From waste to resource: Training young researchers on developing innovative, circular solutions for wastewater treatment sludge - INCLUE

Developing innovative, circular solutions for wastewater treatment sludge

INCLUE Project Objectives

INCLUE will set up the first European doctoral training network on developing innovative, circular solutions for the treatment of sludge containing pollutants.

INCLUE will train 11 creative and entrepreneurially-minded DCs via an international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training program in the field of sludge pre-treatment combined with state-of-the-art bioconversion techniques and multi-level toxicity assessment, for the effective removal and/or recovery of both hazardous and valuable compounds from municipal and industrial sludges.

The success of the program is guaranteed via a unique combination of state-of-the-art PhD research, intersectoral secondments, international mobility and interdisciplinary platform-wide courses.

Research Objectives

Develop and optimise sustainable techniques to enhance the properties and composition of sludge through removal of (in)organic pollutants to eliminate any adverse effects for sludge application (i) in a subsequent bioconversion process or (ii) directly as a fertiliser on land.

Develop augmented fermentative bioconversion processes to produce renewable chemicals and fuels, and to recover nutrients from municipal and industrial sludges, potentially combined with pre-treatment technologies.

Create tools to assess the overall environmental performance of treated sludges towards toxicity, pollutant soil dynamics and agricultural
fertilising value in a combined decision support tool (WP3) for 5 different types of pollutants: pesticides, endocrine disrupting compounds, heavy metals, PFAS and antibiotics. Develop a socio-economic evaluation tool, to support decision-making and societal acceptance.

INCLUE: an interdisciplinary project and a truly intersectoral and international consortium



Upgrading sludge properties via innovative treatment processes


Renewable chemicals and fuels production via augmented sludge bioconversion


Eco-Impact Assessment

INCLUE in numbers

Doctoral Candidates
Associated parners