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Eurostars partner search. Wastewater treatment plant engineering/operator sought to be a partner in the development of a smart system to control anaerobic digestion through online monitoring of biomethanation potential.


Profile Type
Research & Development Request
POD Reference
Term of Validity
15 February 2024 - 14 February 2025
Company's Country
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement
Targeted Countries
All countries
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General information

Short Summary
A Spanish company expert in regulation and control of the main biological processes of water treatment plants is looking for companies devoted to providing operating services and technical assistance for water treatment plants to join a new EUROSTARS proposal aimed at the development of an online system to control anaerobic digestion through online monitoring of biomethanation potential.
Full Description
Sludge is a mixture of water and solids separated from wastewater as a result of natural or artificial processes. They are the result of the different stages of wastewater purification carried out in the Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP). Sewage sludge is classified as primary sludge and secondary sludge.

Sludge management is one of the most important problems facing society because of the rapid increase in sludge production due to the expansion of sanitation systems, new purification facilities and the improvement of existing facilities. According to data from the National Sludge Registry, more than 1.200.000 tons of dry matter sewage sludge are generated in Spain each year.

The biggest problem that exists is that, in many cases, the substrate to be treated is not well balanced in terms of the nutrient needs (especially the Carbon/Nitrogen ratio) of the different bacterial communities that make up anaerobic digestion. Each substrate reacts differently with the inoculum applied so, although there are different standards on the substrate/inoculum ratio, the range of optimal values is wide depending on the type of substrate and inoculum used and it would be of great interest to have this information available in continuous and even forming part of the automation of the plant, through the potential of biomethanation.

In addition, it is essential to monitor other parameters such as
- pH: The pH value significantly affects the process of anaerobic digestion. It has a direct influence on limiting the growth rate of micro-organisms and affecting their products.
- Agitation: Applying agitation to the mixture accelerates the anaerobic digestion process by increasing the contact between the bacteria and the substrate, improving the ability to uptake nutrients. In addition, it achieves a homogeneous temperature distribution and prevents the formation of slag in the digester.
- Temperature: The process temperature affects the growth rate, the metabolism of the micro-organisms and the population dynamics in the anaerobic reactor. It also influences other processes such as gas transfer and sedimentation of the biological sludge in the digester.

In an anaerobic digester, the temperature must be monitored and must be constant, with maximum variations of ± 2ºC, to avoid the micro-organisms suffering a thermal shock that destabilises the process.

Digesters operating under thermophilic conditions are more effective with respect to organic loading, hydraulic retention time (HRT) and biogas production. However, they have the disadvantage of requiring more heat and being more sensitive to changes in operating parameters than mesophilic operation. In addition, operating in the mesophilic range means less sensitivity to shock loads or toxic substances such as long-chain fatty acids and ammonium.

The challenge of the project is to develop an online monitoring system of the fundamental parameters of anaerobic digestion: biomethanization potential, pH, temperature and total solids, capable of reproducing the biomethanization potential test in online and continuous mode so that results are reproduced in the same way as in laboratory tests.

The consortium is formed by two Spanish SMEs, with expertise in biological treatment and regulation and control systems respectively. They are looking for engineering companies in charge of the operation of water treatment plants with expertise in anaerobic digestion processes.

The targeted call is EUROSTARS 3 - Call, 6 which deadline is 14/03/2024 Deadline for expression of interest is 04/03/2024
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Partner Sought

Expected Role of a Partner
Companies in charge of operating services and technical assistance for water treatment plants with expertise in anaerobic digestion processes.

The main contributions of the partner could be:
• Defining the algorithm for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) to control and regulate the actuators involved in the process, such as motors, pumps and valves.
• Testing and validation of the equipment.
Type and Size of Partner
SME 50 - 249SME 11-49
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement

Call details

Framework program
Call title and identifier
Eurostars 3 - Call 6
Coordinator required
Deadline for EoI
Deadline of the call


Technology keywords
10004003 - Wastewater Recycling10004006 - Sludge Treatment / Disposal10004002 - Municipal Water Treatment10004001 - Industrial Water Treatment
Market keywords
08004003 - Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems
Targeted countries
All countries