Upgrading wastewater treatment plants through innovative low-cost technologies for energy efficiency and complete recycling.
LIFE ULISES managed to improve wastewater treatment plants through low-cost disruptive technologies to increase energy efficiency and achieve complete regeneration of water and recovery of the nutrients present in it.
To this end, CETIM developed two pilot plants. One of them is the enzymatic hydrolysis plant of dehydrated biosolids, in which we have obtained a biofertilizer with biostimulant properties for plant growth. The second plant developed has been for the precipitation of struvite and recovery of centrifuge water obtained after dehydration.
The use of membrane technologies has made it possible to obtain biofertilizers, such as struvite, with a high level of purity and valuable nutrients such as phosphorus, among others, in this line of research. Moreover, with this pilot plant, the treated water obtained was of high quality, complying with the water reuse standards according to Regulation (EU) 2020/741 and Regulation (Spain) RD 1620/2007 on the minimum requirements for the reuse of treated water for agricultural irrigation.
These technologies developed in the project were integrated in the large-scale demonstration plant, which has been validated at the El Bobar WWTP in Almeria, operated by the project leader Aqualia. With this, it has been possible to demonstrate that it is possible to improve the wastewater treatment process and produce biofuels, while being energy efficient.
In short, LIFE ULISES has managed to improve sludge management, one of the most energy-intensive and costly issues in wastewater treatment processes. At the same time, the research was based on the principle of circular economy, since valuable fertilizers and recovered water have been produced and tested in the field, transforming the WWTP into a model of urban biorefinery.