The essence of the innovative Screencap concept is the recovery of suspended solids from raw wastewater on the basis of particle size rather than particle density. It is expected that Screencap will make a significant positive impact on downstream processes, thus rendering the wastewater treatment more efficient and allowing the recovery of products (primarily cellulose) for subsequent valorisation. This application involves the adaptation and optimisation of an existing finescreen technology.
Many benefits with a huge impact
Screencap has been pilot tested in various European countries. In this project the concept will for the first time be implemented full-scale, at the Aarle Rixtel WWTP in the Netherlands, to determine the impact on the treatment process.
Compared with existing state-of-the-art solutions, Screencap offers a number of high-impact benefits:
- Strong reduction in transport movements because of the decrease in treatment sludge volumes.
- Significant reduction of WWTP chemical requirements.
- Cut of about 15 percent in aeration energy costs because of lower load on the biological treatment processes.
- Increased biogas production potential (about 36 percent) because of the high organic content of the Screencap-recovered solids. If the technology were applied to 10 percent of the biological WWTPs in Europe, the annual biogas returns would reach 44 million m3 – valued at € 6.8 million.
- Decrease in the WWTP footprint of about 25 percent.
Despite the above benefits, for successful market introduction and widespread application, the Screencap process needs full-scale demonstration.
The Screencap consortium, comprising KWR, CirTec, and the Aa and Maas Water Board, together with a network of European partners, would like, on the basis of a first full-scale application, to collect validated references of the concept with a view to applying the Screencap technology both within and outside Europe.
Strong market interest
Screencap’s key objectives are: 1) to achieve a first full-scale validated application of the finescreen technology as a pre-treatment in a biological WWTP; and 2) to overcome market barriers for the uptake of the concept and technology in Europe and beyond.
Based on the large number of case studies conducted, there is a strong market interest in Screencap. Various consultants have conducted these studies for at least 30 WWTPs in the Netherlands and another 25 at other European locations. A conservative estimate of the European market indicates that the technology could potentially be interesting for at least 9,000 plants.
This project has received funding from the Eco-innovation initiative of the European Union; GA number ECO/13/630492/SI.2.681277 (www.screencap.eu).