EIP Agri Focus Group on Nutrient recycling / wastewater reuse

Water2REturn consortium joined last January 23rd – 24th, 2018 in Naples, Italy.

The main objective was check out the first project semester’s outcomes and to share the state of development of each of the running tasks, as well as detect any possible bottleneck and establish corrective measures if needed.

At this stage, wastewater from the real slaughterhouse chosen as demonstration site (“Matadero del Sur”, located in Salteras, Seville province, Spain) has been characterised, which was a crucial step to actually have a baseline to start designing Water2REturn technologies in the most appropriated way and one of the first project semester’s outcomes. This characterisation was also the basis to perform the first of a long list of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) studies, of crucial importance to assess the eco-efficiency and sustainability of each of the processes to be implemented in the demonstration site and to optimise them according to the Circular Economy concept.

Water2REturn consortium meeting to check out the first project semester’s outcomesIn parallel, much work at lab scale has been and it is still being carried out in all treatment lines (water, sludge and algal lines). This work has been devoted to choose the best option for NO3 recovery, to identify the most suitable conditions to maximise sludge valorisation through a novel fermentation process, to determine the biomethane production of hydrolysed sludge obtained at the fermentation unit and of raw wastewater and to optimise the operating conditions, to carry out catalytic oxidation texts to produce hydrogen from biogas and to select optimal algal culture and conditions for biogas digestate treatment and biomass production. It is foreseen that all these studies will be concluded by the end of February 2018, allowing the consortium to start designing the technologies to be implemented at Matadero del Sur.

In addition, the previous works needed to condition the demonstration site, as well as the administrative work needed in terms of licensing and permits obtaining, were shared and discussed.

Furthermore, the actions developed with regards to the identification of the end users’ needs and the requirements for the system’s market uptake were discussed. Up to now, 5 questionnaires have been designed to gather stakeholders’ views, with the purpose of facilitating discussion and fostering dialogue on cross-cutting challenges identified by the project. These questionnaires will provide an evidence-based assessment of the main concerns and interests of stakeholders and will be used to engage them with the Water2REturn project. These 5 questionnaires correspond to each of the 5 identified relevant stakeholders’ groups: wastewater industry, slaughtering industry, fertilisers industry, farmers and consumers and NGOs. They are all available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Slovenian.

The first project video was also shared with the consortium, as well as the already performed dissemination activities.

Last but not least, further actions were discussed and programmed. Next project meeting will take place in Seville, Spain, in June 2018.