ENERGY AND NUTRIENT FACTORY AT AMERSFOORT WWTP IN THE NETHERLANDS
RECOVERY OF ENERGY AND NUTRIENTS FROM WASTE-ACTIVATED SLUDGE AND WASTEWATER
L Kox, B Geraats
Publication Date (Web): 16 March 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21139/wej.2016.011


Amersfoort wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in The Netherlands is owned and operated by Dutch Waterboard Vallei & Veluwe. In 2013, Eliquo Water & Energy was awarded the project to upgrade the existing wastewater and sludge processing facilities and to transform them into a regional sludge processing hub that will act as a so-called ‘energy and nutrient factory’; using innovative technologies and commercial concepts to recover energy and nutrients.

Energy recovery is enhanced by the application of the innovative Lysotherm® thermal pressure hydrolysis technology to the anaerobic digestion process. The technology uses available heat instead of steam as a driving force for the hydrolysis process. The combination of this technology with the processing of import sludge results in the plant becoming energy positive.

Phosphorus is recovered by creating a valuable fertiliser product which will generate non-regulated revenue, combined with a guaranteed long-term off-take agreement through which the product marketing and distribution risks are transferred to the technology provider. It also prevents uncontrolled deposition of struvite occurring, resulting in significant savings in avoided maintenance costs.

A combination of both technical and commercial innovations allowed all of the Waterboard’s project objectives to be met:
1) A regional sludge processing hub is created whilst re-using the existing assets (digesters);
2) To become energy positive, achieved by application of innovative Lysotherm® technology;
3) To recover Phosphorus in a commercially viable way by creating a commercial fertiliser product which is sold via a novel commercial arrangement;
4) To reduce overall sludge processing cost by producing less sludge, making most of the existing digesters and energy recovery;
5) The project will achieve a payback period on capital investment of just under 7 years.

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