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.

Work Packages

Management, Coordination and Reporting to the EC WP1

The Specific Objectives (SO) of the WP1 are the following:
  • WP1.SO1: Manage the SMART-Plant project to meet the budget and time Schedule; WP1.SO2: Maintain a link with the EC and ensure reporting is undertaken;
  • WP1.SO3: Oversee legal, contractual, IPR, ethical and diversity matters;
  • WP1.SO4: Ensure project and exploitation risk and mitigation measures are assessed and applied

Mainstream SMARTechnologies WP2


WP2.GO: The general objective is to test and validate n.4 mainstream SMARTechnologies that can be applied individually or combined to innovate the primary, secondary or tertiary wastewater treatment train and maintain or improve the existing quality of the treated water by adding the values of: (1) recovering clean and marketable cellulose, PHA, biogas, phosphorus and nitrogen; (2) reducing more than 50% energy demand and more than 30% the carbon footprint of the mainstream treatment; (3) ensuring education and employee health and safety in the resource recovery workplace.

The WP2 specific objectives are:
WP2.SO1: to demonstrate the technical feasibility of upstream concentration of cellulosic sludge in existing municipal WWTPs to recover about 100% of toilet paper corresponding to about 7 kg cellulose recovered PE/Y; WP2.SO2: to demonstrate the technical feasibility of secondary biogas recovery after primary separation in existing municipal WWTPs to recover of 3-4 m3 methane per PE per year; WP2.SO3: to validate the mainstream S.C.E.P.P.H.A.R. that allows 0,6 kgP and 0,3 kgPHA recovery per PE per year; WP2.SO4: to validate the mainstream tertiary recovery process.

Side- and Down-stream SMARTechnologies WP3

WP3.GO: the general objective is to test and validate n.3 Sidestream SMARTechs that will integrate the existing conventional and enhanced biogas recovery from sewage sludge aiming at the energy-efficient (1) removal of nitrogen, (2) recovery of phosphorus and (3) PHA and n.2 Downstream SMARTechs that will process the resource rich sludge to recycle raw material for following reuse in agricultural and construction sectors. The WP3 specific objectives are: WP3.SO1: to test and validate the SCENA system integrated with conventional and enhanced anaerobic digestion and achieve: (1) 5 to 10 times higher rates and 50% energy saving on nitrogen removal compared to conventional activated sludge processes; (2) recovery of 7 kgVFA per capita per year; (3) recovery of 1-7 kgP precursor per capita per year; WP3.SO2: to test and validate the SCEPPHAR system integrated with (1) the recovery of 3 to 5 kgPHA and 1-3 kg struvite per capita per year; (2) saving of more than 50% bioreactor volume and energy consumption on nitrogen removal from sludge by a process, which minimizes the capital investment and provides new, low cost and biodegradable construction (and other sectors) products from wastewater-originated raw materials; WP3.SO3: to validate a method for reusing almost 100% of the cellulose and PHA derived from municipal wastewater; WP3.SO4: to test and validate bio-techs to post-process: (i) the cellulosic sludge to produce fuel (Low Calorific Value - LCV ranging from 6 to 12 MJ/kg) for biomass plants and (ii) the P-rich sludge to produce a P-rich compost to be characterized for eco-labelling and addressed to market in WP5.

Integration, evaluation and validation WP4

WP4.GO: the general objective of WP4 is to integrate, evaluate and assess the SMARTechs so as to provide quantitative support to the exploitation and commercialization strategy. The WP4 specific objectives are: WP4.SO1: Real time carbon footprint determination and mitigation integrated with real time energy monitoring and efficiency improvement for the SMARTechs; WP4.SO2: Upgrading conventional WWTP models to improve understanding, representation and combination of SMARTechs, so as to provide a service for the design and optimization; WP4.SO3: Superstructure optimization framework for decision support to integrate single or combined SMARTechs into existing WWTPs and show how these will maintain or improve the quality of the final treated effluent, by achieving at least the most stringent standard for agricultural reuse in the EU; WP4.SO4: Life Cycle Assessment of environmental impacts and benefits for individual processes and integrated concepts, accounting for substituted industrial products; WP4.SO5: Life Cycle Costing and Social Impact and Public Acceptance Assessments to help raise the awareness of resource recovery in the water sector

Exploitation WP5

WP5.GO The general objective of WP5 is to convert the SMART-Plant innovation into market value, through a commercialization strategy for SMARTechnologies to public/private water utility providers and market introduction of SMART-Product portfolio of recovered resources. The specific objectives of WP5 are: WP5.SO1: to define the business model for the market exploitation of the SMARTtechnology; WP5.SO2: To design solutions that address unmet needs of private and public water utilities. WP5.SO3: To maximize value of SMART-product portfolio of recovered resources through a portfolio strategy. WP5.SO4: To develop a business plan for the SMART-Plant market deployment in three main phases. WP5.SO4: To enable license uptake of SMART-Plant from 10% of UWWTPS serving more than 150 000 inhabitants within 5 years after the project end through a commercialization roadmap.

Communication and dissemination WP6

WP6.GO The general objective of WP6 is to effectively disseminate the SMART-Plant activities and outcomes and to communicate the project’s results to important target groups. The specific objectives are: WP6.SO1: To develop an effective dissemination and communication strategy; WP6.SO2: To communicate and disseminate the SMART-Plant results and products/systems during and after the lifetime of the project; WP6.SO3: To promote the SMART-Plant technologies and maintain a technology transfer program; WP6.SO4: To ensure widespread use and awareness of the developed project‘s technologies.

Ethics requirements WP7

The objective is to ensure compliance with the 'ethics requirements' set out in this work package.

Progress Indicators

The monitoring results are utilized to steer, improve and adapt activities. The evaluation will highlight success factors as well as gaps and barriers; through its flexibility, it will allow the planning and activities to be better adapted to the project objectives. The quantitative indicators will be measured every six months.

SMART-Plant is a member of the ICT4WATER cluster