Innovative system solutions for municipal sludge treatment and management (ROUTES)

Starting date
March 1, 2011
Duration (months)
Managers or local contacts
Bolzonella David
fanghi di depurazione, acque reflue, tecnologie

The general objective of the Routes proposal is set up a panel of different solutions to be applied in different conditions and circumstances, strictly following the waste hierarchy of the Directive 08/98 on waste. The Routes project is addressed to discover new routes in wastewater and sludge treatment and management also based on the best integration between the water and sludge treatment lines. In particular the main aims objectives of the project are:
a) to prepare sludge for agricultural utilization by transforming it in a very clean and stabilized product with respect to hygienic aspects and to phytotoxicity; b) to minimize sludge production by innovative solutions which can be based on different approaches, i.e.: i) metabolic uncoupling ii) the use of microbial fuel cells, iii) the use of sequencing batch bio-filter granular reactor (SBBGR), iiii) the integration of a side-stream process in membrane bioreactors; c) to promote recovery of valuable materials from anaerobic digestion, i.e. biopolymers as polyhydroxyalkanoates and fertilizers; e) to set up and prove at practical scale a novel technique for sludge disposal (wet oxidation) as sustainable alternative to nowadays the most used incineration; f) to minimize energy pumping by adjusting solid concentration, on a practical installation where sludge is pumped from the production site to a centralized plant.


Unione Europea
Funds: assigned and managed by the department
Syllabus: EUROPA - Progetti Europei

Project participants

David Bolzonella
Full Professor
Franco Cecchi
Francesco Fatone
Research areas involved in the project
Environmental Engineering & Energy


Research facilities