CleanWater – Modular lightweight wastewater treatment units made with TRC for rural and peri-urban dwellings

Topic of the research project: Modular lightweight wastewater treatment units made with TRC for rural and peri-urban dwellings

Names of cooperation partners (lead of the cooperation project):  Institut fuer Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany; Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai/India; CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre, Chennai/India; Betonwerk Hentzschel GmbH, Elsterwerda/Germany; Raina Industries Private Limited, Mumbai/India

Project funding organisations: Department of Science and Technology (DST) India and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Germany

Project description

Wastewater treatment (WT) is an essential prerequisite for a healthy society. 90 % of the worldwide used water enters the environment untreated. Most rural and peri-urban regions of developing countries have no access to a wastewater treatment plant (WTP), because current mid/big size WTPs require a large power supply and space. Currently septic tanks or soak pits are used in many regions that could be replaced with modular and lightweight WT units, which are easy to transport and handle in hard-to-reach locations. The realization of these required systems is possible through the development of high-strength and lightweight materials.

By using durable materials the operating and maintenance costs can be kept as low as possible, which is an important decision criterion regarding the ordering of WTPs. The aim of this project is the realization of an innovative lightweight, modular WTP made of textile reinforced concrete (TRC).The advantage of a modular WTP design lies in a decentralized production facility, whereby all the necessary plant components have to be delivered to the construction site and assembled.

German sewage treatment plant manufacturers are expecting more than 20,000 WTPs to be sold in the European market by 2023. In addition, German SMEs are expecting a very high demand for WTPs due to efforts regarding new wastewater quality regulations by governments and organizations in China and India. About 250,000 of prefabricated WTPs are needed in India.

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