“WWTP of the future by changing them from being energy consumer to resource recovery sites” 


LIFE NECOVERY is a research project co-founded by the European Community, through the LIFE+ Environmental Policy & Governance programme. The project was launched in July 2013 and is expected to be completed in December 2016. The project is coordinated by CETaqua Water Technology Center and implemented in partnership with Avecom.

LIFE NECOVERY project deals with the issues of changing the current concept of WWTPs from being energy consumers to resource recovery sites. This is the new concept of WWTP of the future which consists in extracting resources (energy, nutrients) from wastewater.

Currently, the flowsheets implemented in WWTPs are mainly based on energy-consuming pollution removal and they are not adapted to a future water treatment fit. In fact, it is estimated that in Western Europe, only 20-35% of consumed energy in WTTPs can be recovered by means of the anaerobic digestion. Regarding the nutrients, most of the WWTPs are mainly focused in removing them than in recovering. Thus a thorough flowsheet re-design is required to focus on resources recovery and within stringent surface requirements.

In this context, LIFE NECOVERY project aims to demonstrate, by means of a prototype, the feasibility of an innovative WWTP flowsheet based on an pre-concentration step at the inlet of the WWTP and focused on the recovery of energy and nutrients forfertilizer use. An assessment of the impact of this cradle to cradle approach on the overall WWTP process, compared to the conventional flowsheetof WWTPs, will be done. The performances of both flowsheets will be assessed based on technical, economic and environmental criteria, using a life cycle approach.

The project’s result will contribute to the implementation, updating and development of European Union environmental policy because of its direct link with WWTP of the future by changing them from being energy consumer to resource recovery sites. The innovative technological scheme proposed in this project, will contribute as well to the achievement of Water Framework Directive (WFD) goals.


  • 14 Jul 2016

    The Necovery project is presented in Sludgetech 2016 (UK)

    Sílvia López, the LIFE NECOVERY project manager, made an oral presentation about the project in Sludgetech 2016 (Guildford, UK) last June 28. The title of the lecture was “Nutrient and energy recovery from wastewater treatment”. Sludgetech is a three-day conference …

  • 12 Jul 2016

    LIFE NECOVERY participates in LET 2016

    Last 13-16 June, the 13th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies was held in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). In this conference, the LIFE NECOVERY project presented a poster with the title “Innovative flowsheet based on pre-concentration …

  • 10 Nov 2015

    The informative Notice Board of LIFE NECOVERY has been placed at Vilanova’s WWTP

    The informative Notice Board of LIFE NECOVERY Project has been successfully placed at the entrance of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Vilanova i la Geltrú.This information poster aims to inform, to all users of the WWTP, about the realization …

  • 27 Oct 2015

    Members of LIFE NECOVERY team attended the 1st IWA Resource Recovery Conference

    LIFE NECOVERY Project has atended the 1st IWA Resource Recovery Confencerence, held in Ghent (Belgium) from August 30th to September 2nd.Two members of the LIFE NECOVERY team, Alex Galí and Silvia López, traveled to the Belgian city to present a poster …

  • 02 Jun 2015

    LIFE NECOVERY attended to IWA 2015 Nutrient Removal and Recovery

    Cetaqua put his two cents in “IWA 2015 Nutrient Removal and Recovery”, a conference focused on innovations in the area of nutrient removal and recovery of waste water. In this context, Cetaqua’s researcher Carme Garcia presented two posters; the first …

  • 04 May 2015

    LIFE NECOVERY project will be present at the 1st IWA Resource Recovery Conference

    Technical members of LIFE NECOVERY project will attend the 1rst IWA Resource Recovery Conference 2015, which will be held in Ghent and will take place from August 30th to September 2nd. A poster contribution has been accepted, with the title …

  • 20 Apr 2015

    LIFE NECOVERY’s notice board installed

    The technical Notice Board of the LIFE NECOVERY project has been installed next to the prototype, in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona) WWTP. The Notice Board includes the main details of the project, based on demonstrate, by means of a …

  • 15 Apr 2015

    EC External Monitor visit to the LIFE NECOVERY project

    On 13th of April the External Monitor of the European Comission visited the LIFE NECOVERY Project. The meeting was held in Cetaqua’s headquarters, in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona). The objective was to show the progress of the project and revise …

  • 13 Apr 2015

    Start-up of the pre-concentration and anaerobic digestion pilots in Vilanova WWTP.

    The start-up of pre-concentration and anaerobic digestion pilot started on April 7th. During the second week of April, both pilots have been inoculated and feed with real wastewater from Vilanova WWTP in order to check the hydraulic reliability of the …

  • 25 Mar 2015

    Arrival of the pre-concentration and anaerobic digestion pilots to Vilanova WWTP.

    The pilots of pre-concentration and anaerobic digestion have finally arrived to Vilanova WWTP on March 24th. During the following days, LIFE NECOVERY’s team will be working on doing all the required electrical and hydraulic connections in order to be able …