Wastewater as an Energy Resource

Posted by DeniseB January 28, 2014 Categories: Latest News

Extracting additional energy from wastewater treatment is a key element of Ofwat’s strategy for delivering benefits to customers in terms of both efficiency and innovation.

Through the Portfolio Collaborative programme and in partnership with three water companies, WRc has recently completed a detailed technical and financial risk assessment of existing and emerging technology applications (CP533) that can be used to generate energy within the wastewater treatment works (or by using products of the treatment).

Fifty three technologies with potential application for residual energy recovery from wastewater and sewage sludge were individually assessed ‘and scored’ against technical and financial criteria including: ease of integration and impact on WwTW; readiness for implementation (i.e. is the technology in pilot phase, or ready to market); output and payback.

The fifty three techniques evaluated by WRc’s specialists included technologies using:

  • Gasification / pyrolysis
  • Super critical oxidation
  • Hydropower
  • Recovery of oil from sludge
  • Heat recovery
  • Fuel cells
  • Biofuel (algae and biomass)
  • Sludge pre-processing prior to anaerobic digestion

The research provides the necessary intelligence for participants in the project to identify where business investment in innovative technology can offer a step change in energy generation and bring in appropriate returns.

Victoria Wilson from one of the project participants Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) commented “Sharing the cost and expertise with others means DCWW could cost effectively evaluate a wide range of potential technologies and identify which to pursue in the future”.

For further information contact Jane Turrell on 01793 865176 or jane.turrell@wrcplc.co.uk.


SIMON AYLEY Key Account DirectorTel: +44 (0) 1793 865085