The activity of defense and promotion of Circular Economy practices in the cement industry in Catalonia has led Ciment Català to deploy a list of actions aimed at generating greater use of waste as a source of energy. In this strategic line of action they frame the meetings of January 21 that a representation of the sector held with the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), on the one hand, and with the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) on the other. In both work sessions, the benefits of social and environmental nature that the energy recovery of dry sludges from urban wastewater treatment plants were exposed, and these public administrations were urged to enhance the use of this material, thus also avoiding its spillage and the consequent pollution problems it generates.
The sewage treatment process begins when the water reaches the grilles of the sewage plant, where the largest solids are separated. Water also transports fats and oils, which are removed in flotation equipment, where, due to density differences, they float and remain on the surface. The next step is the biological treatment: the organic and inorganic matter is decanted, the organic matter is digested and finally the purified water is separated from the biological sludge. The purified waters return to the environment or continue their treatment in more advanced regeneration equipment. The sludge begins its process here to be reused. In the case of cement kilns, their use as fuels in substitution of petroleum and derivatives is a safe practice, accredited with more than 40 years of experience in countries such as Germany or Austria. And generates both a direct benefit (reuse of a waste) and indirect (avoid the consumption of fossil fuels, more polluting and non-renewable).
The coincidence of approaches in this matter was evidenced by the institutional level of participants in the meetings. Thus, in the case of ACA, were present Lluis Ridao (Director), Anna Seijas (Manager) and Isabel Gandullo (Director of the Wastewater Sanitation Area). In the case of the AMB, the participants were Imma Mayol (Director of the Ecology Area), Fernando Cabello (Director of Water Cycle Services) and Joan Miquel Trullols (Director of Prevention and Waste Management Services).