The consortium has already tested INCOVER technologies individually at lab scale. The innovation of INCOVER project comes from the combination of all INCOVER technologies, for a bio-production and resource recovery-based wastewater treatment. The description of each technology is as follows:
In case study 1, microalgae will be used as the main substrate for the co-digestion. The thermal pre-treatment of algae followed by co-digestion can improve the production of CH4 during the process, with yield increases in the range of 80-100%, depending on the operating conditions and the co-substrates used.
Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) is defined as the anaerobic treatment of a mixture of at least two different waste types, with the aim of improving the efficiency of the anaerobic digestion process. The main issue for the AcoD process lies in balancing several parameters in the co-substrate mixture: macro and micronutrients, C:N ratio, pH, inhibitors/toxic compounds, biodegradable organic matter and dry matter (Alvarez et al., 2010). AcoD can increase CH4 production of anaerobic digesters by 50– 200%, depending on the operating conditions and the co-substrates used (Regueiro et al., 2012, Uggetti et al., 2015).
An anaerobic reactor of 20 m3 will be used for this task at El Torno WWT plant. The digester has a boiler and heat exchanger for temperature control, and will work at ambient temperature or mesophilic range. Sewage sludge and agrowastes like molasses will be evaluated as co-substrates.