Harvesting energy and water from sewage gives northern Europe a sustainable edge
A new wastewater treatment plant in England will trial an approach that could help more European countries reuse higher amounts of water and generate cleaner energy too Climate change is increasing the risk of water shortages across Europe, but if societies made the most of every drop the 100 million people facing water stress would be much better off – and may even have a new source of energy. In Redditch, England, a new wastewater treatment plant will use a combination of micro-filters and bacteria to turn sewage into reusable water and generate methane from the separated waste. The recovered methane could then be used to power the entire process. Peter Vale, technical lead of the plant at Severn Trent Water, a water utility company in England, said: “It fundamentally changes the energy balance of sewage treatment – we switch from being energy-intensive to maybe energy-neutral or even energy-positive.” The technology that makes this possible has existed for a few years, but it has never been applied to northern Europe because the bacteria do not like the colder climate. But by recreating their ideal environment within the process, colder countries could soon utilise the technology. The new wastewater treatment plant will be built in the coming year and act as a demonstration site for other...
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- NextGen Water