This project is a continuation of the Interreg NWE project WoW ! and focuses on two of the products that are already successfully recovered from sewage in this project: PHA, a biodegradable plastic, and biochar, one of the products of the pyrolysis of cellulose. The BRE research group is involved in research into PHA.
Within the PHA part, 2 topics are investigated:
1) the possibilities to realize a centralized PHA production facility fed by various medium and small sewage treatment plants (STPs). This opens up new possibilities for PHA production in rural areas with mainly small to medium-sized STPs.
2) the possibilities of producing PHA from residual flows from the food processing industry. This can yield higher quality PHA, opening up new market opportunities. After lab-scale testing of residual streams from various food processing industries, two promising residual streams are tested on a pilot scale in Germany. The application of the produced PHA is tested in 3D printing. In addition, a sustainability analysis of the process will be performed.
Biochar – Activated Carbon
This part looks at the application of biochar for the removal of micropollutants at small and medium-sized WWTPs. To enable this, the biochar will first be activated into activated carbon. The activated carbon will be used in constructed wetlands as an extra step after the regular treatment of the sewage water. This application in small and medium-sized WWTPs opens up possibilities for new markets for activated carbon and application in new rural regions.