Heat recovery from combined sewers has a significant potential for practical renewable energy provision as sources of heat demand and sewer pipes are spread across urban areas. Sewers are continuously recharged with relatively hot wastewater, as well as interacting with heat sources from surrounding air and soil. However, the potential effects of modifying sewage temperature on in-sewer processes have received little attention. The deposition of Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) and hydrogen sulphide formation are biochemical processes and are thus influenced by temperature. This paper utilises a case study approach to simulate anticipated temperature reductions in a sewer network due to heat recovery. A laboratory investigation into the formation of FOG deposits at temperatures varying between 5 °C and 20 °C provided mixed results, with only a weak temperature influence, highlighting the need for more research to fully understand the influence of the wastewater composition as well as temperature on FOG deposit formation. A separate modelling investigation into the formation of hydrogen sulphide when inflow temperature is varied between 5 °C and 20 °C showed considerable reductions in hydrogen sulphide formation. Hence, heat extraction from sewers could be a promising method for managing some in-sewer processes, combined with traditional methods such as chemical dosing.
Abdel-Aal, M., Villa, R., Jawiarczyk, N., Alibardi, L., Jensen, H., Schellart, A., Jefferson, B., Shepley, P., & Tait, S. (2020). Potential influence of sewer heat recovery on in-sewer processes. Water Science and Technology, 80(12), 2344-2351. https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.061, https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.061