You are here

Different ways of turning wastewater treatment plants into resource recovery facilities

Type of organisation or company:

Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
Submitted by: 
AVA Green Chemistry
Start/End date: 
01/2014 to 06/2017

Type of funding:

IVL - Maria Elander

Contact details


The EU FP7 funded project R3Water (“Demonstration of innovative solutions for Reuse of water, Recovery of valuables and Resource efficiency in urban wastewater treatment“) demonstrated solutions to support the transition from being purely a wastewater treatment plant using energy and chemicals, towards a resource facility delivering different valuables.

Focus in the project was to develop, demonstrate and test solutions for upgrading existing urban wastewater treatment plants and to improve resource efficiency with the implementation of new technologies and business models.

In order to reach this target R3Water developed and demonstrated more than 10 innovative technologies at demo sites in three countries (Belgium, Spain and Sweden) within 3 topics:

  • Resource efficiency in treatment
    •  by improved aeration, better Anammox process, modelling and energy audit, better control systems, improved  biogas production
  • Facilitating water reuse,  
    • by on-line monitoring, efficient disinfection and treatment of pharmaceutical residues
  • Resource recovery,
    • by sludge valorisation with recycling of nutrients and other valuables

Facilitating market uptake has been one of the project objectives. All of the technologies and solutions in the project made progress towards commercialization. The technologies also showed significant potential to save energy, reduce emissions and increase resource efficiency.  Further, project results have been disseminated to relevant stakeholder groups via different channels like workshops, brochures, homepage, LinkedIn, demo site visits etc.

The strong consortium, led by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, involved 12 partners from seven European countries with a well-balanced ratio between innovative SMEs, research institutes and treatment plant representatives.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 619093.

Main results: 

R3 Water developed and demonstrated innovative technologies at three sites (Belgium, Spain, and Sweden) within 3 areas:

  • Resource efficient treatment, e.g. by efficient aeration (Perlemax) and optimised process control (Prediktor), as well as use of modelling for process optimisation and energy efficiency (ICRA, Aquafin)
  • Facilitating water reuse, e.g. by improved water quality monitoring (ADASA, Aqua-Q) and efficient disinfection (teqma) as well as removal of priority pollutants (IVL)
  • Recycling of nutrients and other valuables, e.g. by valorisation of sludge (Ava Green Chemistry, Renotech)

The different technologies have been developed further and demonstrated, some of them being now almost ready-to-market.  In addition to the technical development, obstacles and opportunities for introduction of new solutions were identified and put into policy recommendations, which are summarised here.

More information about the results of R3Water is available in the final brochure of R3Water and on the website.