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Recovering nutrients and carbon from concentrated black water: a sustainable decentralized approach for wastewater treatment

Grant number: 13/50351-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2014 - January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Cooperation agreement: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Principal Investigator:Luiz Antonio Daniel
Grantee:Luiz Antonio Daniel
Principal investigator abroad: Louise Vet
Institution abroad: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Netherlands
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The aim of this project is the recovery of nutrients and carbon from concentrated black water (toilet water) while producing a valuable algal biomass product that can be used as fertilizer and a final liquid effluent that can be reused. This will be achieved by collecting the black water and treating it in an upward-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor followed bya photobioreactor (PBR). After the PBR the algal biomass will be separated from the liquid effluent, harvested and tested for fertilization use. Pathogen will be removed from the remaining liquid effluent and the effluent reused. Two pilot-scale black water treatment systems will be compared in terms of efficiency recovering nutrients and removal of human pathogens indicators. The system at EESC-USP will include the treatment of the concentrated black water (3L per flush) in a mesophilic UASB followed by a PBR, dissolved ozone flotation to separate and remove pathogen from the effluent and algae drying beds, while the NIOO-KNAW system, that alreadv has implemented a vacuum system for black water collection and a thermophilic UASB, will include a PBR followed by an algae settler. The dried algae will be tested for use as fertilizer. We expect to demonstrate how efficient the two pilot-scale systems are in terms of nutrients and human pathogens removal. Moreover, how efficient they are in closing the carbon and nutrients cycle for a cost-effective on-site wastewater treatment system. Finally we will define the value of the ai ai biomass as a fertilizer. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant
Algae are used to depollute sewage and produce compost 
Articles published in other media outlets (1 total):
Cientistas de Brasil e Holanda empregam algas unicelulares do gênero Chlorella na gestão de resíduos gerados no tratamento de esgoto 

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LEITE, LUAN DE SOUZA; HOFFMANN, MARIA TERESA; DANIEL, LUIZ ANTONIO. Microalgae cultivation for municipal and piggery wastewater treatment in Brazil. JOURNAL OF WATER PROCESS ENGINEERING, v. 31, OCT 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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