Sewer Mining in the Vigo Living Lab: next AnMBR demo installed

After a successful pilot of an anaerobic bioreactor (AnMBR) treating 1 m3/day at the Nigran office building of Zona Franca de Vigo, which was evaluated for various years in the H2020 project Run4Life, a new demo unit for sewer mining treating 11 m3/day of wastewater from a local car factory has been installed.

The Living Lab in Vigo (Spain) is one of the large-scale operational environments of the technological innovations developed by REWAISE to extract value in, from and through water in Europe. At this site, the project is implementing alternative smart water systems to increase the efficiency of existing water treatment plants. It is also working in recovering resources from wastewater flows to be used as fertilisers , for biogas production and water reuse.

For this purpose, an AnMBR prototype is housed in a 12 m long container and installed close to a manhole in the parking lot of the Citroen/Stellantis Car Factory. This unit is capable of repurposing the industrial wastewater for cooling, washing, and processing, transforming organic matter into biogas and recovering nutrients for fertigation. The technology MEMB-RANER (Membrane Reactor for Anaerobic Nutrient and Energy Recovery) was developed jointly between the University of Valencia, Politecnica de Valencia and aqualia, to produce an effluent rich in nutrients with high quality, free of solids and pathogens, for reuse in agriculture or industry, and is currently undergoing validation with the ETV review led by IETU, one of the Rewaise partners.

After delivery of the reactor in April 2022, currently all connections are being concluded, including installing some sensors, and electrical equipment. Also, ASM Soft is responsible for completing the automation system, to allow online and remote control of the process.

In the context of climate change, the city of Vigo is increasingly experiencing periods of drought, and it affects the total water reserves which are gradually decreasing. Therefore, Vigo needs more efficient water treatment systems for both drinking water and wastewater to maximise the effectiveness of its systems. In parallel to the local wastewater reuse, new membranes are being tested at the drinking water plant to upgrade the treatment of the water from Oitavén river that was first installed almost 50 years ago.