Decentralised water technologies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


This Programme Grant will accelerate the delivery of decentralised water technologies by bringing the most up-to-date bioscience and energy engineering to bear. It will re-write emerging design rules for engineering biology to ensure that off-grid environmental biotechnologies can be configured with confidence. Bespoke microbial treatment communities will be evolved using a new suite of high-throughput synthetic-biology inspired, experimental platforms. For rural populations and UK Islands and in the developing world, from sub-urban Bangkok to the Amazon and Arctic Canada, we will develop site-specific off-grid integrated heat/water technologies. We will develop low-cost sensors, real-time monitoring and adaptive control for remote distributed water infrastructure. With water technology companies, we will analyse how suites of technologies can be configured and controlled to shape new models for decentralised provision. Scottish Water will invest significantly in co-creating rural demonstrators and a mobile technology-demonstration platform for sustainable communities and with Northumbrian, Welsh Water and other utilities and stakeholders we will build momentum for a radically new low-carbon decentralised future for the water industry. Working with stakeholders, from communities to legislators, we seek to incentivise community-led infrastructure solutions and to modify regulation in ways that balance local stakeholder needs and global goals for decarbonising infrastructure. Working with professional bodies and innovation centres we will create a global centre of excellence in off-grid water provision, with the drive and passion to deliver transformational change; helping to deliver 2050 net-zero carbon and Sustainable Development Goal 6.


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Ascher S (2022) Machine learning methods for modelling the gasification and pyrolysis of biomass and waste in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews