New video: Unlocking the potential of wastewater using AI

The DARROW project introduces itself

The water discarded globally every year could fill Lake Geneva in Switzerland almost four times. This wastewater is a treasure trove of valuable resources, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are important components of agricultural fertiliser. Recovering these resources is crucial for a circular and sustainable economy.

The European research project DARROW aims to optimise how we recover resources from wastewater. The project’s goal is to make wastewater treatment plants more efficient and autonomous by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

The DARROW researchers will train AI models on data from a multitude of sensors that monitor the water quality and treatment process. The models will then be able to provide recommendations to the treatment plant operators to optimise decisions. The AI tools developed by the DARROW project will be implemented and tested at the wastewater treatment plant RWZI Tilburg in the Netherlands.

“We have to make sure that the human operators that are working in the plant right now have trust in the system,” says Klaas Bombeke, researcher at imec in Belgium. He emphasises the importance of trustworthy and explainable AI. The plant operators need to be able to understand the recommendations from the AI system.

In improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment with the help of AI, the scientists in DARROW aim to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of wastewater treatment plants, as well as improve resource recovery from wastewater.

The international and interdisciplinary research team includes eight partners from four European countries: Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. The project began in September 2022 and will run for 42 months until February 2026.

DARROW intro video

Watch our scientists from TeamDARROW introduce the project and its goals.

To celebrate the release of the intro video, we also published a press release on AlphaGalileo and the AI-on-demand platform.