How to make a wastewater treatment plant sustainable

The project EffiSludge for LIFE has found a way to clean industrial wastewater with significant environmental benefits. The project team has developed an integrated wastewater treatment method that takes an ‘industrial symbiosis’ approach where the waste from one sector becomes a resource for another.

The team set up a demonstration plant in the Norske Skog Skogn paper mill north of Trondheim (Norway). The existing industrial wastewater treatment facility was integrated into a biogas plant. It now cleans wastewater from the paper mill, while biogas is generated from both the wastewater and waste from the fishing industry.

The approach requires much less energy than traditional methods. Also, the waste sludge generated can be reused to produce biomethane instead of being burnt or sent to landfill. Chemicals and energy use are down, providing a cost-effective and greener wastewater treatment solution.

The emissions reduction of up to 9 000 tonnes is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that one million pine trees absorb each year.

EffiSludge for LIFE contributes to the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan – an essential element of the European Green Deal. The project also supports the EU’s Waste Framework Directive.  

Find out more in the team’s recently published final report.