Bio-methane production from urban organic matter

The Eranet Bio-Water-Methanisation project demonstrates an industrial scale anaerobic technology, using Submerged Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (SAnMBR) technology, as an innovative alternative to traditional waste water treatment and with simultaneous treatment of urban solid organic waste.

This new approach focuses on a more sustainable concept, where waste and waste water turns into a source of energy and nutrients, and also a recyclable water resource by membrane disinfection. The project has three main objectives:
1. Reduction of WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plants) energy consumption by 70%
2. Reducing by 80% of the net greenhouse gases emission per unit of COD removed from the
influent wastewater, avoiding the oxidation of organic matter
3. Increasing effluent quality for reuse and minimisation of residuals by 50%
SAnMBR technology combines anaerobic digestion and membrane technology, for treating wastewater.

Anaerobic digestion allows the conversion of the organic matter into a biogas flow (composed mainly of CH4 and CO2) that can be used at the WWTP to generate heat energy and electric power. On the other hand membrane filtration allows an increase in the sludge retention time (SRT) of 100% without increasing the reactor volume, which allows anaerobic processes to be used for low-loaded waste water. Low growth rate of anaerobic bacteria coupled to longer sludge retention time reduces sludge production, so that less residuals need to be disposed of, yielding less emissions.

To achieve this main objective, the following activities at demo scale will be carried out:

  • To evaluate the effluent water quality obtained.
  • To evaluate different operating conditions in order to find the optimal performance.
  • To maximise methane recovery from the effluent.
  • To obtain critical parameters for optimum design and operation at full scale.
  • To establish guidelines for monitoring and controlling the process.
  • To improve the energy balance of waste water treatment.