Keynote: Energy and Nutrient Recovery From What We Used to Call Wastewater

Time and Date

12:00am -12:00am, Aug 08, 2012


University of Waterloo

Address: 200 University Ave. West Waterloo ON N2L 3G1


The exact presentation time has yet to be announced (EDT)

Dr. Bruce Rittmann, Director, Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology

The traditional goal of wastewater treatment as been to protect the water environment from organic and nutrient pollution.  While the this goal is even more important today, it is steadily being superseded by the realization that the pollutants truly are resources in the wrong place.  Therefore, our focus is moving away from wastewater treatment and towards recovering valuable energy and nutrient resources.  Fortunately, capturing both types of resources can go hand in hand.  In this talk, I first review and put into perspective mature and emerging technologies for capturing the energy value present in the C or COD component of the wastewater.  These include the mature technology of methanogenesis, modern improvements to methanogenesis, and the emerging microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs).  Release of the electrons from C also releases most of the N and P nutrients, which are then available for recovery.  I focus on novel means to recovery P in a form that can be utilized in agriculture.

This presentation is part of the First International Waterloo conference: The Recovery of Value-added Products. More information