Severn Trent in European wastewater recycling collaboration
Severn Trent has joined a consortium of companies from across Europe to launch ‘Project WOW!', an innovation project concentrating on how to recover maximum value from wastewater.
Sewage contains valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for bio-based products - and in the UK and across North West Europe considerable opportunities are emerging to exploit this resource. Using the materials from ‘waste’ and by transitioning to a more circular approach in the water sector can help protect and preserve the Earth’s natural resources.
Project WOW! Is an Interreg North-West Europe project, with the title standing for ‘Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Waste water’. It aims to make the circular economy transition by developing value chains for three different raw materials from sewage: cellulose, PHA/bioplastics and lipids.
To realise the market opportunity sewage treatment plants and industries requiring materials for their production process need to be better aligned.
Pete Vale, Severn Trent’s representative on the project explains: “This calls for a change in mindset: sewage treatment plants need not only to recycle clean water for return to the environment or for societal use, but also to become “factories” recovering valuable materials and energy’. And industry, for example the chemical and agricultural industry need to think differently about sewage, for example as a valuable source of material rather than ‘dirty unsafe water’. Last but not least, regulation should better fit this new circular practice.
He continues: “The project will identify high potential value chains for raw materials from sewage; develop a Decision Support Tool that guides sewage treatment plants in their journey towards a circular approach; build and run three WOW! pilots to optimise and implement innovative recovery and upcycling techniques; create bio-products such as bioplastics, biofuel and bio-char; and create national policy action plans and an EU policy roadmap.”
Last month the WOW! consortium came together for the project kick off meeting. Partners from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, including Severn Trent, gathered to plan the delivery of this exciting project.
Vale continued: “Our role is to focus on the development of the decision support tool; host learning visits at our Spernal resource recovery test bed site for other Waste Water Treatment Plant-operators across North West Europe; develop the project’s communication strategy; develop a stakeholder network group; and conduct UK market analysis reviewing opportunities and constraints around regulatory issues and product standards. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.”
- Police and HSE launch investigation into SWW employee death The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Devon and Cornwall Police have begun a joint investigation into the death of a... Read More >
- Two more Severn Trent treatment works to get Nereda technology Severn Trent Water has awarded contracts to install Nereda technology at two more of its key wastewater treatment works,... Read More >
- Waste discharges cost South West Water £125K South West Water has been fined £125,000 after admitting four offences of discharging waste into three rivers outside... Read More >
- River rescue: High-resolution monitoring of nutrient pollution OTT Hydrometry's Nigel Grimsley discusses the technologies that have overcome traditional barriers to the continuous... Read More >
- Jersey's shining sludge plant sets new standards When Jersey's Department for Infrastructure and Doosan Enpure had to replace Bellozanne sewage treatment works, they... Read More >
- Odour control: Galliford Try puts a lid on it The Galliford Try water team working for Southern Water is using an innovative cover system for two sludge consolidation... Read More >
- Innovation Zone: Water networks Our latest innovation special explores technologies designed to improve network operation, ensuring water is delivered at... Read More >
- Nurturing supply chain innovation With Ofwat keen to encourage innovation from the water companies, this is best done by finding and nurturing fresh... Read More >