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Fresh Water and Energy from WasteWater

wastewater, footprint, energy, water, nutrients, fresh water, climate change, sustainable solutions

Six research tasks were developed under the overarching theme of reclaiming energy, water, and nutrients from wastewater

As a contributor of BetterWorldSolutions told us: “I don’t yet see evidence of implementing innovatory solutions in the waste water sector. But this is where most action is needed – to produce quality renewable water and energy from sludge disposal, as ell as treating waste water before discharge – especially in water-stressed countries where the need is greatest.”

This is what’s happening with waste water.

In the Netherlands they know all about water. The country is situated far beyond sea level so the country is fighting the water as long as it exists. But there is more. Fresh Water supply is cheap in the Netherlands. Because of waste water refineries and the cooperation of a large array of companies and institutions. Together they are responsible for providing water and sanitation services: 10 regional water companies provide drinking water, 431 municipalities are in charge of sewers, and 27 water boards treat wastewater. 

Using established indicators for the technical operational efficiency of water utilities, the Dutch water companies are highly efficient. For example, according to the association of Dutch water utilities, leakage losses are below 6%. This figure is among the lowest in the world.

Energy from Waste Water

In the Netherlands, we consider sewage sludge from waste water also as a renewable energy source. The water authority built a large cogeneration plant at their Waste Water Refinery. Since 2009 the plant produces green power to the city Apeldoorn via the electricity grid.

Sewage treatment is fermenting sewage gas, and produces methane gas. Since the eighties many cogeneration plants are transforming biogas into green electricity and heat. The Netherlands is considering sewage sludge not as waste but as a source of energy.

Cogeneration (or CHP) is the simultaneous generation of heat and power. Also in Waste Water Refineries. The power is derived from a fuel cell, combustion engine or gas turbine and is usually used to drive a generator which in turn generates electricity. The heat that is released from sludge is not lost but is used locally useful for example to produce hot water, steam or hot air. In this way, fuel is saved with respect to the individual, separate production of electricity and heat, the electricity in a power plant and the heat in a separate boiler.

Links

Have you seen this?

FRESH WATER TECHNOLOGIES (dossier)

GREEN CITY SOLUTIONS (dossier)

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