Sustainable material flow management for wastewater treatment plants
Status quo (in the Global North)
The tremendous increase in urbanization and economic activity is increasingly forcing urban areas to improve their sewage services. Since many elements of wastewater infrastructure have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years or even longer, decisions made today have long-term effects and must therefore be based on future rather than current or past scenarios.
To unlock the potential for improved sustainability, the industry must fundamentally change the way it approaches and makes assumptions about managing wastewater resources, including creating much-needed new wastewater systems and incorporating digitization.
The recovery of resources is currently not easy to implement. This is partly because emerging concepts and methods are part of a complex integrated approach that seeks to embed water reuse, nutrient recycling and energy generation in an infrastructure that was not designed for these multiple purposes.
In addition, sewage service systems often function in isolation and rarely consider factors and influences that go beyond the conventional technical area.
Responsible research for sustainable wastewater managemen
The focus of our research area Wasser 3.0 reuse is on:
- reuse of water-soluble or natural organic material, such as organic substances, nitrogen and phosphorus,
- Further use of the treated water,
- reuse of microplastics.
We pursue a sustainability philosophy as a replacement for conventional construction method, which only focuses on the technical aspect of system design and consider ecosystems to use the capabilities of natural systems at the system level.
We research for more ECO³ in all processes
- Save water, energy and costs.
- Avoid waste.
- Improve water quality and reduce the carbon footprint.