NEWTRIENTS – Novel Eco-Sensitive Wastewater Treatment Recovering Dairy Industry Effluent Nutrients
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded NEWTRIENTS project at University College Cork (UCC) aims to deliver innovation and efficiency through value added dairy wastewater resource recovery. Benten's experts are active members of the Scientific Steering Committee for this project, and support this research with expert knowledge on water quality and monitoring issues.
April 2017 – present
Dairy industry wastewater is particularly attractive as potential source of valuable resources in Ireland as it has high amounts of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus but unlike municipal wastewater it is not contaminated with pathogenic material, heavy metals or micropollutants which makes it possible to use recovered resources as potential feedstuffs.
Within the NEWTRIENTS project, two novel linked technologies for the recovery of resources from dairy industry wastewater are developed:
- secondary treatment by acidogenic fermentation to produce bioplastics
- tertiary treatment for the production of duckweed which can serve as a high-value agricultural feed
The ambition of the NEWTRIENTS project is to demonstrate a circular economy approach to dairy processing industry wastewater and to achieve the following objectives:
- the recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from dairy wastewater effluents
- avoiding generation of large amounts of inorganic phosphorus sludge produced in current systems
- the production of a high value agricultural feed as a replacement for imported high protein feeds
- production of a biodegradable plastic as a replacement for fossil-fuel based plastics
- sequestration of CO2 from aerobic wastewater treatment processes
- remediation of dairy industry waste water to facilitate disposal or alternative uses
Thus, the NEWTRIENTS project develops a paradigm shift from wastewater treatment to closed loop reuse of valuable components present in the effluent with environmental and economic benefits, and to transform expensive and environmentally inefficient wastewater treatment processes into a source of revenue for the dairy processing industry.
More detailed information about this project can be found at the project's website.
Benten's experts Dr. Adriana Hulsmann and Dr. Corina Carpentier are active members of the Scientific Steering Committee for this project, and support this research with expert knowledge on water quality and monitoring issues.
Clients & partners:
- University College Cork, Ireland
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland