Special Issue "Contributions of WWTPs to the Clean Energy Transition"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Heidrun Steinmetz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Resource Efficient Wastewater Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kaiserslautern, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Interests: Resources in wastewater; energy efficiency on WWTP; nutrient recovery; biopolymer production from wastewater; organic trace pollutant removal; resource-oriented concepts for wastewater; water reuse for blue-green infrastructures
Dr. Michael Schafer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of process engineering, Stadtentwässerung Kaiserslautern AöR, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Interests: energetic flexibility and process optimization; power-to-gas; sector coupling and implementing innovative technologies on wastewater treatment plants
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wiese
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Urban Water Management – Wastewater, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 3655, 39011 Magdeburg, Germany
Interests: computer-based simulation and optimization of wastewater treatment plants and biogas plants; instrumentation; control and automation; energy efficiency

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Set in 2015, the Paris agreement was an additional and clearly perceptible signal for all sectors to push new ideas and solutions to reduce carbon emissions to zero as soon as possible. Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) are a relevant energy consumer and producer in the public infrastructure, but also in industry, and are therefore promising energy centers for innovative solutions supporting energy efficiency and use of renewable energies.

In the field of energy efficiency and the application of renewable energies, significant improvements can be observed, but the essential renewable energy transition requires further efforts and innovative research to find appropriate answers to the demand and participation, e.g., in energetic flexibility, target-oriented energy production, sector coupling, and upgrading of biogas. Often these themes have to be linked to new challenges like advanced wastewater treatment, removing organic trace pollutants and resources recovery.

All this can be realized in many ways. The purpose of this Special Issue is to scope innovative ideas, research activities, and concepts worldwide supporting an energy transition and to make WWTPs part of this process to support transfer knowledge to many other WWTPs. The key criteria for manuscript acceptance will be innovation and contribution to the field. Manuscripts with experimental implementation and empirical proofs are also encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Heidrun Steinmetz
Dr. Michael Schafer
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wiese
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Energy efficient wastewater infrastructures
  • Strategies and technologies for energy efficient and energy neutral wastewater treatment
  • Integrating wastewater treatment plants into energy grids
  • Anaerobic technologies for sludge, organic waste and agricultural residues
  • Usage and up-grading of biogas
  • Instrumentation, Control and Automation for energy efficient wastewater treatment
  • Computer-based simulation of wastewater treatment plants
  • Energetic flexibility of wastewater treatment plants
  • Sector coupling and power-to-gas
  • Innovative technologies for energy efficient operation of WWTP
  • Full scale implementation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Energetic Potential for Biological Methanation in Anaerobic Sewage Sludge Digesters in Austria
Energies 2021, 14(20), 6618; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206618 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Biological methanation as a method of sector coupling between electric and gas grids is expected to be an integral part of the green energy change. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) involving anaerobic digestion (AD) allow existing infrastructure to operate as energy conversion plants, to [...] Read more.
Biological methanation as a method of sector coupling between electric and gas grids is expected to be an integral part of the green energy change. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) involving anaerobic digestion (AD) allow existing infrastructure to operate as energy conversion plants, to close carbon cycles and to generate long-term storable energy in the form of biomethane. Therefore, municipal raw sludge and additional organic residuals (co-substrates) are converted into biogas. Hydrogen is added to convert the carbon dioxide in the biogas into methane via biological methanation (BM). In this study, the energy amount that is convertible via BM in municipal digesters in Austria was calculated. The amount of energy, which can be transformed from electric surplus energy into biomethane, was assessed. Operational data from lab-scale digesters were combined with data from 28 Austrian full-scale wastewater treatment plants with AD. They represent 9.2 Mio population equivalents (PE), or 68% of Austria’s municipal AD capacity for WWTPs > 50,000 PE (in sum, 13.6 Mio PE). Energy flows for BM including water electrolysis and anaerobic digestion were created on a countrywide basis. It was found that 2.9–4.4% (220–327 GWh·y−1) of Austria’s yearly renewable electricity production (7470 GWh·y−1) can be transformed into biomethane via BM in municipal digesters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contributions of WWTPs to the Clean Energy Transition)
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Article
Modelling to Lower Energy Consumption in a Large WWTP in China While Optimising Nitrogen Removal
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5826; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185826 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
In the last decade, China has sharply tightened the monitoring values for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In some regions with sensitive discharge water bodies, the values (24 h composite sample) must be 1.5 mg/L for NH4-N and 10 mg/L for total [...] Read more.
In the last decade, China has sharply tightened the monitoring values for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In some regions with sensitive discharge water bodies, the values (24 h composite sample) must be 1.5 mg/L for NH4-N and 10 mg/L for total nitrogen since 2021. Even with the previously less strict monitoring values, around 50% of the wastewater treatment plants in China were permanently unable to comply with the nitrogen monitoring values. Due to the rapid changes on-site to meet the threshold values and the strong relation to energy-intensive aeration strategies to sufficiently remove nitrogen, WWTPs do not always work energy-efficiently. A Chinese WWTP (450,000 Population equivalents or PE) with upstream denitrification, a tertiary treatment stage for phosphorus removal and disinfection, and aerobic sludge stabilisation was modelled in order to test various concepts for operation optimisation to lower energy consumption while meeting and undercutting effluent requirements. Following a comprehensive analysis of operating data, the WWTP was modelled and calibrated. Based on the calibrated model, various approaches for optimising nitrogen elimination were tested, including operational and automation strategies for aeration control. After several tests, a combination of strategies (i.e., partial by-pass of primary clarifiers, NH4-N based control, increase in the denitrification capacity, intermittent denitrification) reduced the air demand by up to 24% and at the same time significantly improved compliance with the monitoring values (up to 80% less norm non-compliances). By incorporating the impact of the strategies on related processes, like the bypass of primary settling tanks, energy consumption could be reduced by almost 25%. Many of the elaborated strategies can be transferred to WWTPs with similar boundary conditions and strict effluent values worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contributions of WWTPs to the Clean Energy Transition)
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