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CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Contributing to environmental protection FiW works at interfaces of the resources water, nutrients, and energy. The focus is on minimizing the consumption of energy and resources or keeping them in the closed loop of recycling. To accomplish this, FiW develops holistic solutions in the areas of resource recovery, resource efficiency, sustainable energy supply and climate protection based on a comprehensive understanding of the material flows, the actors involved and the prevailing framework conditions.

Phosphorus is a finite but essential and non-substitutable resource. The revised 'Klärschlammverordnung' (German sewage sludge ordinance) sets new priorities with regard to the recovery of this resource. We are developing concepts that significantly reduce dependence on phosphorus imports and present holistic solutions for bringing phosphorus recyclates to the market and thus returning them to the cycle. In the future, we will also work on utilizing other resources in wastewater, such as wastewater heat or even nitrogen, which is currently largely removed and no longer usable as fertilizer. The recovery of resources is also playing an increasingly important role in the industrial sector, aided by new and cheaper technologies - especially membrane separation processes. Here we are working on practical solutions, e.g. for the desulfurization of biogas, and support application-oriented research.

Water reuse holds great potential both regionally and internationally. It is important that concepts and plant technology are adapted to local conditions. We work with local stakeholders to develop customized solutions for closing water loops in both industrial and municipal environments. Taking local conditions into account, sufficient water is to be made available for hygiene and agriculture-based income generation. Water reuse will also become increasingly relevant for energy crop production, recultivation measures, forestry and targeted agricultural irrigation in Germany.

We are investigating nature-based processes (e.g. constructed wetlands), intensified biological processes, simple filtration processes, but also membrane and disinfection processes, as well as process combinations adapted to the local conditions. We have already been able to demonstrate the use of purified wastewater treatment plant effluents in aquaponics and to accompany the use of adapted technologies in semi-arid regions of Tunisia.

The concept of the circular economy, which aims at the sustainable reuse of resources, is based on the gradual replacement of the previously linear resource-intensive industry. However, in addition to decreasing resource requirements, circular concepts can lead to an increased consumption of energy and operating resources, which are caused in particular by recycling processes. Compared to the linear fossil reference process, this can lead to increased direct and indirect emissions into soil, water and the atmosphere. A tool to capture, quantify and categorize these environmental impacts is the life cycle assessment according to ISO 14040/44, which allows to compare the environmental benefits of new processes with the existing reference processes and is considered essential in the field of sustainable process development. We apply LCA in the areas of carbon footprint in water management, P-recycling in water management as well as in the assessment of sector-coupling according to the power-to-fuel principle.

References

awaregio | Waterreuse

awaregio | Waterreuse

Modular wastewater treatment processes for the reuse in agriculture, aquaponics and the substitution of drinking water resources

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E-BO(2)t

Hydrogen-based sector coupling between water, energy, and transportation

E-BO(2)t – Production of electrolysis-based methanol fuels and oxygen utilization in wastewater treatment at the WWTP Bottrop

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GREEN-BEE

Methanol synthesis from sewage gas

GREEN-BEE - Market- and product-oriented further development of the concept for synthesizing methanol from sewage gas

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GreenFactory SARTEX | Tunisia

Sustainable denim finishing using water recycling and renewable energies

GreenFactory SARTEX in Tunisia

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InRePlast

Plastik in der Umwelt

InRePlast – Umweltpolitische Instrumente zur Reduzierung der Plastikverschmutzung von Binnengewässern über Entwässerungssysteme

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Sewage sludge management | Hannover

Sewage sludge management in Hannover

Market and potential study sewage sludge for the North-East Region and the Hannover Metropolitan Region

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Sewage sludge management | Rhine-Hunsrück

Sewage sludge management in the Rhine-Hunsrück district (Germany)

Future treatment and utilization of sewage sludge from the sewage treatment plants of the municipalities of the Rhine-Hunsrück district in Germany

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Sewage sludge management | Tunisia

Water management in Tunisia after the Arab Spring

Sewage sludge management in Tunisia

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Methanolstandard

Methanol: The renewable Fuel that drives us tomorrow

Methanolstandard – Examination of the technical foundations for standardizing methanol fuels in Europe

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NitroSX

Anoxic Biowash for Biogas Desulfurization as a Contribution to the Climate Future

NitroSX – Microbiological Biogas Desulphurisation

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Power-to-Fuel

Power-to-Fuel

New processes for the production of climate-neutral energy sources based on biogas and renewable surplus electricity

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Trace substance elimination

Trace substance elimination from CP plants

Best Available Techniques (BAT) for reducing the entry of micropollutants from wastewater of CP Treatment Plants for hazardous waste into water bodies

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TransPhoR

TransPhoR

Holistic approaches for a sustainable phosphorus cycle

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WaterReTunE | Tunisia

WaterReTunE

Water Reuse in Tunisia

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