Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

AMEDEUS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18328
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

A novel approach to filtering waste

As Europe's population grows, human waste is becoming an important concern for cities. Local and federal governments are thus examining solutions to recycle wastewater and create greener societies.
A novel approach to filtering waste
The development of new, small and medium-sized sewage treatment plants that are much more efficient and cost-effective could result in cleaner and more eco-friendly societies.

The EU-funded project 'Accelerate membrane development for urban sewage purification' (Amadeus) worked on perfecting European membrane bioreactor (MBR) filtration technologies and rendering them more cost effective. It aimed at developing advanced small sewage treatment plants that handle a population of up to 2,000 and medium-sized plants that can handle up to 100,000 people.

The project team studied how to overcome different challenges such as membrane fouling. It identified chemical additives (synthetic cationic polymers and biopolymers) to address this issue and developed online sensors to detect fouling and sludge.

The team also worked on improved membrane cleaning, proposing alternatives to chlorine. It identified hydrogen peroxide as the best alternative and outlined recommendations on how it could be adopted in the cleaning process.

In addition, Amadeus conducted laboratory tests on relevant biological processes, such as impact of sedimentation, as well as more cost-effective positioning of submerged equipment. It then developed an operational advanced control system (ACS) for filtration and optimised integration/control of MBR systems for plant upgrades.

During the course of the project, the Amadeus team successfully standardised MBR technology and proposed three different design approaches for the system, eventually settling on the most appropriate for development. Partners successfully developed novel MBR filtration systems using non-woven textile for filtration, which reduced the cost of sewage treatment from EUR 14 /m2 using conventional systems to EUR 5 /m2.

This led to the development of a range of efficient MBR plants and filtration units ideal for small communities, with solid research and promising results for production of the larger models as well. Such cost-effective technology is not only likely to benefit Europe, but also the world at large.

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