Scale-up of low-carbon footprint MAterial Recovery Techniques in existing wastewater treatment PLANTs

The project will prove the feasibility of circular management of urban wastewater and environmental sustainability of the systems and co-benefits of scaling-up water solutions through Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing approaches.

SMARTech n. Integrated municipal WWTP Key enabling process(es) SMART-product(s)
SMARTech1 Geestmerambacht (Netherlands) Upstream dynamic fine-screen and post-processing of cellulosic sludge Cellulosic sludge, refined clean cellulose

SMARTech1 is the key to enable primary cellulose harvesting from medium-large WWTPs. It will apply the primary concentration of wastewater by Salsnes Filter dynamic fine-sieve, which can enable maximal recovery of resources. The Salsnes Filter will separate cellulosic sludge that will be followed by post-processing inside the WWTP. The latter includes a compact sequence of operation unites imported by the paper and food industry to produce clean and marketable cellulose. The cellulosic material will be also provided outside the WWTP for the downstream blending with PHA and processing for final bio-composite production (Downstream SMARTechA).

SMARTech2a Karmiel (Israel) Mainstream polyurethane-based anaerobic biofilter Biogas, Energy-efficient water reuse

SMARTech2a is the key to enable secondary biogas recovery from small-medium municipal WWTP where irregular organic-load peaks often occur. It will apply a secondary anaerobic biofilter with an innovative polymericbased immobilization matrix to treat anaerobically sewage and produce biogas. The system will result in high COD and TSS removal as well as biogas production, providing treated effluent adapted for reuse in agriculture or reclamation after post-treatment. The demo system will have a reaction volume of 25 m3 and will be installed at the municipal WWTP of Karmiel (Israel) to treat 100-120 m3/d of sewage.

SMARTech2b Manresa (Spain) Mainstream SCEPPHAS P-rich sludge, PHA

SMARTech2b is the key to enable secondary mainstream energy-efficient resource recovery. It applies the SCEPPHAR system to the mainstream treatment train. It consists of two SBR; one for heterotrophic bacterial growth, and another SBR for autotrophic nitrifiers growth, an interchange vessel and a chemical system for P-recovery as struvite. The integrated system accomplishes enhanced N-removal and P-recovery in municipal WWTP.PHA will be recovered from the anaerobic purge of the SBR. The pilot-scale system will have a reaction volume of 6-8 m3 and will be installed at the Manresa municipal WWTP (Spain) to treat about 10 m3/d of sewage.

SMARTech3 Cranfield (UK) Mainstream tertiary hybrid ion exchange Nutrients

SMARTech3 is the key to enable tertiary recovery of N and P based fertilizer based on ion-exchange processes to remove and recover nutrients from secondary effluents. Two different ion exchange media will be applied which are able to successfully capture/remove ammonia and phosphate from the secondary effluent. To overcome the limited supply chain of the ion exchanging materials, new ion exchange media, manufactured in the UK, will be applied. The aim will be to optimize the regeneration cycles for the nutrient recovery, trying to maintain a high sorption capacity after each regeneration cycle. The system will be applied at the Cranfield municipal WWTP (UK) and will treat approximately 10-60 m3/d.

SMARTech4a Carbonera (Italy) Sidestream SCENA+conventional AD P-rich sludge, VFA

SMARTech4a is the key to enable the integration of conventional biogas recovery from sewage sludge with sidestream energy-efficient and compact nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery. It applies the SCENA system which integrates the following processes: (o) optional upstream concentration of cellulosic sludge, (i) fermentation of sewage sludge and/or cellulosic sludge with alkalisilcates (e.g. wollastonite) to produce propionaterich VFAs as carbon source, and (ii) via nitrite nitrogen and phosphorus removal (by P-bioaccumulation) from sludge reject water using an SBR. In this configuration, nitrogen is removed through the bioprocesses of nitritation/denitritation, and Enhanced Biological Phosphorus removal (EBPR) is accomplished via nitrite through the alternation of anaerobic/anoxic conditions and via oxygen through the alternation of anaerobic/aerobic conditions. The first full scale demo application to treat around 100 m3/d of sludge reject water will be developed in the WWTP of Carbonera (Italy). It will allow the recovery and reuse of 7 kgVFA and 7-8 kg P-rich sludge per capita per year and the savings of more than 50% bioreactor volume and energy consumption from sludge reject water.

SMARTech4b Psyttalia (Greece) Sidestream SCENA+enhanced AD P-rich sludge

SMARTech4b is the key to enable the integration of the enhanced biogas recovery (by thermal hydrolysis) of sewage sludge with sidestream energy-efficient and compact nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery. It modify the original SCENA concept to treat the sludge reject water in the Psyttalia WWTP of Athens, which services a population equivalent of 3,500,000 inhabitants. The CAMBI thermal hydrolysis process has been very recently installed to treat 50% of the produced sludge, before this is sent for anaerobic digestion (AD). The integration of CAMBI with anaerobic digestion produces, after dewatering, a reject water stream that has a very high ammonium nitrogen concentration (>1.2 gN/L). Being the sludge hydrolized for biogas production, the SCENA process that will use the primary sludge reject water as partial carbon source to remove nitrogen and hyper-accumulate phosphorus.

SMARTech5 Carbonera (Italy) Sidestream SCEPPHAR PHA, struvite, VFA

SMARTech5 is the key to enable the integration of conventional biogas recovery from sewage sludge with the energy-efficient nitrogen removal from sludge reject water and the recovery of PHA and struvite. It applies the SCEPPHAR concept, which was conceived as a modified version of SCENA for WWTPs larger than 150 kPE, where PHA recovery is an economically sustainable option. It accounts of the following subprocesses: (i) sewage sludge fermentation under alkaline conditions (pH around 10) to enhance the production of VFAs and release nitrogen and phosphorus in soluble forms (ammonia and phosphate); (ii) solid and liquid separation of the fermentation products and recovery of struvite form the sewage sludge fermentation liquid by the addition of Mg(OH)2 to favour the precipitation; (iii) ammonium conversion to nitrite accomplished in a SBR; (iv) selection of PHA storing biomass in a SBR by the alternation of aerobic feast conditions and followed by anoxic famine conditions for denitritation driven by internally stored PHA as carbon source; (v) PHA accumulation using a fed-batch reactor to maximize the cellular PHA content of the biomass harvested from the selection stage. The system is based on two SBRs for the via-nitrite nitrogen removal coupled with microbial culture enrichment, and storage of PHA in sewage sludge. The pilot-scale system will be tested and validated at WWTP Carbonera (Treviso, Italy).

Downstream SMARTechA London (UK) Formulation of recovered cellulosic and PHA materials+extrusion Biocomposite (Sludge Plastic Composite – SPC)

Downstream SMARTechA is the key to enable the volume-utilisation of the recovered materials, both PHA bioplastics and cellulosic materials. The proposed pilot will be based on UBRUN patent technology of using recovered biodegradable resources for value added construction products. The pilot-scale production plant will be set up at Brunel by enhancing the existing composite pilot plant with the input of extruder/extrusion from Ecodek. It consists of on the modified extrusion process used for processing classical WPC as the industrial partner, Ecodek, is currently manufacturing. The existing WPC production line will be adjusted to incorporate specific thermal process and blending, and for use of additives improving interfaces among all the raw material constituents.

Downstream SMARTechB Manresa (Spain) Dynamic composting of P-rich sludge using minerals as bulking agents; bio-drying of cellulosic sludge P-rich compost, enriched with minerals; fuel for biomass plants

Downstream SMARTechB is a key to enable the agronomic and Energy utilization of the cellulose and P-rich sludges. It consists of dynamic composting using different blending of P-rich sludges and zeolite where the process will be optimized using respirometry activity in the mixture. The cellulosic sludge will be post-process in biodrying process which is optimal for organic wastes of high moisture content. This consists in the utilization of thermal energy, generated by aeration degradation of organic matter in waste, to evaporate water, thus achieving self-drying. Finally the dried cellulosic sludge will be characterized to be reused as fuel in biomass plants.

SMART-Plant is a member of the ICT4WATER cluster