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PurdueX: Nutrient Removal and Resource Recovery in Wastewater

This course introduces nutrient removal principles used in biological wastewater treatment plants.

Nutrient Removal and Resource Recovery in Wastewater
5 weeks
6–8 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
This course is archived

About this course

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Nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, are essential for all living organisms. However, excess amounts of nutrients in wastewater often result in eutrophication that may deplete oxygen, promote harmful algal bloom, and even create dead zone for aquatic organisms. Therefore, nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater should be adequately treated before discharge. Additionally, there are growing interests to recover nutrients and energy from wastewater to reduce treatment costs and improve the sustainability of wastewater treatment systems.

This course introduces the fundamental knowledge and practice of biological nutrient removal in wastewater treatment and prepares students for designing biological nutrient removal systems. At the end of the course, students are expected to understand general principles of biological nitrogen removal and biological phosphorus removal, apply the knowledge to select the best unit process to remove nutrients, apply the knowledge to select the best unit process to recovery resources, and analyze and evaluate biofuel systems.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Biology, Wastewater, Sewage Treatments

What you'll learn

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  • nitrogen removal
  • phosphorus removal
  • resource recovery
  • anaerobic digestion
  • biofuel

Week 1:

  • Nitrification
  • Denitrification
  • Anaerobic Ammonia Oxidation

Week 2:

  • Phosphorus Removal
  • Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Principle
  • Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Processes

Week 3:

  • Nutrient Recovery
  • Metal Recovery
  • Bioelectrochemical Systems

Week 4:

  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Process Description and Microbiology
  • Impact Factors of Anaerobic Digestion

Week 5:

  • Biofuel
  • Bioethanol
  • Biodiesel
  • Innovative Biofuel Techniques

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there a required textbook?


Are there recommended textbooks?


The following textbooks are recommended:

  • "Environmental Biotechnology: Principles and Applications" by Bruce Rittmann and Perry McCarty
  • "Biofuels" by Wim Soetaert and Erick J. Vandamme

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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