“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 2017. 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.

  • 24 Jan 2018

    Informative video of the LIFE NECOVERY project

    On the occasion of the project closure, an informative video of the LIFE NECOVERY has been produced with the aim of disseminating its context, objectives and final conclusions. The video was shot at Vilanova i la Geltrú WWTP (Barcelona), where …

  • 24 Jan 2018

    The WWTP of the future will consume less and reuse more: the final workshop of the project

    Currently, Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) are characterized by a high energy consumption linked to the removal of organic matter and nutrients present in water. Despite the fact that some larger treatment plants have processes that allow recovering part of the …

  • 02 Jun 2017

    Annual Monitoring Meeting of the project

    The 4th Monitoring Meeting of the LIFE Necovery project was held last May 30th of 2017 at Cetaqua’s headquarters, in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona). Both partners of the project, Cetaqua and Avecom, participated in this meeting, which was aimed to …

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