Work package 3: Innovative approaches to operational energy and chemical energy

In the urban water cycle there are several opportunities to recover energy with new technologies or new combinations of techniques. In this work package the aim is to introduce new technologies and new (combinations of) techniques to optimise operational energy and to recover chemical energy in the present situation.

The waste water treatment plant plays a central role in this work package because a lot of energy is being used for treating wastewater. This work package aims to acquire and share knowledge about the amount of energy used, the amount of energy that can be saved, the amount of sustainable energy that can be produced in the wastewater treatment plant and real costs. To do so the present situation will be evaluated and an improved scenario will be demonstrated and evaluated. Because this is still a new topic, the central item in this work package is innovation.

The main objective of this work package is to test and demonstrate how the performance of the urban water cycle can be increased, focusing on the energy use at the wastewater treatment plant. More specific:

  • improving the energy balance of the wastewater treatment plant;
  • introducing innovative techniques;
  • testing and demonstrating how the energy balance of the wastewater treatment plant can be improved in practice. 


  • Action 1: Benchmark study: inventory and evaluation of the amount of energy that is used for wastewater treatment and producing bio energy from wastewater in Europe.
  • Action 2: Feasibility study: exploring separate collection and the interactions of energy streams in the urban water cycle.
  • Action 3: Demonstration projects: demonstrating possibilities for improving the energy balance of the urban water cycle and the wastewater treatment plant, reducing the consumption of operational energy and producing bio-energy. Three demonstration projects are included in this work package:
    à Water cycle: new sanitation concepts by waterboard Groot Salland
    à Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP): implementation of the Anammox process at WWTP Kohlfuhrt (Wupperverband) and at WWTP Amersfoort (Waterboard Vallei & Eem)
  • Action 4: Pilot Energy Online System (EOS): Testing of a multi-criteria expert system for the real-time energy-optimised operation of wastewater treatment plants.