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Energy and Matter Reclamation from a Wastewater treatment plant.

The issue

In keeping with the policies of the local authority, wastewater treatment plant has put sustainable development into practice by combining matter and energy reclamation by means of a virtuous circle.

The aims

To reclaim the site's waste in an almost closed loop whereby the power and matter cycle are perfectly interwoven with each other. Everything is reused and reclaimed thanks to the various technologies used to recycle matter and energy.

The results

Firstly, the industrial inputs are monitored by a "systems police" who ensure the wastewater collected is of good quality and that the sewage sludge produced is therefore of similar quality. At thermophilic digestion (high temperature) reduces the sludge load to be removed by around 30%; moreover it provides 60% of the facility's electricity requirements. The co-digestion of reclaimed oils and fats collected locally as well as the harnessing of gas from the landfill site and from the methane fermentation of green waste enables the wastewater treatment plant to be 100% self sufficient. Energy and heat necessary for the plant are produced by the WTP cogeneration facilities.

Digested sludge and purified water are also recycled near to the WWTP site; they are used to irrigate and fertilize the neighbouring fields thereby conserving resources (aquifers) as well as providing a strong synergy between wastewater services and agriculture - sludge removal for the former, conserving water and fertilizer for the latter.

Using purified water as well as the agronomic value of the sludge produces energy efficient corn. One of the distinctive features of the site is the in situ digestion of this corn in order to produce electricity and heat. A biogas plant can supply 3,800 homes with electricity and 1,000 homes with heating. The resulting waste will itself be reused as fertilizer on these farmers' fields.

WTP is 100% energy self sufficient

Biogas Plant using corn + cogeneration platform (BVAG)
Electricity Production: 15 Electrical GWh (3,800 homes)
Heat Production: 16 Thermal GWh (1,000 homes)
Completion of Works: Summer 2007

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