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Biological Nutrient Removal

This course teaches the enabling science of biological nutrient removal, and the tools and techniques required to successfully analyse, design and optimise BNR plants.  The presenter is one of Australia’s leading BNR process designers, and the course is structured around real-life challenges and solutions encountered in some of Australia’s largest and most demanding BNR projects. This hands-on course focuses on practical exercises and case studies to develop skills that can be applied immediately in the workplace.

Issues Addressed


  • Basic bioenergetics – energy, growth and decay
  • Wastewater characteristics – how and why sewage is classified
  • Sludge age and its influence on design and performance
  • Fundamentals of Nitrogen Removal
  • Fundamentals of Excess Biological Phosphorus Removal
  • Deriving the oxygen demand
  • BNR process configurations – fitting to the plants sewage, site, skills and situation
  • Demystifying process models for real-world use – managing risks and avoiding pitfalls.


  • Aeration systems – select, size and specify
  • Secondary clarifiers – sizing, configuration and optimisation
  • Dissolved oxygen control; settleability and scum management
  • Odour considerations
  • Design exercise and case studies: Design an actual BNR plant based on specific attributes and requirements, and review against real-world outcomes
  • Review of recent BNR plant designs, including real performance data, to understand impacts of design decisions and details
  • Plant Visit.


  • Membrane Bioreactors: Development of MBRs; Compare and contrast commercially available MBRs; MBR case studies
  • Design exercise: MBR vs Oxidation Ditch
  • From Treatment Works to Factory: BNR and production of recycled water, biosolids and energy; Operating costs and considerations; Carbon accounting for BNR
  • Innovations in nutrient removal – Deammonification, fixed films, granular sludge and other emerging trends for the next 10 years.

What do you get?

  • Access to a leading BNR process expert
  • Course notes and USB
  • BNR spreadsheet design tools
  • Half-day plant visit
  • Workshop sessions based on real case study material
  • BNR analysis and design skills to take back to your workplace

Who should attend?

Engineers, technicians and operators with an interest in the design and operation of BNR plants, as well as people with related support functions.

This course is not currently scheduled for a future event


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