From waste to resource
Global challenges such as climate change and water scarcity have changed our view of wastewater: Due to its complex blend of chemicals, nutrients and metals it is now considered a valuable source of clean water, nutrients and energy. This has triggered a paradigm shift in the wastewater sector. Wastewater treatment plants are now considered water resource recovery facilities seeking to obtain the most value from wastewater.
Accelerating sustainable water resource recovery
Water resource recovery facilities can produce clean and safe water, recover nutrients and produce energy. Despite the extensive potential of wastewater, only a small portion of total wastewater produces is currently exploited for resource recovery. Increasing the feasibility and efficiency requires new and better technology. The EU-funded project DARROW will provide data-driven solutions to make the most of our wastewater.
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Contribute to a circular economy
DARROW will develop and validate an innovative, modular, and flexible AI system to optimize the performance of wastewater treatment plants by making them more autonomous and more energy efficient.
1 - Influent
The untreated water that enters into a wastewater treatment plant.
2 - Grit Chamber
A chamber or tank in which the influent wastewater is slowed down so that heavy inorganic solids such as sand, metals, and plastics, can precipitate and be removed.
3 - Primary Treatment
The first stage of the wastewater treatment process. At this stage, mechanical methods such as filters and scrapers are used to remove solid pollutants.
4 - Secondary Treatment
The second stage of the wastewater treatment process. At this stage, biodegradable components are removed.
5 - Clarifiers
Settling tanks used to sediment solids contained in wastewater. Collected sediments are removed in the form of sludge. Clarified water from the top is removed separately.
6 - Ultraviolet disinfection
Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and other microorganisms as a final treatment step.
7 - Effluent
Treated wastewater that flows out of a wastewater treatment plant and is returned to the water cycle.
8 - Sludge line
Semi-solid material that is produced as a by-product during the biological treatment of industrial or municipal wastewater
9 - Anaerobic digestion
Microorganisms break down biodegradable organic matter contained in wastewater to produce biogas and inert sludge.
10 - Dewatering
The process by which water is removed from the sludge. The results is dry and compressed sludge, known as sludge cake.
11 - Power generation
Biogas released during the anaerobic digestion is used to generate electricity and heat.
The DARROW system will be installed at the Rioolwaterzuivering Tilburg, one of the largest water resource recovery facilities in Southern Netherlands. Each day, the plant purifies the 10 000 m3 wastewater from Tilburg, Udenhout, Berkel-Enschot and Biezenmortel and releases the clean water into the Zandleij river.
The water line in Tilburg is made up of three parallel trains, including primary clarifiers, biological treatment, chemical removal, and secondary clarifiers. The sludge line consists of a Cambi unit for sludge cracking, anaerobic digestion, and Anammox and Phospac units for side-stream treatment. Furthermore, Tilburg WWTP includes the so-called Energy Factory Tilburg, where all sludge of Waterschap De Dommel is digested and treated for biogas production.
With its innovative AI solution, DARROW aims to optimise resource recovery from the secondary treatment and anaerobic digestion processes, while guaranteeing overall plant efficiency.