WOW! - Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Wastewater


Project Summary

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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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Regional Water Authority Vallei en Veluwe 10 Steenbokstraat
Apeldoorn
7324 AX
Netherlands
wow@vallei-veluwe.nl www.vallei-veluwe.nl
Name Contact Name Email Country
Wupperverbandsgesellschaft für integrale Wasserwirtschaft mbH Gerd Kolisch kol@wupperverband.de Germany
University of Kaiserslautern Heidrun Steinmetz heidrun.steinmetz@bauing.uni-kl.de Germany
University of Luxembourg Joachim Hansen Joachim.hansen@uni.lu Luxembourg
VLARIO Wendy Francken wendy.francken@vlario.be Belgium
Natureplast Guillaume lebouteiller g.lebouteiller@natureplast.eu France
Avans University of Applies Sciences Jappe de Best Jh.debest@avans.nl Netherlands
REMONDIS Aqua Industry Patrick Herr patrick.herr@remondis.de Germany
Flemish Institute for Technological Research Ruben Guisson Ruben.guisson@vito.be Belgium
Pulsed Heat BV Rinus van Praag Rinus.vanpraag@pulsedheat.com Netherlands
Severn Trent Water Ltd. Paul Knuckle Paul.knuckle@severntrent.co.uk United Kingdom
CirTec B.V. Coos Wessels c.wessels@cirtec.nl Netherlands
Trinity College Dublin Laurence Gill Laurence.Gill@tcd.ie Ireland
LAB University of Applied Sciences Ossi Marikka Ossi.Martikka@lab.fi

Events



News


Project team visits pilot plant Remondis

Posted on

On the 4rd of December the WOW! project team gathered in Germany Lünen at the REMONDIS office. Part of the program was a visit to one of REMONDIS’ pilot plants, the TetraPhos. This process recovers valuable phosphorus from sewage sludge ash in form of phosphoric acid, which is mandatory for big sewage treatment plants in Germany from 2029 on. A good example for recovering valuable products from “waste water” which was an inspiring visit for the team! Read More

Severn Trent builds test-bed to recover valuable materials in sewage

Posted on

Five years ago Severn Trent set out its vision and commitment to changing the way they deliver sewage services – to make the most of resources which are becoming scarcer over time - and providing more innovative services for customers in urban catchments. In delivering those ambitions, Severn Trent will deliver energy neutral processing, recover the resources found in sewage and create products and materials for use in other sectors. Read More


WOW! - results of the project 

Market potential biobased products from sewage - factsheets

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: Bio-oil
Factsheet: Biodiesel
Factsheet: Acetic Acid 

Market potential study 

Techno-Economic Assessments biobased products
Market potential biobased products from sewage - report

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!

Market potential report 

Designing value chains for carbon based elements from wastewater - state of the art report

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.

> State of the art report 

National policy action plans

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:

Luxembourg: 

Action plan Luxembourg (English)
Action plan Luxembourg (Luxembourgish) 
Action plan Luxembourg (French)
Action plan Luxembourg (Portuguese) 
Action plan Luxembourg (German) 

Netherlands:

Action plan Netherlands (English)
Action plan Netherlands (Dutch) 

Germany: 

Action plan Germany  (English) 
Action plan Germany (German) 

Flanders:

Action plan Flanders (English)
Action plan Flanders (Dutch)

United Kingdom: 

Action plan United Kingdom (English) 

Critical success factors for valorisation routes - report

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.

> Report: critical success factors for valorisation routes - report 

State of the Art report on legislation

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.

> State of the art report 

Video Cellulose/PHA/Lipids pilot

General WOW! video

PHA pilot

Cellulose pilot

Lipids pilot

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