18 Apr 2017

Zuiderzeeland Water Authority has started building the first innovative Ephyra® sludge digestion facility, which uses a technology developed by Royal HaskoningDHV. The water authority wants to use the facility to extract more energy from wastewater and make the treatment of wastewater more sustainable and more economical. The project is part of the major renovation of the Tollebeek wastewater treatment facility in the Netherlands’ Noordoost polder region. The facility is expected to be up and running by late 2017.

The Ephyra sludge digestion technology is used to ferment the sludge extracted from the wastewater, and this process releases biogas. This biogas can be used to power the treatment facility. Thanks to the digestion process, there is also less residual sludge to be removed and disposed of. This will significantly reduce transport and disposal costs. The renovation and construction work will be carried out by building contractors Aan de Stegge, Hollander Techniek and Pannekoek GWW.

Sustainable Energy Master Plan

By generating energy on the one hand and saving energy on the other, the Ephyra technology will help Zuiderzeeland Water Authority achieve its climate and energy targets. Ephyra is one of the projects in the Sustainable Energy Master Plan. The Master Plan includes measures aimed at making the water authority climate-neutral by 2050. Amongst other things, the water authority wants to be 35 to 45 percent self-sufficient by 2030 and energy-neutral by 2050. The Sustainable Energy Master Plan is helping Zuiderzeeland Water Authority to play its part in combatting climate change. The plan is one of the results of the climate agreement between the Union of Water Authorities and the Government and, of course, the Paris climate agreement.

Ephyra Tollebeek | Nereda, Royal HaskoningDHV

Image: Lida Schelwald, Dyke Warden for the Zuiderzeeland Water Authority

Joint venture

Zuiderzeeland Water Authority and Schieland and de Krimpenerwaard Regional Water Authority want to maximise biogas production at their wastewater treatment facilities. In recent years, they have been working on a number of pilot projects to test Royal HaskoningDHV’s Themista® and Ephyra® sludge fermentation technologies. The following parties set up a joint venture at the time to stimulate the innovation process of Ephyra® and Themista®: STOWA (the Foundation for Applied Water Research), Schieland and de Krimpenerwaard Regional Water Authority, Zuiderzeeland Water Authority, Royal HaskoningDHV, Delft University of Technology, Logisticon Water Treatment and Endress + Hauser. The aim of this joint venture was to acquire knowledge and experience from joint (pilot) studies in order to realise the first working facilities together.

Royal HaskoningDHV will realise the working facility at the request of the joint venture of Zuiderzeeland Water Authority, Schieland and de Krimpenerwaard Regional Water Authority and STOWA. This project is co-financed by the European Union’s LIFE funding instrument and the Topsector Energy Subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.