11th Conference of the UK Wastewater Network – Speakers and Presentation Abstracts

11th Conference of the UK Wastewater Network – Speakers and Presentation Abstracts

October 31, 2023 Uncategorized 0

Find out more below about our Wastewater Network Conference Speakers and their talks:

Amanda Lake, Head of Carbon and Circular Economy, Jacobs, UK.

Amanda Lake is Head of Carbon and Circular Economy with Jacobs, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a Chartered chemical engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the sector, her quest is to support water sector utilities, regulators and practitioners to take rapid climate action, in particular in the area of process emissions of nitrous oxide and methane. Amanda has a Masters in Water and Wastewater Treatment from the University of New South Wales, Bachelors of Environmental Engineering and Science from the University of Queensland, Australia and a Post Graduate Certificate in Water Law and Policy from the UNESCO Centre at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

The importance of N2O greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants.

Amanda will discuss the importance of GHG emissions of nitrous oxide from wastewater treatment plants and provided an overview of global progress to date in measuring and mitigating these emissions, drawing on best practice from utilities and countries who are leading these efforts. The presentation will focus on key learnings to date in the development of high quality measurement campaigns, discussing the opportunities of process unit and site level measurement and the resulting opportunities to understand and act on emissions and improve the role of WRRFs as good stewards of nitrogen. She will discuss the challenges in analysis of resulting data and provide an overview of ongoing attempts to use process models to provide insights into emissions potential and magnitude – considering the reality of what is known and emerging work in academia and industry. She will also summarise best endeavours to date which are achieving progress in measurement and mitigation- drawing on case studies from around the world. Opportunities to drive progress in N2O measurement leading to abatement will be discussed including the important role the water sector must play in addressing wider sustainability challenges including its role in ‘fixing’ nitrogen!

Hacer Sakar, Research Fellow in Green Technologies for Resource Recovery, Cranfield University, UK.

Hacer Sakar is a Research Fellow in Green Technologies for Resource Recovery at Cranfield University, UK.

Mainstream ammonia removal and recovery using a combination of ion exchange and hollow fibre membrane contactors.

Ion exchange (IEX) technology is capable of removing ammonia from wastewater, meeting nitrogen discharge limits with a potential for large-scale implementation whilst producing marketable nutrient-rich fertilizers. The IEX main advantages are, low carbon and land footprint, energy requirement and costs, but chemical costs of the regenerants and its disposal is a concern. The rich ammonia concentration of regenerant solutions reaching up to 2-6 g NH3/L are ideal for the integration of hollow fibre membrane contactors (HFMC). HFMC offers a selective ammonia removal with lower energy inputs without additional chemicals. IEX demonstration scale IEX plant was removed 90% of ammonia from AnMBR effluent with an initial concentration of 50 mg/L NH4+-N. 4% NaOH solution was used to regenerate the IEX resin (Zeolite-N) and the ammonia concentration in the regenerant reached at 1750 mg/L after being reused 3 consecutive cycles. The ammonia concentrated in brine was then recovered in the form of ammonium sulphate by two HFMC modules with a recovery efficiency of 99.98%. The obtained data established the feasibility of IEX-HFMC combined technology for ammonia recovery from municipal wastewater treatment offering a more sustainable ammonia recovery alternative as it is a simple, fast and economic process without any sludge production or greenhouse gas emissions.

Mingling Zhu, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Cranfield University, UK.

Dr Mingming Zhu is a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Cranfield University, UK.

Ammonia cracking and catalytic combustion for hydrogen production and energy applications.

In the concept of “hydrogen economy”, ammonia (NH3) has been recognised as a promising hydrogen carrier and a zero-carbon fuel. Recent research efforts have seen successful demonstration of ammonia as a renewable zero-carbon fuel for direct combustion in furnaces, gas turbines as well as in internal combustion engines. However, as a fuel, NH3incurs poor combustion efficiency and high potential of nitrogen oxides (NOx) formation in conventional combustion, which is mainly due to the high ignition energy, low burning rate, and high fuel-nitrogen content of NH3. Cracking NH3back to hydrogen requires high temperature and catalysts to achieve desirable efficiency and hydrogen purity.

In this talk, Dr Mingming Zhu will present the current research status and challenges of ammonia as a fuel and hydrogen carrier, the work related on the ammonia electrochemical cracking and catalytic combustion of ammonia for heat and power generation relevant to wastewater industry, and future perspectives.

Kai Udert, Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (Eawag), Lecturer at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland

Dr Kai Udert is a Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (Eawag) and Lecturer at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.

Circular sanitation: closing nutrient cycles with urine separation.

Countries around the globe are recognizing the limitations of conventional wastewater management. Emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals require additional costly treatment steps. Higher demands for more efficient nutrient removal, not to speak of recycling, cannot be achieved with the current system. Last but not least, increasing water scarcity questions the sewer-based sanitation systems. As a consequence, new sanitation systems are emerging, aiming to save water, recover nutrients, ensure hygiene, and remove micropollutants. They are based on circular economy approaches, i.e., allow closing the nutrient cycle between cities and agriculture, as well as the water cycle between cities and the aquatic environment. These innovative sanitation systems are small and modular and can be industrially produced. One approach is the separate collection and treatment of urine. Today, urine can be collected in novel toilet systems and converted into fertilizers. Urine-based fertilizers have been licensed by some countries and are available on the market. The example of urine separation shows that the transformation of the existing sanitation system requires new technologies, but even more so commitment of political stakeholders and industrial decision makers.

Donna Rawlinson, Capital Principal Project Manager, Northumbrian Water, UK.

Donna Rawlinson is a Capital Principal Project Manager at Northumbrian Water, UK. She will be presenting on ‘Recovering Ammonia from our Howdon Wastewater Treatment Process using Organics Technology‘.

Denis de Wilde, Founder and CEO, Dietricon, Belgium.

Denis de Wilde is the Founder and CEO of Dietricon, based in Belgium.

Ben Luqmani, Bioresources Process Specialist, AtkinsRealis, UK.

Ben is a Bioresources Process Specialist with AtkinsRealis and has a passion for sustainable innovation in the water sector. He is a chartered chemical engineer and researcher with experience across manufacturing, innovation and strategic consultancy. As a doctoral candidate within Cranfield’s Water Science Institute, his research focussed on the recovery and utilisation of ammonia from wastewater to support a circular, low carbon water sector. This project was co-sponsored by Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent Water and the EPSRC.

Repositioning ammonia as a zero carbon energy resource for the water sector

Ammonia recovery from concentrated wastewater offers a critical decarbonisation opportunity for the water sector, which could limit process emissions from biological nitrogen removal and generate a new zero carbon energy resource. However, established stripping processes incur high energy demands and produce dilute gas-phase ammonia which has limited value. Vacuum thermal stripping is emerging as a disruptive solution which can exploit differences in ammonia and water volatility to achieve low energy ammonia recovery. 

This work examined the ammonia-water seperation mechanism during vacuum thermal stripping and investigated how selective ammonia recovery could be promoted through manipulation of stripping temperature. The results indicated that high purity gas-phase ammonia (>20%wt) could be recovered from anaerobic digester centrate at a competitive energy demand to biological nitrogen removal. A suite of emerging technologies were identified which could transform gas-phase ammonia into zero carbon heat, power or hydrogen. A strategic analysis highlighted the maturity and potential value of each pathway within the context of key drivers facing the water sector. Selective vacuum stripping developed in this work presents a circular economy solution which could reposition ammonia as a zero carbon energy resource to support decarbonisation within the water sector and wider society.

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