Project Overview

Scientific and technical objectives

REWAGEN project values

Treatment of target dairy effluents (wastewater and whey) through coupling EC and EO upgrading systems

Not only dairy wastewater is treated, but also a considerable amount of whey (28% of effluent composition), solving one of the most important problems (whey treatment) in the dairy industries. Pre-treatment and EC and ECO and CDI coupling is proposed to achieve the suspended solids and oils and fats removal, 90% of COD reduction up to desired quality to water reuse.

Reduction of water consumption at dairy site through treated water reuse

Having high conductivity related to sweet and acid whey reduced, this allows water reutilization.

Hydrogen recovery and purification from EC and EO processes

Hydrogen – as a by-product of the wastewater treatment through EC and EO processes, is recovered as pure as possible. Several hydrogen purification systems are examined.

Energy recovery through hydrogen combustion in a fuel cell system

Several kinds of fuel cell short stacks are analysed and used according to hydrogen purity. Energy management is a key emphasis.

Study of waste management through electro generated sludge valorisation

It is aimed to study at lab-scale the separation and recovery of the metal from the sludge through (bio-) leaching or solvent extraction, electro winning etc. Anaerobic digestion is also analysed for the remaining matter. Further valorisation can be gained through waste gas collection for reuse in the secondary power generator.

Reduction of chemicals consumption

By means of electrochemical technologies, it is expected to substitute the use of chemicals which are added to conventional water treatment process.

Specific objectives

Expected success per unit*

Mitigation of contaminants output

Reduction of 90% of COD and BOD, 95% phosphate reduction, 95% suspended solids, 95% oils and fats reduction, full smell depletion

Improved environmental performance

0.1 kg CO2 eq. reduction per hour of treatment (10%)


80-95% water potentially reusable; reduction water discharge


70-100% sludge reduction

70-100% sludge reduction

13,500 m3 water input reduction per year (30%)


0.7 kWh energy reduction per hour of treatment within the electrochemical processes (10%)


100% chemicals reduction

* The absolute values are relative to a 1 m3/hour prototype pilot plant (current applied = 200 A; potential = 5 V; power used = 1 kW; duration of trial = 1 hour).