Nutrient and energy recovery from black water through hyper-thermophilic digestion

With the growing world population, there is an increased need for fertilizer production. Domestic wastewater is an important carrier of nutrients, which are recovered to a low-extend, or not at all, in conventional wastewater treatment plants. A novel treatment process at high temperatures for the inactivation of pathogens will be developed to treat domestic wastewater with simultaneous recovery of nitrate and phosphate.

By separating different domestic wastewater streams at the source we can obtain concentrated streams which are very suitable for efficient anaerobic digestion and simultaneous nutrient recovery. Toilet water, called black water (BW), contains the highest organic and nutrient fraction. However, the main pathogen fraction, and possibly heavy metals and micro-pollutants, are also present in BW. Due to its high organics concentration, source separated domestic wastewater collection could increase treatment efficiency and contribute to nutrient cycle closure.