Wastewater valorization: Practice around the world at pilot-and full-scale

Anouk F. Duque, Riccardo Campo, Angeles Val Del Rio, Catarina L. Amorim

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Over the last few years, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been rebranded as water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs), which recognize the resource recovery potential that exists in wastewater streams. WRRFs contribute to a circular economy by not only producing clean water but by recovering valuable resources such as nutrients, energy, and other bio-based materials. To this aim, huge efforts in technological progress have been made to valorize sewage and sewage sludge, transforming them into valuable resources. This review summarizes some of the widely used and effective strategies applied at pilot-and full-scale settings in order to valorize the wastewater treatment process. An overview of the different technologies applied in the water and sludge line is presented, covering a broad range of resources, i.e., water, biomass, energy, nutrients, volatile fatty acids (VFA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), and exopolymeric substances (EPS). Moreover, guidelines and regulations around the world related to water reuse and resource valorization are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9466
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2021


  • Recycling
  • Resource recovery
  • Reuse
  • Sludge
  • Valorization
  • Wastewater


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