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Aquiris: Brussels-North Waste Water Treatment Plant (Belgium)

Recovering materials from the effluents of wastewater treatment plants and converting them into valuable bioplastics for industrial uses is now a reality. The first biopolymers have now been produced by the Aquiris prototype. The various pilot components were fully incorporated into the existing facilities without any modification of operating processes. Leveraging this initial success, Aquiris is now working to fine-tune the process and optimize the biopolymer characteristics to ensure that they match the requirements of potential industrial customers.

 

Context
The Brussels-Capital region launched a call
for tender to design, build and operate:
• A treatment plant in the Brussels-Capital
Region, capable of treating waste water
produced by 1,100,000 inhabitants.
• A 6.5 kms sewage collector along the left
bank of the Willebroek canal.
• The connection of treatment facilities to
existing collectors.

 

Challenge
• Discharge quality water into the river
Senne.
• Develop sludge by-products.
• Avoid olfactory disturbance to local residents.

 

Green electricity production
Green energy production capacity is made of:
• Photovoltaic: 3.2 MW
• Cogeneration: 1.1 MW
• Hydraulic turbine: 0.7 MW
The total green electricity production is 15,000 MW/year. Thus Aquiris generates 25% of its
own electricity requirements.

 

Production of bioplastics from treated sludge
Until now, the concept of sanitation was limited to pollution elimination. Aquiris treats
waste water and now recovers from it a raw material which is recycled into bioplastics.
Thanks to technology supplied by the Swedish subsidiary AnoxKaldnes, research has
identified certain bacteria capable of breaking down waste water by eating carbon and
accumulating it in the form of biopolymers, with a similar composition as that produced
by the chemical industry. Its production is subsequently recovered and converted into
material used by plastic processors to manufacture pens or bumpers.

 

Further information: http://veolia-uwws2030.com/doc/Production_Bioplastique_Aquiris.pdf