Total Environment 714, 136342. ,

Show publication

Ekholm et al. (2019) Start-up of aerobic granular sludge – results of the first AGS start-up in the Nordic countries. NORDIWA 2019. September 23-25. ,

Bengtsson, S., de Blois, M., Wilén, B-M., Gustavsson, D. (2018) Treatment of municipal wastewater with aerobic granular sludge Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology,

Show publication

Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2020) Manammox – anammox research at Sweden Water Research IWA Sweden seminar on Biofilm Systems in Municipal Wastewater Treatment – Opportunities, Challenges and Limitations, Malmö, Sweden, January 22-23, 2020.,

de Blois, M., Viberg, M., Ekholm, J. & Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2019) Aggressive SBR – a new way of operating SBR plants Nordic Wastewater Conference (NORDIWA) 2019, Helsinki, Finland, September 23-25, 2019.,

Bengtsson, S., de Blois, Mark., Wilén, B-M., Gustavsson, D. (2018) A comparison of aerobic granular sludge with conventional and compact biological treatment technologies Environmental Technology,

Show publication

Bengtsson, S., Fujii, D., Andersson, S., Arnell, M., Fredriksson, O. & Gustavsson, D.J.I. (2019) Energy efficient aeration in the Swedish wastewater sector Nordic Wastewater Conference (NORDIWA) 2019, Helsinki, Finland, September 23-25, 2019.,

Ekholm, J., Persson, F., de Blois, M., Modin, O., Pronk, M., van Loosdrecht, M.C.M., Suarez, C., Gustavsson, D., Wilén, B-M. (2022) Full-scale aerobic granular sludge for municipal wastewater treatment – granule formation, microbial succession, and process performance Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology,

Show publication