The Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry & Water and Wastewater Treatment of the Chemical Engιneering Department of the University of Western Macedonia, after 10 years of research in the field of waste sludge minimization in biological wastewater treatment, earned a great distinction: the adaptation by EU of its novel technology for almost zero biomass production and less energy consumption as good practice for wastewater treatment plant, designed with the circular economy principles and is published in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform good practice database (EU, 2020).
The University Laboratory,under the Scientific coordination of the Prof. Elissavet Amanatidou, INNOVECO Ltd (a technical construction company in the field of wastewater treatment) and ALMOPIA slaughterhouse, formed an industrial eco-system that designed and tested a novel activated sludge wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) for treating high strength wastewaters. WWTP is in line with circular economy principles and a key towards sustainable operation of plants, as it minimizes sludge, the most difficult to be treated by-product of this process.
The University Lab contributed with its know-how on designing and with its infrastructure on testing and controlling the novel plant, while INNOVECO Ltd contributed also on designing and furthermore on the construction. Slaughterhouse was the final beneficiary.
The practice is a good example of the positive impact of the collaboration between a chemical laboratory, a private technical, solution-oriented company and a generating sludge company, to achieve a concrete technical solution. The proposed solution has a number of merits mainly linked to GHG emission reduction, resource efficiency improvement, etc. The practice could be of interest for cities and regions that host sludge generating companies. They can further explore the technical solutions as well as the model of collaboration between the three stakeholders and the role of the municipality as a facilitator. The financial model of the sludge waste water treatment plant is also of interest. Policymakers around Europe are now able to consult our good practice online and contact us through for further exchange of experiences.