cod. 18244

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
- Stefano CASERINI
Academic discipline
Ingegneria sanitaria - ambientale (ICAR/03)
"ingegneria per l'ambiente e territorio"
Type of training activity
54 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims to provide the fundamentals for the design and management of sanitary-environmental treatment plants.
In detail, the course is focused on plants for (1) solid waste management and treatment (2) (ii) wastewater treatment and management. The technological aspects of the treatments of gaseous and particulate effluents from incineration plants will be addressed. Notes relating to water purification treatments for supply purposes will be provided. Where relevant, the teaching explores aspects related to the recovery of resources, the reduction of energy consumption and emissions of climate-changing gases. The ultimate objective is to develop the ability to analyze health-environmental problems in order to propose solutions at the various levels of planning.
The following specific educational goals are pursued:
- knowledge and application of the general criteria for setting up the treatment and management of waste, wastewater and gaseous effluents;
- knowledge of process fundamentals and main existing technological solution for treatment units;
- knowledge and application of criteria for the design of new plants and the verification of existing plants,
- ability to deal with a specific problem and to propose appropriate technological solutions,
- ability to grasp the connections between design choices and the issue of climate-changing gas emissions.
- ability to present and discuss results using appropriate logical structure and technical terminology.


Knowledge of basic chemistry and the fundamentals of environmental sanitary engineering is recommended for a better understanding of the topics covered. Furthermore, it is essential to know and apply concepts related to mass balances, unit measurement conversion and dimensional analysis. However, The above-cited concepts are briefly recalled during lectures and classwork, and the teacher is available to provide specific support for consolidating these elements.

Course unit content

The teaching of Sanitary-Environmental Treatment Plants consists of two main parts dedicated to managing and treating solid urban waste and wastewater treatment. During the first part, following a general introduction to the teaching topics, the different options for waste management are discussed, evaluating the design aspects of the systems for the recovery of materials, for composting and anaerobic digestion of the organic substance, or for final disposal by incineration with energy recovery or controlled landfill.
In the second part, after the analysis of the characteristics of wastewater of interest for the aim of setting up the treatments, the criteria for the definition of the treatment chains are discussed, as well as the different phases of the treatments, evaluating the technological alternatives and the relative advantages and disadvantages.

Full programme

Presentation of the course and Introduction
• The integrated waste management system; introduction and characteristics of waste
• Material recovery, composting, incineration, digestion and landfill disposal.
• Wastewater: introduction and characteristics. Reviews of reactor engineering and kinetics.
• Setting treatment schemes
• Lifting and pretreatments. Primary treatments. Biological processes and activated sludge.
• Nitrification and denitrification.
• MBR and attached biomass systems
• Phosphorus removal and disinfection
• Sludge line: introduction and mechanical treatments
• Sludge stabilization and drying
• Classwork: sizing of the lifting station
• Classwork: sizing of the ventilation system + nitro/denitro
• Classwork: sizing of the aeration system + nitro/denitro
• Classwork: industrial wastewater treatment
• Technical visit to the Fidenza purifier + industrial purifier for the food sector
• Technical visit to the recovery plant or incinerator


The course material (pdf files of the slides used in the lessons) will be progressively made available on the relevant page of the Elly portal. The slides are considered an integral part of the teaching material.

Further suggested reference texts:
Luca Bonomo, Trattamenti delle acque reflue, Editore: McGraw Hill, Anno edizione: 2008, ISBN: 978-88-386-6518-9 or
Tchobanoglous, Burton, Stensel, Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Reuse 4th Ed., Editore: McGraw Hill, ISBN: 978-007041878

Teaching methods

The course structure is based on lectures and classwork. During lectures, basic knowledge, tools and analysis methodologies are provided. During classwork, applicative examples are developed, mainly aiming at the preliminary design of treatment units and trains. Classwork may require students to work independently or in small groups. If possible, full-scale plant visit will be organized.

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning will be verified by a written test and an oral interview. Both tests are aimed at assessing both theoretical knowledge and applicative skills.

Other information