Nutrient recovery from wastewater has been receiving growing interest, driven by stringent nutrient discharge limits from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) and by the potential for valorization of the recovered nutrients, e.g. for application as fertilizers, which can represent an additional revenue source to WWTP operators. The NUTREC project focuses on the recovery of ammonia (N) and phosphorus (P) from wastewaters, in particular reject water from biogas production (rich in N and P) and leachates (rich in N) from landfills. The NUTREC consortium – led by a group of five SMEs (from four countries) within the WWT industrial sector – wishes to improve and optimize a recently developed, innovative technological process for recovering ammonia, as well as extending such process for the recovery of phosphorus from diverse wastewaters, and transforming the nutrient-rich by-streams into useful fertilisers. The technology has a very high potential for economic savings especially related to energy – and operational improvements in WWTPs. However, it faces number of limitations which the SME consortium expects to overcome with the contribution of two highly specialised RTD Performers – that will address the main scientific and technological barriers preventing the technology from reaching the market.
A successful achievement of the NUTREC project objectives will strongly improve the competitiveness of the five SMEs – together expecting an increased turnover in the order of €80M (for the 5-year period post project), broadening their knowledge and market position in the WWT sector. Moreover, implementation of the new NUTREC technology will provide a sound business case to end-users (WWTPs), with a payback time below 2.5 years. Finally, a large implementation of the NUTREC technology will elicit substantial societal and environmental benefits, contributing to meeting EU policy objectives within the Environment, Health and Energy/CO2 emission areas.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs