On Friday, November 27 2015, the award ceremony for the Sustainability Awards Research 2015 was held in Duesseldorf, Germany. The Technical University Darmstadt was awarded for the impressive and innovative project SEMIZENTRAL to be the second best research project with regards to sustainability in 2015. The project deals with contemporary problems and challenges, such as urbanization, world population growth and dynamics of urban growth as well as limited resources like water, energy and nutrients.
Following the motto “wastewater is not a waste but a resource” Dr. Peter Cornel and his team at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany developed an innovative and integrated approach. In line with this approach wastewater is seen as a resource for water, energy and nutrients. Conventional wastewater treatment plants do treat the wastewater but do not use the treasures it holds as the water streams are just discharged into the canals after treatment.
With the right infrastructure solutions our resources can be treated and reused much more efficiently: instead of wastes, products like non-potable service water, irrigation water, biogas/electricity as well as biosolids can be produced out of wastewater. The project´s name already shows the solution: SEMIZENTRAL – not centralized nor decentralized but an in-between infrastructure solution that grows with the cities – might be the key to a sustainable future! The concept combines water and wastewater treatment with anaerobic sludge digestion.
In Qingdao, P.R. China the first SEMIZENTRAL Resource Recovery Center (RRC) was opened in April 2014. Its catchment area comprises ShiYuan-village plus 3 hotels, housing areas for staff and guests, new developed housing areas and office buildings adding up to approximately 12,000 people to serve. The modular approach of the RRC incorporates 4 sections: greywater treatment (-> is reused as non-potable service water), blackwater treatment (->is reused as irrigation water), foodwaste pre-treatment (-> mechanical pre-treatment) and an energy sector (->anaerobic thermophilic treatment, electric energy). The different wastewater streams are treated separately according to the degree of contamination. The whole system is completely energy self-sufficient. The greywater (wastewater from the sink or shower) section is equipped with 4 BIO-CEL ® BC 400 modules and treats 718 m 3 of wastewater per day. The treated water is reused as non-potable service water, e.g. for the toilet flush. The blackwater (wastewater from toilet flush) section houses 8 BIO-CEL ® BC 400 modules treating 860 m 3 of water daily. After its treatment the water is reused for irrigation purposes. The RCC building is located nearby the residential area and is very compact and a completely closed system (odor control) that does not at all look like a wastewater treatment plant from the outside.
Thanks to this innovative approach the system is operated energy self-sufficient and accounts for water savings of minimum 30%. “We are confident that semi-centralized integrated systems will become the state-of-the-art technology for the cities of the future”, states Hans-Joerg Heckmann, Managing Director of MICRODYN-NADIR Xiamen, China, “and we are proud to be contributing with excellent effluent qualities that can be realized with our BIO-CEL® MBR modules.”
Click here for more information: www.microdyn-nadir.de