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Online course

6. Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal

This state-of-the-art course presents various aspects of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) such as fundamental principles, microbiology and mechanisms involved, factors affecting EBPR performances, process configurations, and models for EBPR. In addition, you will get familiar with EBPR design procedures and you will understand the influence of operational factors on full-scale EBPR plants and integration of EBPR and biological nitrogen removal. You will be able to expand and test your knowledge by using carefully prepared examples and exercises. The course also includes case studies and videos demonstrating experimental procedures involving mixed cultures of activated sludge and enriched cultures with Phosphate Accumulating Organisms (PAOs). By the end of the course you will be equipped with the latest knowledge and essential skills to help you carry on practical and academic tasks with increased confidence.  

Welcome by Adrian Oehman

Course information

  • Learning Objectives

    After completion of the course you should be able to:

  • Syllabus

    This course covers the following topics:

    • Introduction to Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR)
    • Principles of EBPR
    • Microbiology of EBPR
    • Biological Mechanisms of EBPR
    • Principles of EBPR Optimisation and EBPR Configurations
    • Mixed Culture Steady-state Model
    • Design Procedure and Case Studies
    • Influence of EBPR on the System
    • Factors Affecting EBPR
    • Perspectives
    • Perspectives
  • Organization

    Courses in this series consist of video lectures, presentation slides, reading materials, exercises, and assignments with solutions. In principle, each video presentation has its complementary presentation slides. All videos are available for viewing in the section “Video-recorded presentations”. The materials are packaged in three (.zip) files, namely, the “Videos”, the “Presentations”, and the “Documents”. Files may be of considerable size, so you need to ensure that your computer has sufficient bandwidth and capacity for downloading. This course is based on the chapter in the book “Biological Wastewater Treatment: Principles, Modeling, and Design” 2nd edition (Chen et al., 2020). To check and expand your knowledge on the subject, it is recommended to study the corresponding chapter in the complementary book  “Biological Wastewater Treatment: Examples and Exercises” (Lopez-Vazquez et al., 2023). The two chapters are open access and available in the section “Documents (.zip) on this webpage. For those interested in related experimental methods, it is advised to consult relevant methods in the book “Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment” (Van Loosdrecht et al., 2016). The complete book and video-recorded experimentation are available on this website as a separate course (

  • Delivery Method

    This course is currently designed for a SELF-STUDY mode. It is FREE and does not include guidance, support, exams, assessment, and certification. It is possible that shortly, the series (or its parts) will be adopted by institutions who may deliver the guided version, including certification. As soon as this is the case, it will be advertised on this website.

  • Open Access

    The content is available for free unlimited access and use, consistent with Global Sanitation Graduate School’s commitment to ensuring open access to information and knowledge. Please note that the video materials fall under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (, presentations under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license  (, readers (OA books of IWA Publishing) under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license (, and other readers under the license specified by the publisher. Although care has been taken to ensure the integrity and quality of these materials and information, no responsibility is assumed by the author(s), Global Sanitation Graduate School, or IHE Delft Institute for Water Education for any damage to property or persons as a result of the use of these materials and/or the information contained herein.

Video-recorded presentations

Here you can watch all video-recorded lectures in this course.

6.1 Introduction to EBPR

Yves Comeau


1 of 12

6.2 Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR)

Yves Comeau


2 of 12

6.3 Microbiology of EBPR

Adrian Oehman


3 of 12

6.4 Biological Mechanisms of EBPR

Adrian Oehman


4 of 12

6.5 Principles of EBPR Optimisation and EBPR Configurations

Adrian Oehman


5 of 12

6.6 Mixed Culture Steady-state Model

Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez


6 of 12

6.7a EBPR Design Procedure: Phoredox System

Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez


7 of 12

6.7b EBPR Design Procedure: A2O System

Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez


8 of 12

6.8 Influence of EBPR on the System

Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez


9 of 12

6.9 Factors Affecting EBPR - Part 1

Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez


10 of 12

6.10 Factors Affecting EBPR - Part 2

Adrian Oehman


11 of 12

6.11 Perspectives

Adrian Oehman


12 of 12

Download course materials

In this section, you can download all presentations, and other documents that make up this course.

  • 6 │ Videos (.zip)
    Adrian Oehmen ▪ Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez ▪ Yves Comeau
    (0.0 MB)
  • 6 │ Presentations (.zip)
    Adrian Oehmen ▪ Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez ▪ Yves Comeau
    (0.0 MB)
  • 6 │ Documents (.zip)
    Adrian Oehmen ▪ Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez ▪ Yves Comeau
    (0.0 MB)


Prof. Damir Brdjanovic, PhD

Course resource person | IHE Delft Institute for Water Education