QEERI Pilot Plant Shows Results for Reuse of Wastewater

QEERI Pilot Plant Shows Results for Reuse of Wastewater

24 Feb 2022

Technologies used at TSE treatment pilot plant could yield enhanced water sustainability for Qatar and the region

The pilot plant is the result of a joint project with Ashghal and is contributing to water sustainability efforts

A pilot plant project operated by Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), which uses Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) to remove micropollutants from treated sewage effluent (TSE), is delivering promising results. The joint research project with the Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ will drastically enhance water sustainability in Qatar and the region.

The AOP pilot plant, which is currently operating at Ashghal’s Doha North Sewage Treatment Plant, is designed to evaluate the performance of different oxidation technologies involving the combinations of ozone, ultraviolet, and hydrogen peroxide. The pilot plant can treat up to 40,000 liters of TSE per day.

Ozone dosage showed an effective removal of over 85% for some of the target compounds (such as the pharmaceuticals acetaminophen, atenolol and carbamazepine) from TSE. The effects of using ozone-hydrogen peroxide combination also showed similar or even higher removal of the target contaminants, with up to 100% removal in some cases, using ultraviolet-hydrogen peroxide AOP technology.

Dr. Jenny Lawler, Senior Research Director at the Water Center, QEERI, explained that the increasing usage of TSE will save a substantial amount of available clean water for non-potable applications, but that the high quality of TSE must be assured for higher value applications. She said: “TSE treatment is more cost-effective and consumes less energy than desalination processes. The polishing of TSE using AOP technologies can help to maximize the beneficial reuse of TSE in Qatar, thus contributing to water sustainability, while ensuring the safety of human health and the environment. During the course of this project, our team has found that AOP technologies on a large scale can effectively remove many micro-organic pollutants. 

Eng. Khalid Al-Obaidli, Manager of the Drainage Networks Operations and Maintenance Department at Ashghal, said, “Ashghal operates and maintains 10 major treatment plants and 16 package treatment plants which treat all the wastewater generated in Qatar and produces around 700,000 m3/day. Therefore, our partnership with QEERI will help develop an innovation ecosystem in Qatar, where research and technological advancements are valued, and collaborations directly help address the challenges that Qatar is facing in this field.”

Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI said: “Our stakeholders, such as Ashghal, play a key role in converting the research we do at QEERI into high-maturity technologies and tangible results for Qatar. We are committed to contributing and advancing market-driven innovations for sustainability improvements. In the area of water conservation, the use of AOP technologies at the pilot plant is an example of where innovation can have a particularly beneficial long-term result for the country.”

The joint project is currently assessing the performances of these technologies over a longer period to capture seasonal variations. QEERI’s Water Center is also involved in several other collaborative projects with national stakeholders to develop innovative sustainability solutions in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.