Renewable Energy through Wastewater Treatment

In the continuing evolution of renewable energy innovation, Dayyhulme WwTW of Manchester, England one of the largest wastewater treatment works in the UK, is upgrading to generate electricity from biogas and deliver biosolids to be used as fertilizer. The project is part of United Utilities’ Sludge Balanced Asset Programme. To be completed by the end of 2012, the project will serve as part of the overall UK target to generate 15% of the National Grid electricity through renewable sources by 2020.

Photo Credit: Atomische Wastewater treatment can create renewable energy through biogas and biosolids
Wastewater treatment can create renewable energy through biogas and biosolids

β€œSludge treatment is a 24-hour process, so there is a continuous supply of biogas. It is a very valuable resource and it is completely renewable. By harnessing this energy we can reduce our fuel bills and reduce our carbon footprint,” Said Pete Robinson, United Utilities programme manager.

Davyhulme WwTW currently serves1.2 million people in Manchester, England and surrounding areas. The upgrade will double the plant’s sludge treatment capacity and implement a process that hopes to created fertilizer from biosolids in addition to producing enough electricity to run their own newly created treatment process with enough surplus electricity to add power to the National Grid.

Projected to cost Β£75 million ($120.2 million), the upgrade will cover sludge reception, thickening and blending facilities, Cambi thermal hydroloysis process, sludge digestion and sludge dewatering facilities.

The biogas is slated for use in a heat/power plant to generate up to 10 MW of electricity. The plant also plans to handle around 91,000 tons of dry solids per year. Their thermal hydrolosis plant is planning to increase existing digester capacity 130% and begin bringing in sludge from other plants.

β€œWe have leading experience in optimizing the environmental benefits of advanced sludge treatment plants, such as using the Cambi process selected for Davyhulme. This is an opportunity for us to help United Utilities achieve its carbon dioxide reduction targets by extracting more of the energy available in sewage sludge,” said Steve Canney, Senior Vice President of Black & Veatch, principal contractor for the project.

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  1. Didn’t they recently discover that using solid waste as fertilizer is dangerous? as they’ve found bacteria and medications, industry chemicals and household chemicals? I am ALL for renewable energy, However I don’t think its good to let hospitals dump in our sewers and/ some of the medications and bacteria cannot be destroyed!

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