From wastewater to fertilisers

The world food supply is entirely dependent on the use of fertilisers. However, the current fertiliser production practices are not sustainable. Domestic wastewater is an important carrier of resources: especially water, energy and nutrients. In the current centralised wastewater management systems these resources are hardly recovered.

Run4Life demonstrates an alternative strategy for improving the recovery of resources from wastewaters, using a decentralised approach where black water (toilet wastewater), grey water (other domestic wastewaters) and organic kitchen waste are collected separately. Each separate flow then receives the treatment needed for efficient resource recovery, for example fertiliser products.

End users and other stakeholders along the value chain are a fundamental part of this transition to local resource recovery and reuse.

The Run4Life concept in a nutshell

For a quick overview of the project watch this easy to understand animated video. A one minute introduction to Run4Life, showing the concept of source-separated sanitation and resource recovery and the locations of our four demonstration sites.

Demonstration sites

Different innovative technologies are combined to achieve the goal of efficient nutrient recovery in the Run4Life concept. These are applied and optimised at 4 sites in Europe, where for the first time nutrients will be recovered from domestic waste streams of several 100 dwellings.

The demonstration sites are located in Ghent (Belgium), Helsingborg (Sweden), Sneek (the Netherlands) and Vigo (Spain). Each of the locations features different technologies and technology combinations, enabling the recovery of multiple resources.

In collaboration with fertilizer producers, the practical agricultural application of the resulting products are evaluated.

Ghent and Helsingborg demonstration sites have received several awards – great recognitions for their innovative solutions for sustainable wastewater management through resource recovery.

A joint force of 15 well-matched partners

The Run4Life consortium represents the entire value chain, consisting of universities, technology providers, public utilities, end users and experts in social sciences and humanities. This optimal combination of partners increases the market success of the proposed solutions and enhances social acceptance.

The Run4Life project is a member of the European Sustainable Phosphorous Platform (ESPP), the ICT4Water cluster and the Biorefine Cluster Europe. Through the project partners, Run4Life is also connected to other networks such as the German Phosphorous Platform and the Dutch Nutrient Platform, and is in contact with multiple EU projects working on related topics. The EC Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) has developed an interactive tool providing a wealth of information about projects funded through different EU programmes. The Data Hub features an overview map, linked to project summaries, beneficiaries and demonstration sites.