Automatic control system for biological wastewater recycling for the irrigation of energy wood plantations in China

Funding Scheme: BMWI - ZIM-KOOP
Project Duration: 26.10.2009 – 30.09.2011
Project Manager: Alexander Schank
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Within the BIOWARE project, ttz Bremerhaven, Alensys AG and Hydro-Air GmbH develop a biological wastewater recycling system, which mixes municipal wastewater with groundwater. The produced nutrient solution conduces to the irrigation of energy wood plantations. The prototype of the wastewater recycling system will be installed in the spring of 2011 in Yangjiteng, a small town near Chengdu in China.

The cost-efficient, water-saving and sustainable irrigation system will be used on energy wood plantations. Through this, not only saving water and money is enabled, but also the use of conventional, pollutive fertilizers can be reduced.

The biological wastewater recycling system allows to regulate water quality and its supply. The control of the plant takes place online, so operating straightforward without any time delay and from any location is possible.

The prototype developed in BIOWARE comprises three modules: an irrigation module, a control module and a monitoring module. In the monitoring module, sensors record soil parameters such as moisture, for example. The sensors transmit their measurements to the control module which determines the energy plantation’s nutrient requirements and communicates the exact mixing ratio to the irrigation module. In the irrigation module, a nutrient solution is produced from municipal wastewater and groundwater which rains on the energy plantation with the aid of drip irrigation. Above all in dry regions, this irrigation method leads to a greater biomass yield. At the same time, less groundwater is used and there are considerable cost savings in wastewater treatment.

After a successful test phase, the system can be marketed and established as an overall bioenergy wastewater concept in other regions of China and in this way bioenergy regions will be created. On this way, BIOWARE supports Chinas target of generating at least 16% of its total energy capacity through renewable energies by 2020.