Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

Project Dates: 2016 to 2021


This project aims to transform wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) from a large energy consumer to a net renewable energy exporter by developing innovative technologies to enable maximum energy recovery from wastewater while achieving excellent pollutant removal.

The current wastewater treatment practice consumes a large amount of electricity to aerobically oxidize the organic matter in wastewater, and hence destroying the chemical energy embedded. The need for a paradigm shift from an energy-consuming wastewater treatment process to an energy recovery process has been recognised by the wastewater industry. Through substantial laboratory works The project team has developed innovative technologies, including: (1) a technology to enhance anaerobic methane production based on sludge pre-treatment using free nitrous acid (FNA or HNO­2), (2) a technology to selectively suppress the growth of NOB in the nitritation reactor using FNA to achieve stable partial nitritation (FNA project), (3) a technology to augment nitrogen removal in the by coupling Anammox and DAMO microorganisms (DAMO project). We will demonstrate the process design and those technologies with the use of three pilot plants located in Queensland, South Australia and Washington DC, respectively.


  • Industrial Partners