PhD defence

Thermophilic and hyper-thermophilic anaerobic digestion as novel treatment technologies for safe nutrient recovery from concentrated black water

PhD candidate Merijn ir. MJ (Merijn) Moerland
Promotor CJN (Cees) Buisman
Co-promotor dr. ir. MHA van Eekert
Organisation Wageningen University, Environmental Technology

Fri 8 April 2022 11:00 to 12:30



Nutrients like potassium and phosphorus are becoming more scarce, whereas nitrogen is harvested through an energy intensive and fossil fuel-based process. These nutrients are essential for fertilizer production. We use fertilizers to sustain our world food production. In this research, new technologies are developed to recycle the nutrients that end up in wastewater through human excreta. In this new approach different waste streams from the household are collected separately which means that we end up with a concentrated toilet water stream that we call black water. This we black water can be treated with so-called anaerobic digestion which turns all the organic matter to biogas. The nutrients can then be harvested
from the effluent. This process is performed at high temperatures (55 and 70 °C) to eliminate pathogens and pharmaceuticals that are also present in the black water and that need to be removed to guarantee food safety.