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
WOW! - Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Wastewater
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.
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Wupperverbandsgesellschaft für integrale Wasserwirtschaft mbH
100 Untere Lichtenplatzer Str.
University of Kaiserslautern
University of Luxembourg
162 Avenue de la Faïencerie
124 De Schom
11 rue François ARAGO
Avans University of Applies Sciences
PO Box 90116
REMONDIS Aqua Industry
Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Pulsed Heat BV
Severn Trent Water Ltd.
2 St John’s St
Trinity College Dublin
Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Museum Building , D02 DK07 Dublin, Ireland
LAB University of Applied Sciences
Mukkulankatu 19, 15210 Lahti, Finland
Regional Water Authority Vallei en Veluwe
|Regional Water Authority Vallei en Veluwe||
On the 6th of November Coos Wessels from CirTec, partner in the WOW! project, presented the WOW! project to the North Sea Commission (NSC). The NSC is one of the six geographical commissions of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and a cooperation platform for regions around the North Sea. Their mission is to strengthen partnerships between regional authorities which face the challenges and opportunities presented by the North Sea. In line with the NSC work on protection of the sea from marine litter and harmful substances, the Annual Business Meeting on 6 November 2020 adopted a resolution on circular economy and the reuse of resources from sewage. Read More
In the upcoming month, the lipid-team from the WOW! project will launch the pilot installation at the wastewater treatment plant in Audun-le-Tiche (France). Carefully determined key parameters in the lab-scale experiment will now be tested on site. Read More
Sewage contains about 25-30% of the particulate fraction in the form of cellulose fibers. The source of these fibers is mainly toilet paper due to its increased consumption. Utilizing these valuable materials could reduce the use of natural resources and subsequent carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and hence, realizing a circular economy. In the WOW project, a techno-economic assessment of the use of these cellulose fibers for bio-based products is performed at a pilot scale. Read More
Sewage water and sludge are raw materials for the production of PHA: biodegradable biopolymers made by bacteria. These polyhydroxyalkanoates can offer an interesting alternative to fossil plastics. The number of research projects in this field is therefore increasing. Reason for the Biobased Economy Lecturers Platform to organize the webinar "Recent results in PHA development" at the end of November. Read More
Last week the WOW! webinar took place during the Aquarama Trade fair 2020. Three of the project partners from the WOW! project presented the results so far. Read More
Sewage and industrial wastewater often contain many valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for biobased products. However, this potential is currently not or hardly used, resulting in loss of valuable materials. The INTERREG NWE project WOW! looks into the possibilities to create sustainable value chains from sewage water using these valuable substances. One of the value chains under investigation is the production of PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates), a fully biodegradable bioplastic. Read More
The WOW! project has an Advisory Board with senior representatives from governments and businesses who advise on policies around resource recovery from waste water. Because of COVID-19, the June meeting was a well-attend digital get-together. The National policy action plans were the one of the main calendar items. Read More
Avans and Wetsus have signed an agreement to cooperate in their activities on production of bioplastic from wastewater. In the Wetsus bioplastics from water research theme, fundamental research is performed in collaboration with Delft University of Technology on the production of PHA bioplastic from waste water. This research serves as a basis for the intended further upscaling of this technology by five Dutch water authorities, STOWA, HVC and Paques. Avans also performs research on the production and extraction of PHA bioplastic in the framework of the Interreg North-West Europe project WOW! and their Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE). The agreement now makes it possible to share information and resources and in this way expand the knowledge for this promising development. Read More
The WOW! team finished the State of Art report on legislation in Europe and the partner countries of the Interreg NW Europe project: Germany, UK, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. The objective of this report was to describe the main juridical and policy context for bringing raw materials from wastewater to the market, including national differences. 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! We also created a summarizing factsheet for each product which you can find here:
Factsheet: PHA Bioplastics
Factsheet: Activated Biochar
Factsheet: Acetic Acid
When developing innovative technologies, such as the recovery from cellulose from wastewater and its conversion into for example bio-oil, it is important to have a clear idea of the economic performance of the process. A techno-economic analysis (TEA) helps to optimize the development of a process and to determine the most important parameters. In this project TEA's have been performed for PHA, lipids and cellulose.
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!
The objective of work package 1 in the WOW! project is to identify viable value chains for 5 carbon based products from sewage: PHA-bioplastic, biodiesel, bio-oil, biochar, and acetic acid. This state of the art report is a result of the work package that focusses on the market potential of carbon based elements (CBEs) from sewage. This report contains analyses on the state of the art of current supply and market uptake of materials from sewage in North West Europe (NWE). Analyses comprise an overview on past (best practices) and current attempts to reuse CBEs.
Based on the information gathered in the report Critical success factors for valorization routes, two important drivers can be distinguished that determine whether resource recovery from sewage becomes a success in the EU: - Acceptance of raw materials from sewage - Policies related to use of products from sewage The drivers and critical success factors are elaborated further in the National Policy Action Plans which you can download below:
Action plan Luxembourg (English)
Action plan Luxembourg (Luxembourgish)
Action plan Luxembourg (French)
Action plan Luxembourg (Portuguese)
Action plan Luxembourg (German)
Action plan Netherlands (English)
Action plan Netherlands (Dutch)
Action plan Germany (English)
Action plan Germany (German)
Action plan Flanders (English)
Action plan Flanders (Dutch)
Action plan United Kingdom (English)
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.
The WOW! team finished the State of Art report on legislation in Europe and the partner countries of the Interreg NW Europe project: Germany, UK, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. The objective of this report was to describe the main juridical and policy context for bringing raw materials from wastewater to the market, including national differences.