Student Assignment- Evides NEREUS Pilot - ElectroCoagulation

Electrocoagulation is an alternative technique to conventional coagulation and flocculation, in which chemicals need to be dosed to the feed stream. In electrocoagulation an electrode (of iron or aluminium) is dissolved electrolytically, thereby releasing coagulant. During dissolution of the anode, oxygen or hydrogen gas is released which has a flotating action. Advantages compared to conventional coagulation and flocculation could be:

- Bigger and more stable sludge flocs that can be more easily dewatered

- Removal of particles and colloids from the influent

- No moving parts, less maintenance costs

- No chemicals needed (apart from electrodes)

A pilot system treating is installed at the NEREUS pilot location. This pilot system should be tested and optimised. Furthermore, this technology will create a sludge product, containing organic and inorganic matter, phosphate and metals. These resources should be recovered. We are considering anaerobic digestion for energy recovery and several phosphate recovery techniques.


To optimise the operational performance of the electrocoagulation pilot scale system, including monitoring of the energy usage and CO2 footprint of the system. To find out whether it is possible to anaerobically digest the produced sludge for energy recovery and how to recover phosphate from the sludge. Note: the exact objectives will be determined at the start of the project and depend on the progress of the project and interest/background of the student.

Research questions

- Does the electrocoagulation pilot system reach the expected performance?

- How to apply the iron electrodes in long term operation, at which current and which other settings? Do the plates foul, and if so, how (often) should they be cleaned?

- What is the energy usage and CO2 footprint of the system?

- Which sensors could be installed to improve the monitoring and control of the electrocoagulation system?

- Is it possible to anaerobically digest or a phosphate recovery technique on the produced sludge and obtain a useful product from this?


- Continuous operation of electrocoagulation within the NEREUS process, including separation of the sludge

- Finding optimal operational settings

- Finding out which techniques would be suitable to recover phosphate from the electrocoagulation sludge

- Monitoring of the energy usage and CO2 footprint of the system

- Anaerobic digestions tests (BMP) with electrocoagulation sludge

- Analyses on several streams of the NEREUS process & assistance in daily operation of the pilot installation

- Literature study of electrocoagulation and comparison with the obtained results

- Recommendations for implementation at NEREUS and possible other locations


Pilot NEREUS at Delft Blue Innovations facilities, Harnaschpolder WWTP, Peuldreef 4, Den Hoorn

Nature of assignment: Internship or MSc-thesis, minimal 5 months because of practical nature of the assignment


Paula van den Brink, Tessa Steenbakker, Han van de Griek, Evides Industriewater

More information (on our democase), (on overall NEREUS project)

Please contact Paula van den Brink in case you would like to have more information (


For BSc and MSc students, we offer a financial compensation of 350 euros/month.

How to apply

Please apply for and internship or thesis project at and indicate your interest for the NEREUS project



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