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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-10-01 - 2023-09-30

Our current wastewater system is very well developed, but it is not a sustainable closed-loop system. Nutrients that are introduced into the wastewater via human excreta can no longer be recycled into food production because there are already too many impurities in the sewage treatment plants. The energy content of the substances in the wastewater can also no longer be used well due to the aerobic treatment in the sewage treatment plant. The sewage sludge is therefore dried, incinerated and the ash is landfilled, among other things. The food leftovers from households are mainly disposed of in the residual waste and also incinerated, which means that the nutrients they contain are lost. Objectives and innovation content compared to the state of the art / state of knowledge and with reference to the expected sustainability effects. Building on previous projects (e.g. KREIS in Hamburg) and through the use, expansion and combination of new components and processes and with laboratory tests, a new, innovative material and energy cycle system is to be tested. - The long-term behaviour of the new urine separation toilet (winner of the international competition "Reinventing the Toilet") and the separation of flushing water and solids will be investigated experimentally and empirically. - Plant fertiliser and service water are recovered from urine and digested sludge water. The Eawag urine recycling process is being extended and tested to include nutrient recovery from digestate water, so that nutrients can also be recovered from this fraction. - Recording and optimising the separation of medicines, drugs and hormone residues also from fermentation residue water. - The high-temperature fermentation and biogas production of faeces and food waste is optimised through research and the minimum volume is determined. For this purpose, the hygiene, the process-related robustness in the case of faecal waste and by injected household chemicals will also be checked. - The biogas obtained is analysed in terms of time, quality and quantity, and the electricity and heat potential is calculated via fuel cell or microturbine. - Concepts for the use of food waste from households are being investigated in terms of process technology and construction. - User acceptance and user preferences are surveyed. - Concepts for the use of digestate via carbonisation processes and phosphate recovery are analysed and evaluated. Intended results and findings This planned project is intended to facilitate a more economically and ecologically sustainable closed-loop use of building wastewater and household food waste. In addition to scientific findings, realistic and rapidly multipliable application examples for the technology and the recycled products are to be created.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31

After the European Union climate and energy package (“the three 20 targets”), the zero carbon economy in the European Union by 2050 was suggested in 2018-19 to reach the reduction of climate change. The proposal “VARESI” aiming to valorise industrial residues onsite the production plant and to integrate the energy vectors, mainly into the production process. To realise this target the consortium combines anaerobic treatment technologies, hydrothermal carbonisation and energetical process integration including exergy analysis. In addition to energy efficiency, water recovery plays an important role during the project. The project is completed by a techno-economic assessment. The focused industries are breweries, dairies, meat processing industry, pharmaceutical industry, pulp and paper industry and sugar industry.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31

Participation as expert in the IEA Bioenergy Task 37 "Energy from Biogas" activity period 2022 - 2024. In this way, within the framework of a network of international experts, key issues for the implementation and dissemination of biogas production from by-products, waste and energy crops are to be agreed and appropriately prepared information disseminated to the Austrian users, companies, planners, authorities, associations, specialist institutions etc. concerned in the form of information brochures, success stories, technical studies, Internet websites, workshops and conferences. In the coming triennium, the focus will be on the ecological and economic implementation of biogas technology in agricultural and industrial operations. A sensible and sustainable implementation is a global challenge. Whereby the direct implementation and the details sometimes vary. In Task 37, the topics are examined and discussed from different regional and national perspectives. The topics go into detail in sustainable biogas production and biomethane certification, the role in direct environmental protection and the implementation of the technology in industrial processes. The use of renewable raw materials should move away from the use of maize in biogas plants towards the more cascading use of agricultural products such as straw. In addition, the use of biomethane as a fuel and the improved use of fermentation products with a view to strengthening the circular economy in order to save on mineral fertilisers, for example, should continue.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations