Biofactories: the smart wastewater plants of tomorrow

Australian utilities are shifting from being energy consumers to producers, enabled by new technologies making waves in Europe. We chatted with Eric Garcin, Performance & Operational Excellence General Manager at SUEZ, to learn more.

You spent several years in Paris leading SUEZ’s Technical & Innovation portfolio in Europe. What did that experience offer?

I was fortunate to work with some of the world’s top experts and participated in several challenging major R&D projects for high-performance water treatment facilities, including N-Shunt & Mainstream Anammox, Biosolids hydrothermal carbonisation and phosphorus recovery. Wastewater is a substantial environmental challenge for water authorities and industry everywhere; we’re all looking for better ways to protect and reuse precious water resources. SUEZ has committed to reducing CO2 emissions from our activities by 45% globally and developing clever solutions for our clients that reduce our carbon footprint and embrace the circular economy is central to that.

How are Australian water utilities leveraging design and innovation to address current challenges and prepare for the future?

Every utility is different, but increasing savings, optimising performance and reducing impacts are shared challenges. We’re privileged to work with forward-thinking utilities determined to make a difference. Our extensive expertise and experience across various combinations of technologies enables us to support our customers to adopt proven innovative solutions that create new resources from waste and reduce environmental impact.

The ongoing upgrade at the Boneo Water Recycling Plant in Victoria, which combines several breakthrough technologies to convert wastewater into clean water and energy, is a great example. This approach is completely disrupting the industry, here and around the world.

Can you tell us about the technologies you’ve used in Boneo?

SUEZ’s Biofactories combine several of our patented advanced technologies created through extensive R&D over many years, in new and flexible ways. At Boneo, we’ve fused Cleargreen™, which biologically treats effluents with high concentrations of ammonia, and Dehydris™ Twist a new solution that dynamically separates solids and liquids via pressure filtration for more energy-efficient treatment of biosolids. We’ve also employed innovative anaerobic digestions technologies to enable cheaper, faster delivery. Together, these technologies place the plant’s targeted emissions 45% reduction well within reach.

Ready to explore biofactory technologies and other innovative solutions? Book in a chat with a SUEZ expert today.