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Research Area: Energy

Our Objective

Energy self sufficiency for wastewater treatment plants. This would be pursued as two parallel energy-related research efforts. One for reduction in plant energy demand through lower-energy alternatives to secondary treatment, i.e., activated sludge. The second research effort will examine the capture of energy from wastewater to support plant operations, and ultimately the financial benefits from its export.

The research builds on the work done under the completed Operations Optimization Challenge, for which the goal was to achieve 20 percent improvement in cost and/or energy consumption. Get the related fact sheet.


Latest News

Gresham is a Net Zero Hero
WE&RF subscriber, City of Gresham, OR is producing more energy than needed to operate their wastewater facility. View their video "Net Zero Hero" to learn more.
Nancy Andrews Updates PSC on WaterWatts Project – April 26, 2017 Web Meeting
A recent web meeting on the WaterWatts project (ENER15C15) discussed Group 1 Plant Results and other project updates.
Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and Water Research Foundation Release Guidance on Fostering Innovation Within Water Utilities
WE&RF and Water Research Foundation (WRF), in partnership with Birmingham Water Works Board and utilities from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, have published a guidance manual for innovation based on successful programs in the utility and commercial sectors.
Distributed Energy Resource Survey
The research team for the ongoing project, “Opportunities and Barriers for Distributed Energy Resource Development at Water and Wastewater Utilities”, is conducting a survey to understand and improve integration of distributed energy into water and wastewater utilities. This project is cosponsored by the Water Research Foundation and the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation.
Energy Newsletter - January 2017
Upcoming research reports, technical sessions, and web seminars are all featured in this month's Energy newsletter.

Products & Tools

Public-Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Water Resource Recovery Utility Energy Projects (ENER18C15)
The objective of this project was to develop a Best Practices Guide to help water and wastewater utilities undertake energy projects through public-private partnerships.
Lessons Learned: Developing Solutions to Operational Side Effects Associated with Co-Digestion of High Strength Organic Wastes (ENER8R13)
Presents research collected from over 40 facilities that have implemented or have considered implementing co-digestion.
Understanding Impacts of Co-Digestion: Digester Chemistry, Gas Production, Dewaterability, Solids Production, Cake Quality, and Economics (ENER12R13)
Research examined many of the possible side effects of co-waste addition, and how changes in the type of high strength waste co-waste added to an anaerobic digester altered the outcome.
Co-Digestion of Organic Waste Addressing Operational Side Effects (ENER9C13)
Study evaluates side effects associated with co-digestion of high-strength waste and wastewater solids at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs).
Energy Recovery from Thermal Oxidation of Wastewater Solids: State-of-Science Review (ENER13T14)
This project provides a state-of-science review of energy recovery from thermal oxidation of wastewater solids.