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Waste valorisation toward energy generation

Learn fundamental and practical aspects for the treatment and simultaneous valorisation of waste (including wastewater) toward energy generation

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CIVIS focus area
Climate, environment and energy
Open to
  • Bachelor's
Field of studies
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Environment & Agriculture
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 1
Course dates
October 2022 - February 2023

This is a transdisciplinary course where chemistry, unit operations, microbiology, separation technologies, and systems engineering approaches will be taught to understand different options to convert wastes into energy. In particular, the possibility to transform waste materials (including wastewater) into useful and desired products brings the double advantage of treating and stabilizing wastes (thereby reducing their impact on the environment) while simultaneously valorizing them. This perfectly fits with the developing criteria of the circular economy whereby waste is no longer simply disposed of but is rather recycled to close the loop. Indeed, the lack of long-term availability as well as the environmental concerns linked to the use of fossil resources for the production of energy and, more in general, chemical platforms, are leading research towards the exploitation of alternative resources.

Main topics addressed

  • Methods typically used for the analysis and characterization of waste and wastewater
  • Fundamental principles of the kinetics of biological reactions
  • Commonly used biotechnological processes for waste and wastewater treatment and valorization as both secondary resources and energy carrier
  • Combined chemical-biological processes for the conversion of waste biomass resources into biofuels
  • Knowledge and understanding of techniques to study the sustainability of the conversion and its economic viability

Learning outcomes

  • Awareness of the global energy scenarios
  • Understanding of actions that can be applied in the context of environmental protection and sustainability
  • Skills in main principles of chemical and biotechnological waste-to-energy processes
  • Understanding of advantages of waste-to-energy conversion and their difficulties to be implemented
  • Tools and knowledge for the techno-economic analysis of the studied processes
Dates: October 2022- February 2023 ECTS: 6*
Format: Virtual Weekly study: 10-12 hours
Contact: Language: English (B2)

* Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

The course will be running for 12 weeks, divided into 6 hours per week. The weekly study is 10-12 hours in total, this includes online course work and work at home.


6 hours per week: 4 hours are recorded videos to watch and 2 hours of live-streamed sessions. 


The course is open to Bachelors' students that have at least finished their first year of study.

Application process

Students interested to attend the course should send a short CV and a cover letter indicating their motivation to the indicated email addresses:

The application deadline is 30 September 2022.

Selected students will be notified by 3 October. 

Thinking of applying for this CIVIS course? Check out this Q&A!


The course evaluation will be assessed by performing three quiz tests. Also, participation in activities during the course will be evaluated.

The main evaluation criteria will be the following:

  • Participation in at least 80% of the course activities
  • Answering to quiz 

General Eligibility Criteria for CIVIS Courses

Applicants need to be enrolled at their home university in order to be eligible for selection and participation.  If uncertain about your status at your home university (part-time or exchange students etc) please check with your home university’s website or International Office. 

Applicants who will be receiving other Erasmus funds for the duration of the course are not entitled to funding. Participation in the course may still be possible under “zero-grant” status, but applicants should contact their home university in order to confirm this. 

A list of links and contacts for each university can be found in this Q&A.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Prof Largus Angenent, PhD

University of Tübingen (Germany) - Centrum for Applied GeoSciences - Environmental Biotechnology Group.

Area of expertise: chain elongation, syngas fermentation, power-to-gas, extracellular electron transfer in natural systems.

Associate Prof Rodica Zavoianu

University of Bucharest (Romania) - Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Catalysis.

Area of expertise: organic chemistry, catalysis, wastewater treatment, waste recovery.

Associate Prof. Marianna Villano, PhD

Sapienza Università diRoma (Italy) – Department of Chemistry.

Area of expertise: biopolymers production, anaerobic bioprocesses, microbial electrochemical technologies.