Project title: Manure and sewage sludge processing at waste water treatment plants: potential implications on a catchment level
Macronutrients (N and P) surplus in surface waters and groundwater is mainly due to diffuse pollution from agricultural activities whereas a marginal contribution arises from effluents from waste water treatment works. Water companies have already made considerable investments to comply with statutory limits for N and P in surface water and groundwater. However, alternative measures are needed to prevent eutrophication. The research sets out to look at strategies to optimally manage and dispose of locally sourced livestock manures with the supplement of other organic wastes, such as crop residues and food waste, in small and medium size waste water treatment works through anaerobic digestion. Specifically, it examines whether the addition of local biomass resources could make the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge in small-medium size waste water treatment works viable and sustainable in terms of Life Cycle Assessment compared to the “business as usual” scenario. In addition, it explores under what circumstances this approach would be advantageous for both farmers and water companies and potential positive effects on nutrient load on water quality.
Mariano graduated in Environmental Engineering in Italy. After graduation, he started his career in the Renewable Energy Industry to look at the Environmental Impact Assessments of mini hydro power plants. He moved to the solar industry, first as designer of domestic scale medium-large scale as well as on ground photovoltaic systems and then as Managing Officer in a consultancy delivering small medium and large size photovoltaic systems.
He then spent five months for an internship at Wagner Solar UK Ltd in the UK to learn solar thermal technologies and programming skills by developing an Excel based tool in Visual Basic for Application to make commercial quotations of solar systems. In Glasgow, he achieved his Master by Research in Contaminated Land and then moved to Exeter as a PhD candidate in the WISE CDT. He is now based in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Bath to explore the potential of anaerobic digestion of livestock manure as a measure to mitigate eutrophication of surface waters due to nutrients run-off from agricultural land.
Research interests: Waste water treatments, reuse and recycling of waste water, waste to energy, urban drainage systems.