Anaerobic digestion (AD) – the microbial degradation of organic matter without oxygen – is a naturally occurring process in environments, where oxygen is not available: intestines, water and soil sediments, hot springs etc. The use of anaerobic digestion in closed reactor tanks offers several advantages for the treatment of waste and wastewater: low energy input for the treatment, energy gain through the production of biogas (a mixture of methane and CO2), stabilization of the waste to an end-product with fertilizer quality, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, sanitation effect and odor reduction. Consequently, AD of organic waste has often been identified as the most sustainable process for renewable energy production from biomass with the highest CO2 reduction potential.

The aim of the course is to give insight into the fundamental laws and the technology of anaerobic digestion as a process for waste treatment and renewable energy production. It will give an overview of the microbiology of the process and its application for large-scale processes.

The course will deal with the following topics: The AD pathway and the involved microbial groups; inhibition and adaptation mechanisms; monitoring and control of the AD process; reactor design for anaerobic treatment of waste, wastewater and energy crops; low and high-tech process design, sustainability of AD; synergy of AD and agriculture; AD in the biorefinery context.

The course is scheduled back-to-back with the PhD course “Biorefinery processes” (June 10-14, 2013), also given at the Section for Sustainable Biotechnology.


Associate Professor Hinrich Uellendahl, email:


Birgitte Kiær Ahring, Peter Westermann, Ioannis V. Skiadas, Hariklia Gavala, Hinrich Uellendahl, National and international experts from industry and academia




May 27-31, 2013


Section for Sustainable Biotechnology
Aalborg University Copenhagen
A.C. Meyers Vænge 15

Zip code:

Copenhagen SV

Number of seats:

May 15, 2013

Important information concerning PhD courses
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.