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17th October 2018

Water and the circular economy - where is the greatest sustainable economic benefit for resource recovery in the water environment?


This project set out to answer three research questions:

  1. which resources can be, in principle, recovered or obtained from water in Scotland;
  2. what is the total amount of each resource that is present in, or can be obtained from, different water sources in Scotland, and;
  3. which maximum market value and potential savings in energy and carbon dioxide emissions could be achieved when assuming 100% recovery of each resource.

In this project, researchers calculated the amount of each resource (N, P, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, heat, methane and hydrogen) which is present or can be obtained from raw waters or wastewaters in Scotland, their economic value and the maximum potential savings in energy and carbon dioxide emissions associated with the recovery of these resources. The technology readiness level (TRL) of the processes needed for the recovery of these resources was also estimated, and recommendations are provided in the report for future investigations.