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Unlocking energy potential: decarbonizing water reclamation plants with salinity gradient energy recovery

Abstract: Climate change, together with the ecological droughts suffered by a large part of the European Union's territory, calls for joint environmental solutions. In this regard, water reclamation is a promising way to alleviate the pressure on existing water resources. However, reuse strategies are penalized by the extra energy consumed in urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTPs), facilities mainly powered by fossil fuels. The opportunity to integrate renewable sources of energy into the energy-intensive UWWTPs holds great promise towards decarbonization of the sector. In this context, the energy harvested from a Salinity Gradient (SGE) has attracted great interest in the last decade. This work aims at the analysis of opportunity of implementing integrated processes for water reclamation and SGE recovery in the coastal EU UWWTPs. According to the selection criteria, a total of 281 potential sites located across eighteen coastal countries of the EU have been inventoried attending to the current state of the art. The water reclamation potential has been estimated at 3.7 million m3/day. As a consequence, the environmental burdens of the reclamation process could result in the reduction of 1.5·105 t CO2/year. The Mediterranean region, highly affected by hydrological drought, has proved to be a hot spot for water reclamation, with the highest number of plants inventoried in the study and a predicted potential for SGE harvesting of 60 Wh/m3 of reclaimed water. These results highlight a niche of opportunities to encourage water reclamation, avoid water bodies' degradability due to effluent discharge and the further decarbonization of reclamation processes.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Autoría: Sampedro T., Gómez-Coma L., Ortiz I., Ibañez R.,

 Fuente: Science of the Total Environment, 2024, 906, 167154

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/01/2024

Nº de páginas: 12

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167154

ISSN: 0048-9697,1879-1026

Proyecto español: RTI2018-093310-B-I00

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167154