Network for the sustainable use of energy in water and wastewater treatment

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Industrial and Manufacturing Scie


The water that you drink and use to flush the toilet all needs to be treated to provide everyone with safe drinking water and to protect the environment. However, this treatment uses a large amount of energy (8,000 GWh) each year. This is equivalent to you running about 100 million tumble driers non-stop for a year.The energy that is used for water and wastewater treatment comes from non-renewable fossil fuel energy resources such as coal, oil and gas. Furthermore, when they are used they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming. Therefore, if the amount of energy that is used to treat your drinking water can be reduced then less non-renewable energy resources will be used up and less carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere. In our proposal we intend to establish a network of people to develop research ideas to reduce energy use in water and wastewater treament. Some of the projects we will be looking at will include developing new treatment processes which use less energy. We will also examine increasing the production of more biogas. Biogas is produced during wastewater treatment and can be used to supply energy instead of using fossil fuels. We also intend to develop a web site and stage a number of meetings in the UK so that good ideas regarding energy use can be passed to others. The people that are going to be in the network include all the major water companies like Thames, Severn Trent, Yorkshire, Northumbrian, Anglian and United Utilities, government orgnisations like the Environment Agency and other Universities namely Imperial College, Strathcylde, Birmingham, Warwick and Edinburgh. They all have particular expertise in either water or wastewater treatment processes or in energy conservation and renewable energy.