Sewage contains valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for biobased products. However, in North West Europe this potential is hardly exploited yet. This results in loss of valuable materials, increased CO2-emmissions and less use of natural resources. The Interreg North-West Europe project WOW! - Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Waste water (sewage) - aims to make the transition to a more circular approach by matching supply and demand of cellulose, lipids and PHA bioplastics from sewage. The international consortium consists of partners from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Valuable materials from sewage
There are market opportunities for raw materials from sewage, but for this the sewage treatment plants and the industry need alignment. This calls for a transition: sewage treatment plants need to switch from treating sewage to producing valuable materials. On the other hand, market parties need to regard sewage as a valuable source instead of ‘dirty unsafe water’. Last but not least, the policies should better fit this new circular practice. To realize these opportunities the consortium aims to develop value chains for three different raw materials from sewage: cellulose, PHA bioplastics and lipids.
The following activities will be part of the project:
Identify high potential value chains for raw materials from sewage.
Develop a Decision Support Tool that guides sewage treatment plants in their transition towards a circular approach on sewage.
Build and run three WOW! pilots to optimize and implement innovative recovery and upcycling techniques.
Create bioproducts made out of sewage, such as bioplastics, biofuel and bio-char.
Create national policy action plans and an EU policy roadmap.
On the 30th of September the Aquarama Trade Fair took place. WOW! organised a session about biobased products from sewage. We explained more about how we work together with business partners to extract valuable raw materials from sewage. For this we use several innovative approaches and techniques to create bio-char, bio-oil, bioplastics, biodiesel and more. We would like to share the presentations with you. Read More
Towards a sustainable production of bioplastics from residual flows, PHA2USE and the Interreg NWE project WoW! recently took another important step. In the first extraction campaign on a pilot scale, we succeeded in producing more than 18 kg of PHBV from sewage sludge. The produced PHBV, a fully biodegradable bioplastic, is now being tested by companies on various commercial applications. Read More
WOW!’s application for the Interreg North-West Europe call for capitalisation has been approved! The WOW! project is running now for 3 years. The challenge WOW! addresses is to create a transition in the urban water cycle. From a linear approach which ends up as sewage, up to a circular approach in which raw materials from sewage are recycled for biobased products. With the capitalisation call WOW! gets the opportunity to develop more various tools and activities to maximise the impact of project results, which is good news for the circular economy. Read More
Sewage contains valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for biobased products. WOW! has shown that recovery of raw materials from sewage is technically possible and that there is a potential market opportunity for these raw materials. However, to date this potential has hardly been exploited to its full potential in Europe resulting in loss of valuable materials, CO2-emmissions and less efficient use of natural resources. Read More
WOW! organized several online events during the EU Green Week 2021. We are pleased to see that there is lots of interest for the recovery of valuable materials from sewage. We hope you got inspired by our webinars. Did you miss one of the events? You can watch the webinars on youtube or/and download the presentations. Read More
On the 13th of May WoW! presented during the conference: Art of the possible - resource recovery from wastewater and bioresources. Jappe de Best from Avans University of Applied Sciences (NL) and Zuzana Dedova from University of Luxemburg were having a presentation about new value chains for carbon-based raw materials from wastewater. Read More
The partners within the WOW! team excecuted a market potential study. The objective is to identify viable value chains for 5 carbon based products (CBE) from sewage water: PHA-bioplastic, biodiesel, bio-oil, biochar, and acetic acid. In Figure 1-1 a simplified scheme of the recovery of the 5 CBEs is shown. The full report is finished and can be downloaded! Read More
Partners within the WOW! team wrote a report that describes critical success factors for the recovery of raw materials from sewage and bringing these resources to the market based on lessons learned in EU subsidy projects. Why have some recovery techniques been successfully implemented while others are still in the pilot phase or did not succeed? Information was gathered via literature, an online questionnaire and interviews. Read More
At the beginning of 2021, the first pyrolysis plant in the Netherlands will be opened in Ede, which orders usable raw materials from sewage water. Namely the cellulose pilot of the WOW! project. In the installation that Pulsed Heat has built together with Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe and Cirtec, the cellulose in sewage water is upgraded to oil, acid fraction, gas and coal. Pulsed Heat is responsible for upgrading the residual flows, they are happy to tell you more about their role in the WOW! project. Read More
The decision support tool (DST) developed as part of the Interreg WOW! project by Avans Hogeschool (NL) has been tested by Severn Trent Water (UK). This tool has been designed to provide water industry employees with an easy to use screening tool to assess the viability of carbon-based material recovery options (PHA, lipids and cellulose) at sewage treatment plants. The first testing period got us some nice results! Read More