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Water resource recovery facilities (Wrrfs): The case study of palermo university (Italy)

  • Autori: Mannina G.; Alduina R.; Badalucco L.; Barbara L.; Capri F.C.; Cosenza A.; Di Trapani D.; Gallo G.; Laudicina V.A.; Muscarella S.M.; Presti D.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: Circular economy; Wastewater treatment; Water resource; Water smart solutions
  • OA Link:


The wastewater sector paradigm is shifting from wastewater treatment to resource recovery. In addition, concerns regarding sustainability during the operation have increased. In this sense, there is a need to break barriers (i.e., social, economic, technological, legal, etc.) for moving forward towards water resource recovery facilities and demonstration case studies can be very effective and insightful. This paper presents a new water resource recovery case study which is part of the Horizon 2020 EU Project “Achieving wider uptake of water-smart solutions—Wider Uptake”. The final aim is to demonstrate the importance of a resource recovery system based on the circular economy concept. The recovery facilities at Palermo University (Italy) are first presented. Afterwards, the resource recovery pilot plants are described. Preliminary results have underlined the great potential of the wastewater treatment plant in terms of resources recovery and the central role of the University in fostering the transition towards circular economy. The fermentation batch test highlighted a volatile fatty acids (VFAs) accumulation suitable for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) production. The results of static adsorption and desorption tests showed that the highest amount of adsorbed NH4+ was recorded for untreated and HCl-Na treated clinoptilolite.