Waste Water Treatment Plants interacting with Waste Management and the Energy Sector: A German-Austrian Dialogue (COMITO)



European Union, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Interreg Austria - Bavaria 2014-2020



Funding Duration:

01/2018- 12/2019


Project Partners:

  • University of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), Munich
  • Institute for Infrastructure, University of Innsbruck
  • BioTreaT GmbH, Innsbruck
  • Dr.-Ing. Steinle Engineers for Waste Water Technology mbH, Weyarn


Project Description:

Many digestion towers at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Bavaria and Austria have surplus capacities that could be utilized applying so-called co-digestion. For this to happen, easily digestible substances (i.e. co-substrates) are added to the digestion process to increase biogas production. The renewable energy generated by the biogas can contribute considerably to the energy transition (p. ex. by supplying balancing energy) and therefore, to climate protection. The alpine rural areas hold a specific potential supply of co-substrates: from dairy industries (flotation sludge) and from tourism (kitchen and restaurant residues), which, due to their composition or because of the strongly seasonal supply, are particularly challenging. Moreover, co-digestion offers potential for optimization.

The project consists of the following central aspects:

  • Development of co-substrates: Assessment of the potentials of flotation sludge from dairy industries and biogenic wastes from tourism
  • Assessment of the biogas potential by laboratory and semi-technical trials, and deduction of feeding strategies
  • Assessment of the influence of co-substrates on the degradation of WWTP-sludge by laboratory and semi-technical trials
  • Efficient utilization of the produced biogas as a contribution to energy transition and climate protection
  • Production of energy and emission balances as a base for environmental assessment
  • Assessment of economic performance and technical feasibility, production of a cost comparison calculation
  • Establish recommendations for action


Contact Information:

Universität Innsbruck
Univ-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Bockreis
Technikerstrasse 13
6020 Innsbruck

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