AKUT was prominently represented at the 1st African Biogas Forum in Nairobi.

The “African Biogas Forum” aimed to promote and support the sustainable development of the biogas sector in Africa, particularly Kenya. The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Hon. Keter and the Deputy German Ambassador H.E. Deru launched the Forum. The event was supported by GIZ and the initiative “Renewables – Made in Germany” whose mission is to provide information upon the performance, efficiency and reliability of German renewable energy industry.

At our exhibition stand our Kenyan colleagues presented AKUT´s range of services in the areas of biogas, sewage and development cooperation. Additionally, our employee Mr. Dipl.-Ing. Romas Radtke gave a lecture about our various Kenyan projects: from the domestic small biogas plant via school energy stations with anaerobic digestion, wastewater treatment (aerobic / anaerobic) to industrial biogas plants, for example Kericho. The focus of his presentation was placed on the economics of small biogas plants and semi industrial biogas plants under the given economic conditions. He concluded that the production of biogas at most medium-sized farms with waste quantities of 5 to 15 tons per day was not economically feasible with the current fed-in tariffs. Exceptions to the rule are cases were the treatment of sewage / waste is in the foreground as biogas merely constitute an additional advantage here.

As a participant in the panel discussion “Biogas solutions”, Mr. Radtke presented various custom tailored solutions for AKUT´s customers illustrating our slogan “Customized Concepts for Environmental Technology”. Since 2006 AKUT is active on the Kenyan market. Intensive demand for an adjustment of the feed-in tariff for electricity from biogas has been emphasized. A working group of members of the biogas industry and customers is in charge to find solutions concerning this. The required increase to 15 US cents per kWh will allow a variety of projects that are not financially viable until now. Currently the market is limited only to customers with both: high volumes of waste and high energy demands as well. Through an appropriate feed-in tariff it will become more reasonable to produce power from biogas for the general market.

At the same time it became clear that the benefits of biogas in particular towards solar PV are not adequately addressed and promoted by policy makers.

It has been pointed out that compared to other Sub-Saharan African Countries the Kenyan market is already well developed – despite all limitations.

Starting in June 2016 our latest research project will investigate the benefits of various combinations of engineered treatment steps with constructed wetlands. In order to analyze additional elimination of trace organic compounds in the effluent of a wastewater treatment plant a pilot plant is going to be built at the wastewater treatment plant Schönerlinde (Berlin) in collaboration with Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB – Berlin Centre of Competence for Water) and Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB). In this case an upstream ozonation stage will be combined with two different types of constructed wetlands. This combination has the objective to eliminate and reduce those persistent pharmaceutical residues which – without additional pre-treatment in wastewater treatment plants – would pass subsurface and surface flow treatment wetlands.

The project is part of a European research network named AquaNES. 30 partners in 10 countries will investigate on different focuses. Next to wastewater treatment systems the recycling of waters for drinking purposes through bank filtration and groundwater recharge are main components.

At the same time innovative measurement methods for quick detection of E.coli and antibiotic resistances shall be applied within the project. With new assessment methods and the development of decision-making tools including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Ecosystem Services Analyses (ESA) planners and operators shall be supported.

At the first project meeting of all AquaNES participants, Valérie Bénard, Project Officer in the Environment & Resources Unit of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), pointed out that high expectations are related to the project. After the ambitious and more than a year lasting procurement procedure with the identifier “Water-1b-2015” for innovative demonstration and pilot plants in the program Horizon2020 only 8 out of 160 proposals have been awarded and will be realized. The total budget of this project is going to be 10.7 million EUR, 73 % sourcing from public funding. The project is coordinated by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wintgens, Institute for Ecopreneurship at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland.

Results of all sub-projects will be disseminated within the next three years (project timeframe until May 2019) in different publications which shall lead to broader application of best practices in the water sector.

AKUT is assigned to elaborate guidelines and manuals for planning and operation of well-functioning combinations of engineered wetlands with technical systems. Pilot plants of other partners are located in Rheinbach (Germany), Packington (England) and the Greek islands Antiparos and Thirasia.

From May 30 to June 3, 2016, our customers and business partners have the opportunity to meet us personally on the world`s leading fair for environmental technologies in Munich.

You find our exhibition booth in hall A 5 at the joint area of “Berlin Partner for Business and Technology” (booth No. 227/326). We are happy to present our latest products and innovations regarding treatment, recovery and drainage of rainwater and of wastewater from various sources (municipal, domestic and industrial). Once again this year’s focus is put on adapted, decentralized and small scale solutions in urban and rural areas.

A special highlight will be the live presentation of a self-priming siphon. This siphon works through hydraulic elevation (floating and sinking) without any external energy demand. A reliable start of a cycle doesn’t require auxiliary constructions and the siphon is designed for big amounts of potentially highly polluted sewage. This product may be an essential component of ideal solutions, e.g. in the reinforcement of sewage pond systems.

In order to fulfill latest requirements for the treatment of combined sewage most applied solutions are highly complicated in technological terms. The combination of a robust constructed wetland for combined sewage (regarding DWA-A 262, draft version 2016) with this siphon leads to optimized hydraulic efficiency whilst cleaning performance ranges from good to highly satisfying results. This solution makes it possible to comply with high requirements for the treatment of combined sewage. AKUT has developed this solution as an alternative to expensive and laborious network separation as the conventional solution for this challenge.

In case you are interested in these or similar, simple, cost-efficient and therefore (in the long run) sustainable solutions, we are happy to consult you at our corner booth No. 227/326 in hall A5.

We offer consultancy about our broad range of services, including the generation and capture of biogas out of domestic wastewater or organic substrates, energy saving and energy input of electricity and heat into semicentral grids, SBR technology as an upgrade of pond systems and last but not least sustainable sanitation systems (e.g. ECOSAN or NASS: DWA-A 272). You may feel free to arrange an appointment with us at IFAT beforehand. In this case we can issue entrance tickets to visit our stand. Contact us for appointments and tickets: 0049-30-52000950

In the framework of the program “Energetic utilization of urban waste – EnRes” AKUT has been awarded by the GIZ to develop concepts in the field of biogas generation out of sewage sludge. The timeframe of this project is approximately 2 years. AKUT collaborates in Mexico with its local partner engineering companies IBtech and UCY.

In addition to the elaboration of a manual for sewage gas utilization in wastewater treatment plants as well as to creating new teaching material for courses and workshops in this field a pilot project is going to be planned, implemented and evaluated. 8 out of 27 wastewater treatment plants with flow rates of more than 250 l/s have been selected for detailed assessment and investigation regarding economic and technological feasibility as a pilot project for sewage gas utilization. These studies shall be completed within the short timeframe of the project.

For further planning the wastewater treatment plants León, Colima and Paso Limón have been chosen. Plant designs shall be completed in the beginning of 2017.

Final workshop on rainwater harvesting in South Morocco

A circular path has been completed in order to present measures for strengthening the agricultural sector in the region Souss-Massa-Draâ in December 2015. Rainfalls are less frequent and single events often heavier in these oases that are highly affected by climate change.

Due to poor and infrequent water supply traditional agricultural activities have declined significantly and heavy rainfall events are cause of erosion in many areas. A combination of various decentralized and small-scale measures was set up to improve the situation. One example is the construction of several ground sills / small dams that have been built in the long branched valleys above the oasis Tidrheste to reduce erosion.

Water retention measures increase the infiltration rate and usable water is directed into small channels. As a result of the collection of water in Negarim microcatchments and decentralized cisterns the olive tree cultivation is now possible without usage of (scarce) groundwater.

The successful international cooperation of AKUT Umweltschutz Ingenieure Burkard und Partner, Schulze-Matthes Ingenieure, the Association Ennacer de Développement (AED) of Tidrheste and the GIZ shall be continued. Further information about the project, irrigation, erosion protection and Rainwater Harvesting in arid climate zones may be obtained from Heribert Rustige.

The 1,8 km long river arm “Kupergraben” in Berlin’s central district will be awakened after a deep sleep. The river arm will undergo renaturalization measures and parts of the section between Fischerinsel and the Bode Museum will be used as a swimming pool. The conversion will revitalize this UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of Berlin’s historic lifelines whilst the ecological rehabilitation of urban waters yields the way to a general sustainable urban transformation.

AKUT is assigned to draft and plan a pilot plant for a treatment of the river waters in a constructed wetland. AKUT will work on this assignment in cooperation with Dr.-Ing. Pecher und Partner Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbh.

Final dimensioning and site-specific adaptions will be possible after different filter types (constructed wetlands) are analyzed in the pilot plant. Starting off with the construction of the plant in the first half of 2016, sampling and optimization is going to terminate in the end of 2018.

On behalf of GIZ in Brazil AKUT is commissioned to develop a new framework for improved energy efficiency in urban water supply systems.

Water resources management in Brazils is one of the sectors with a energy demand in relation to other public services. The water supply system is characterized by low efficiency. Supply systems are mostly outdated and in ailing condition.

The project is structured into four fields of activities: (1) support of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (MCid) in developing new funding instruments with the goal of energy efficiency; (2) organization of interinstitutional and intersectoral dialogues; (3) Elaboration and application of technical and economical energy efficiency instruments   and measures and (4) Extension and qualitative improvement of consultancy services for the water management sector concerning energy efficiency.

The project timeline is scheduled from beginning of 2016 until the end of 2018. AKUT has organized a close collaboration with the swiss engineers “Skat Consulting AG” (specialized on energy efficiency measures) and the Portuguese Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil) whose experience in the national initiative for loss control (iPerdas, Iniciativa Nacional para o Controle Eficiente de Perdas) will be essential for the success of this project.

AKUT has been awarded with a contract by GIZ (German Technical Cooperation) to continue its institutional strengthening project for ENACAL in Nicaragua.

A higher efficiency in water supply and sanitation is the principal objective of this technical cooperation. The measures are part of the institutional strengthening of the national water supply and sanitation (WSS) company “Empresa Nicaragüense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados – ENACAL“. In addition to the ongoing assistance at the offices Boacco and Chontales this stage of the project will also include the offices in the departments St. Tomás, Camoapa and Acoyapa.

The project comprises the following components:

The improvement of service quality (duration of supply and customer services), a reduction of receivable accounts and enhanced processes for result and effect oriented planning services, monitoring and evaluation. This shall be achieved through the introduction of the GIS based system SIGIL.

The reduction of physical water losses and energy costs as well as increased revenues through extension and maintenance of a customers register are measures to limit the operational costs of ENACAL.

A modern surface waters monitoring system will be established for the supervion of receiving water bodies.

The operational management of 14 wastewater treatment plants of ENACAL will be improved in order to comply with legal requirements regarding outflow water quality of wastewater plants.

Timeframe of the project is 3 years.

Within the framework of the project „Power Generation from Biogas for Improved Agro-processing Efficiency“ AKUT has been assigned by the GIZ with the planning and installation of demonstration biogas pilot systems in various parts of the country and for substrates (residual organic waste material) from various agricultural value chains.

AKUT fixed dome plants have shown good performances in Kenya and can therefore serve as a basis for standard replicable plants that shall be developed: With adapted design and stirred reactors for different substrates and usage.

At the same time construction companies, project developers and engineers will be trained by AKUT at those pilot systems.

Timeframe of the project will be approximately one year.

In the framework of development cooperation of Switzerland and Peru the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have defined the endorsement and promotion of urban infrastructure and the institutional strengthening of public service providers as strategic objectives.

Therefore the water supply and sanitation company EPS Grau in Piura has been selected to introduce an integrated project for the improvement of water supply, wastewater treatment and water resources management.

AKUT has been assigned to work in the institutional strengthening of EPS Grau in a cooperation with its Swiss partner Seecon GmbH.

Timeframe of the project is 3 years.

On the picture: after solemny signing the cooperation contract
From the left to the right: Alfredo Navarete, directorate EPS Grau; Carlos Alva, managing director of EPS Grau; Thilo Burkard, representative of AKUT; Hans Ruedi Bortis, Swiss embassador; Martin Perter, head of Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs in Peru