Evaluation of Resource recovery Alternatives in South African water (ERASE)
InfoStart date: 31 May, 2019 End date: 30 May, 2021 Project type: Research collaboration projects in growth and transition countries (Window 2) Project code: 18-M09-DTU Countries: South Africa Thematic areas: Natural resource management, Water management and sanitation, Lead institution: Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering University of Cape Town (UCT), Department of Civil Engineering University of Kwazulu Natal (UKZN), Chemical Engineering, South Africa Project coordinator: Krist Gernaey Total grant: 4,960,508 DKK
Resource recovery from wastewater is a rapidly emerging research area, promoting the development of several technologies that hold the promise to increase the sustainability of process operation in water treatment systems. Different types of organic compounds/acids with industrial relevance can be obtained through controlled fermentation/chain elongation processes. Nutrients, such as phosphorus, can be recovered in various forms for use in agricultural fertilizers. Energy, in the form of heat and electricity, can be extracted from the wastewater to offset the power demands of the treatment facility and move towards carbon neutrality. Cellulose is a major fraction from the incoming organic matter and could be directly recovered and reused. The ERASE project - Evaluation of Resource recovery Alternatives in South African water Treatment systems - seeks to demonstrate the benefits of transiting from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to water resource recovery facilities (WWRF) amongst water utilities in South Africa. Fundamentally, the project will deliver a new generation of engineering tools to simulate resource recovery options in selected South African plants (prior implementation) and to evaluate these novel technologies in line with the objectives of the circular economy paradigm (multi-criteria evaluation + LCA). The ERASE project contributes directly to the Danish Strategic Sector Cooperation program (SSC) in South Africa (i) thematic area 1 (urban water management) and (ii) crosscutting component 1 (water sector research and innovation). The project will deal with important topics such as limiting water waste release, increase water efficiency and improving water quality.