Pioneer_STP project


(The Potential of Innovative Technologies to Improve Sustainability of Sewage Treatment Plants)


Pioneer_STP project is funded by Water Joint Programming Initiative, water challenge for a changing world waterworks 2014 confound call, with the aim of optimizing sustainable sewage treatment plant (STP) by including new and promising technologies at different points of the plant layout, taking into account the strong interdependencies between them. In Pioneer_STP a set of innovative technologies for the treatment of wastewater, sludge and centrate will be developed and assessed from a holistic and global perspective.


In the recent years, the water sector has been witnessing an unprecedented growing number of initiatives dealing with an in-depth revision of the baseline concept of STP, which has relatively remained unchanged since the discovery of Activated Sludge (AS) process 100 years ago. Targeting the resources recovery from wastewater, the production of effluents suitable for reuse (e.g. minimizing the concentration of emerging pollutants) and energy neutrality, sludge surplus and environmental impacts, are the current societal challenges in wastewater treatment.

The Project

Pioneer_STP is a collaboration project among Technical University of Denmark (DTU), University of Verona (UNIVR), University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and FCC Aqualia, the water company.

The specific objectives of project are manifested in eight main working packages (refer to the above figure):

- WP1 (USC, Aqualia, DTU, KTH, UNIVR): Coordinate and manage the project, ensure an effective communication among the partners, the JPI, and the stakeholders

- WP2 (UNIVR, USC, KTH): Evaluate the novel technologies to remove the main stream organic matter and also to promote biogas production

- WP3 (USC): Estimate the effect of thermal pre-treatment on the efficiency of sludge treatment and on digested sludge and centrate characteristics

- WP4 (KTH, USC, Aqualia): Establish a stable nitritation-anammox process in reactor systems by treating the main stream wastewater as well as at understanding the role of the prime microorganisms involved

- WP5 (Aqualia, UNIVR): Evaluate the efficiency of nutrient removal in the centrate of anaerobic digestion by proposing new and promising technology

- WP6 (DTU, USC): Develop superstructure based decision support tool for generating novel integration concepts

- WP7 (USC, DTU): Ensure the feasibility of the different unit technology solution (UTS) to improve the sustainability of STPs

- WP8 (USC, Aqualia, DTU, KTH, UNIVR): Disseminate results to stakeholders, including the scientific community, industry, policy makers and society, also evaluate patentability and IP protection

Project duration from August - 2016 to August-2019  


Gürkan Sin
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 29 80