The main objective of the GREENLYSIS project is setting a pilot plant in order to demonstrate the technical feasibility of reducing both the energy consumption and the environmental footprint of a WWTP, producing hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis by renewable energies.
The GREENLYSIS project has 6 main objectives:
1. Replacing or enhancing the current aeration system of the biological reactor of a WWTP, using pressurized oxygen obtained from water electrolysis.
The biological reactor of a WWTP is the process which represents the main energy consumption of the plant. Using pressurized oxygen obtained from water electrolysis is possible to reduce the energy consumption in a WWTP. Hydrogen will be obtained too.
2. Use the obtained hydrogen as fuel.
The obtained hydrogen will be used as fuel to power a vehicle. Thereby, the use of renewable other carbon-based fuels in the WWTP will be reduced. Hence, greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions will be reduced too.
3. Use only renewable energy sources.
In order to avoid GHG emissions during the pilot plant operation, only renewable energy sources will be used specifically thermal solar power, photovoltaic solar power and wind power.
4. Undergo the output water from WWTP a pre-treatment before the electrolysing step.
Water electrolysis requires deionised water to properly run. This pure water will not be obtained via reverse osmosis (which consumes a lot of electricity). It will be obtained from the own WWTP output water stream, which will undergo a pre-treatment process and purification process before becoming a pure water.
5. High-efficiency novel technology is used.
Membrane distillation (which is a water purification process powered by thermal solar energy and has low energy demand), refrigerated photovoltaic solar panels (with higher efficiency) and an energy management system (which minimizes electric losses, optimizes equipment operation and increase overall efficiency).
6. Application field of the pilot plant.
After having been several years obtaining results and sorting out the emerging problems, guidelines on selection, implementation, operation and optimization will be provided. It will be useful to set up another pilot plant on a different WWTP as well as to enlarge it up to an industrial scale.