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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article2 February 2022European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency1 min read

Sustainable wastewater treatment is possible

EffiSludge for LIFE has found a way to clean industrial wastewater with significant environmental and climate benefits.

EffiSludge for LIFE

Producing everyday goods typically generates wastewater. This water needs to be cleaned before being discharged into our rivers and lakes. However, doing this uses a lot of energy and chemicals. It is also costly.

The team behind EffiSludge for LIFE has developed an integrated wastewater treatment method that takes an ‘industrial symbiosis’ approach where the waste from one sector becomes a resource for another.

The team set up a demonstration plant in the Norske Skog Skogn paper mill north of Trondheim. The existing industrial wastewater treatment facility was integrated into a biogas plant. It cleans wastewater from the paper mill, while biogas is generated from both the wastewater and waste from the fishing industry.

The approach requires much less energy than traditional methods. Also, the waste sludge generated can be reused to produce biomethane instead of being burned or sent to landfill. Chemicals and energy use are down, providing a cost-effective and greener wastewater treatment solution.

‘The combined nutrient recovery, biogas production and energy savings mean fewer carbon emissions. This helps in the fight against climate change,’ says Francesco Ometto, EffiSludge for LIFE’s project manager.

The emissions reduction of up to 9 000 tonnes is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that one million pine trees absorb each year.

EffiSludge for LIFE contributes to the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan – an essential element of the European Green Deal. The project also supports the EU’s Waste Framework Directive.  

Find out more in the team’s recently published final report.

Image: LIFE14 CCM/SE/000221. All rights reserved. Licensed to the European Union under conditions.