The Routes project is addressed to discover new routes in wastewater and sludge treatment which allow:
a) to prepare sludge for agricultural utilization by transforming it in a very clean and stabilized product regarding the presence of organic micropollutants (conventional and emerging ones) and of heavy metals, and with respect to hygienic aspects and to phytotoxicity;
b) to minimize sludge production by innovative solutions which can be based on different approaches, i.e.: i) metabolic uncoupling where the free energy released by electrons transport is dissipated in heat, in the activation of alternative metabolic routes or in the accumulation of polymeric products, ii) the use of microbial fuel cells, iii) the use of sequencing batch biofilter granular reactor (SBBGR), iiii) the integration of a side-stream process in membrane bioreactors;
c) to promote recovery of valuable materials from anaerobic digestion, i.e. biopolymers as polyhydroxyalkanoates and fertilizers;
e) to set up and prove at practical scale a novel technique for sludge disposal (wet oxidation) as sustainable alternative to nowadays the most used incineration;
f) to minimize energy pumping by adjusting solid concentration, on a practical installation where sludge is pumped from the production site to a centralized plant.
The general objective of the Routes proposal is therefore to set up a panel of different solutions to be applied in different conditions and circumstances, strictly following the waste hierarchy of the Directive 08/98 on waste. The above solutions will be studied either in laboratory or at practical scale, depending on the maturity of the technology, in order to provide to the Commission and the technical and scientific community applicable solutions and new routes for sludge management, also based on the best integration between the water and sludge treatment lines.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project