The REEF2W project “Increased renewable energy and energy efficiency by integrating, combining and empowering urban wastewater and organic waste management systems” aims at developing and implementing solutions for increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy production in public infrastructures. REEF2W means to pursue this objective by combining and integrating the relevant public infrastructures of municipal solid waste chain with the waste water treatment plants (WWTP), and by upgrading their input mix and their energy outputs. Moreover it will provide public administrators and stakeholders with knowledge and information about REEF2W solutions and criteria to identify suitable REEF2W sites.

The REEF2W project will thus tackle the integration and optimization of wastewater treatment plants and municipal waste management systems. The project is even more ambitious as it aims at making these energy consuming plants not only more efficient or self-sustainable, but it means also to produce a surplus of renewable energy, preferably to be used in local territories. The energy surplus will improve energy distribution through specific local networks, or serve as additional energy supply for urban mobility.

This is pursued through an optimization of the cycles (e.g. heat recovery in wastewater drainage and treatment systems, mechanical energy recovery from wastewater flows), and through their integration (e.g. enrichment of the sludge with the bio-degradable fraction of urban waste) for an increased energy production (e.g. biogas, bio-methane, electricity, heat, H2).


The REEF2W project main objectives are the following: 

  • Establishing a shared sound knowledge about REEF 2W Systems. The project aims at creating a common ground of knowledge, collecting already existing technological information, skills and models for verifying the sustainability of the new proposed systems;

  • Creating in target regions the conditions for increasing energy efficiency as well as production and usage of renewable energy, based on REEF 2W systems. Policies and actions will be carried out in order to set out the best framework conditions for REEF 2W systems implementation, and for removing current obstacles.

  • Development of regional strategies REEF 2W based on project’s pilots and policy makers involvement. The project means to establish a new paradigm for the wastewater and urban waste treatments. The final objective indeed is to create a service to be integrated with other public services in order to obtain WWTP that, in addition to purifying water, is  not only energetically self-sufficient but even a source of renewable energy.


Strategies and action plan 
One  action plan will be drafted in order to capitalize the experience gained with the activities of the five pilots of the feasibility demonstration of REEF 2W solutions. Project partners in charge of the pilots will create an action plan to continue the sharing of knowledge through the design of a REEF 2W platform, which will collect the pioneers urban water treatment plants transformation in "renewable positive energy companies" focused in circular resources use. 

Training Sessions 
5 training course in 5 different region will be organized. The training courses means  to provide complete information on how to apply REEF2W tools and methodologies in order to assess the feasibility of the pilots suggested by the utilities. Training courses will address technical employees from utilities, associated partners and relevant stakeholders. 

Tools for measurement of EE&RES improvements and urban compatibility assessment for the new plants will be developed. The software tool N.1 will aim at estimating EE-RES potential and the Software tool N.2 will be used for matching the urban location compatibility. These tools will be used in the first step of the feasibility studies of the 5 pilot actions and for the replication activities.

Pilot Actions
5 pilot feasibility studies of different REEF 2W models will be realized. Pilots will demonstrate how the new REEF 2W solutions lead to an abatement of energy needs and to a significant increase of renewable energy production. Pilot cases will thus become key enablers for WWTPs energy self-sustainable, or even “renewable energy positive”, ideal for providing green energy to future smart-cities. 

project duration

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