New tech recycles domestic wastewater and kitchen waste

Project's updates - 09 Jul 2021

In the last few weeks the permit for the small-scale anaerobic digestion (biogas) was approved in Austria. Now it is possible to start implementing the HOUSEFUL solutions in Cambium Leben in Gemeinschaft, where one of the four HOUSEFUL demo buildings is located.

Two new technologies can now be installed in the community-based eco-village Cambium, in Fehring, Austria, as part of the HOUSEFUL project: vertECO, an innovative water reuse system, and the Homebiogas system, which turns kitchen waste into cooking gas and fertilizer. The district commission authorised the technologies to be installed in the building, which is one of four demo sites in the European project.

In cooperation with local authorities, the vertECO system has been classified as a water reuse technology in line with EU regulations, allowing for the efficient reuse of water and nutrients at the Cambium community project.

The innovative vertECO system, developed by HOUSEFUL partner alchemia-nova, is an indoor constructed wetland and green wall, treating the solid-free fraction of household wastewater, while valuable nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen remain in the treated water and can be reused for fertigation on site.

The domestic micro-scale biogas plant, Homebiogas, is the first of this kind to be approved in Austria. It allows kitchen waste from households to be used on site for cooking purposes as well as for high quality fertilizer. The implementation of the Homebiogas system in Austria has been adapted to local safety regulations.

“Regarding the HomeBiogas system, before scaling up, we performed tests at lab and semi-pilot scale with a combination of co-digestion, using kitchen waste and blackwater. The pilot was connected to the HomeBiogas facilities where the system was connected to one toilet and received a portion of the kitchen waste collected during the day. The system had temperature monitoring connected to a data logger, and the biogas components (CH4, CO2, H2S) and pH were continuously tested”, explained Julia Chudnobsky, a member of the HOMEBIOGAS team.

These milestones are not only essential for implementing the HOUSEFUL project, but also for establishing nature-based solutions and green technologies within Europe in line with the New Green Deal” said Marco Hartl and Tamara Vobruba, as a part of alchemia-nova team. ”Due to growing pressure on water resources, water reuse will play an increasing role in supplying water for  sustainable farming, biodiversity measures, mitigation of heat island effect, decarbonisation and many more.

Photo by Mukesh Sharma on Unsplash