Energy Efficiency Improvement of Waste Water Treatment Processes Using Process Integration Techniques

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Resource or Project Abstract

This project contributes to the area of energy management of wastewater treatment
processes. An important goal is the improvement of cost-attractiveness of wastewater
treatment facilities when maintaining high level of efficiency. The chosen way to achieve
this goal is through application of the energy integration concept. Killarney wastewater
treatment plant and in particular, the sludge treatment part of it was chosen as a case study
for the aerobic treatment investigation. This choice was supported by the fact that the
Autothermal Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion (ATAD) type of sludge treatment, used in
Killarney, is quite suitable for average size settlements, but is energy intensive compared
to other treatment concepts. The project succeeded in proving the following hypothesis:
Energy efficiency can be improved applying heat integration principles. For this case study
an efficiency improvement of 11% can be achieved with minor redesign of the plant
including one heat exchanger, a storage tank and corresponding re-piping and control
system reprogramming. The payback period is 5 years with number of additional benefits
supplementing increased energy efficiency; including better dewatering of effluent, more
controlled foaming in the reactors, easier and quicker transfer of fresh sludge because of
improved viscosity, better odour control, quicker biodegradation because of the suppressed
thermal shock, etc. The project reports a number of other contributions: formulating a new
type optimisation problem of heat integration, plant flexibility improvement, achievement
of thermophilic temperature in both reactors, shortening the aeration and biodegradation

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Contact Information for This Resource

Prof. Toshko Zhelev
University of Limerick

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Attachment Name and Download Link
End of Project Report    STRIVE_14_Zhelev_WWTEnergy_epr.pdf  (1.58 Mb)
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_14_Zhelev_WWTEnergy_syn_prn.pdf  (0.69 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_14_Zhelev_WWTEnergy_web.pdf  (0.71 Mb)
Att 4    Zhelev_Killarney_Case_Study.pdf   (0.13 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Zhelev, T.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationEnergy Efficiency Improvement of Waste Water Treatment Processes Using Process Integration Techniques
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifierfd872f97-083a-102c-930a-f07fa8cd0edb
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-24

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Zhelev, T.   "Energy Efficiency Improvement of Waste Water Treatment Processes Using Process Integration Techniques". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-24)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordswaste-water aerobic digestion sludge efficiency energy process
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2005-ET-DS-21-M3
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironmental Technologies
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceUsage of this report is permitted provided the source of this report is properly cited in any further publications. The autmoted citation generated by SAFER-Data below is suitable for this purpose.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 4
Project Start Date Thursday 5th January 2006 (05-01-2006)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 1st June 2006 (01-06-2006)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 31st December 2006 (31-12-2006)
Published on SAFERThursday 20th November 2008 (20-11-2008)
Date of Last EditThursday 20th November 2008 at 11:23:41 (20-11-2008)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 20th November 2008 at 11:23:41 (20-11-2008)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The case study plant for this research is the Killarney wastewater treatment plant where an ATAD (Autothermal Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion) sludge treatment is in place. the total Population Equivalent of the plant to 51,000. Storm tanks handle excess flow during periods of heavy rainfall. Today, the plant has three parallel secondary treatment systems. Final effluent is released via a local stream, called the Folly, into a nearby lake, Lough Leane. It is recognised as sensitive to eutrophication (S.I. No. 254 of 2001); therefore, nutrient removal must take place at the plant. Sludge processing is carried out by the onsite ATAD plant since 2000

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
This project contributes to the area of energy
management of waste-water treatment processes. An
important goal is the improvement of the costattractiveness of waste-water treatment facilities while maintaining a high level of efficiency
Supplementary Information
Research team led by
Professor Toshko Zhelev
including: Dora Jamniczky-Kaszas, MSc student (thesis under review) Beata Brzyszcz ? Energy efficiency improvement of anaerobic wastewater treatment processes, (September 2006 -March 2007).
Marion Trévarain, University of Toulouse, Summer placement (June-August 2007) Robert Kovacs, University of Budapest ? consultant (two weeks research visit, August 2007)
Natasha Vaklieva, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences (unfunded collaboration)
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