Waste management and global warming are of rapidly growing concern for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This provides an opportunity to exploit algae technology to introduce the “green concept” in wastewater treatment.
“ALGECO - Cost-effective algae technology to promote circular economy development of Norwegian wastewater treatment plants” thereby aims to develop innovative and cost-effective algae technologies for transforming municipal treated wastewater from waste into viable algae-based products. Specifically, nutrients recovered from municipal tertiary wastewater will be converted to value added products of algae-based organic fertilizer and soil ameliorator for horticultural applications. Finally, this process will be thoroughly evaluated as a new value chain to WWTPs regarding its feasibility and sustainability.
ALGECO envisions a zero-waste-emission scientific blueprint for algae technology, with a positive balance in terms of reducing waste, reusing waste and regenerating value (3Rs). This project will integrate five state-of-the-art components in a novel configuration:
Green solutions for municipal wastewater treatment.
Inherent advantages of municipal treatment wastewater for algae cultivation.
Cost-effective polyculture cultivation strategies.
Integrated closed-loop systems.
A sustainable and feasible valorization process.
ALGECO will be implemented in collaboration with NIVA, SINTEF Energy, NMBU, UiA, UiO, NIBIO and UQ (Australia), with Bioskiva AS and Veas as industrial partners.
The project team is made up of highly experienced national and international research groups with complementary competences and experience in the fields of algae bioremediation, biotechnology, bioengineering, molecular systematics, soil chemistry, plant science and environmental economy.
The success of ALGECO will not only deliver a new win-win strategy for Norwegian WWTPs, but also promote acceptance of waste as a resource through awareness raising and capacity building in the framework of a circular economy.
ALGECO is a collaborative and knowledge-building project funded by The Research Council of Norway (grant no. 320079).