Innovative wireless tool for reducing energy consumption and GHGs emission of water resource recovery facilities.

Newsletter 4.


Procedure development for off-gas monitoring with LESSDRONE

The fifth out of six measurement campaigns carried out within the Cuoiodepur WRRF, ended in January 2020. Due to the actual Covid-19 outbreak and emergency, the last measurement campaign has been postponed to June 2020. Despite the impossibility to perform the experimental tests, the project still continue at high rates: Unifi and UGent are carrying out the data elaboration and the process modelling, West is optimizing the prototype and has prepared a business plan draft, Utilitatis is working on the project socio-economic impact evaluation. Networking activities and scientific papers writing are regularly ongoing. The oral presentations accepted to national and international congresses foreseen for these months, due to the Covid-19 outbreaks, will be presented in 2021.
As far as the experimental tests are concerned, the measurement campaign allowed to develop the monitoring off-gas procedure with the LESSDRONE and to verify the accuracy of the measurements, and the operation.

The prototype made it possible to monitor the entire oxidation tanks surface highlighting the spatial distribution of the parameters of interest. The measurement campaigns, carried out within two of the seven oxidation tanks of the Cuoiodepur WRRF, allowed to develop and optimise the procedures for conducting the tests. Data appeared consistent with the plant operating conditions and allowed to deepen its knowledge. Moreover, the accuracy of the prototype measures compared to the plant measured data and laboratory analysis, showed that the LESSDRONE is able to correctly measure and estimate the parameters of interest.
The main results of the five campaigns are discussed below.

Airflow rate and oxygen transfer efficiency
The measured airflow rate (Qair) is quite similar in both tanks 5 and 6, and values ranged between 2000-2500 Nm3/h. Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations varied greatly during the tests with values between 0.5 and 2 mg/l. The oxygen transfer efficiency (αSOTE) varied between 26-34%. Tank 5 shows slightly higher values than tank 6, this is an expected result since tank 5 is equipped with newer membrane diffusers than tank 6.
The GHGs direct emissions from the oxidation tanks have been evaluated considering the Gloabal Warming Potential (GWP) calculated at the 100 years horizon, i.e. 298 kgCO2,eq/kgN2O for N2O and 25 kgCO2,eq/kgCH4 for CH4. The emissions resulted quite low for N2O (≈ 600 kgCO2,eq/d)  and CH4 (200 kgCO2,eq/d), which contribute only for the 4% to the overall CO2 equivalent (CO2,eq) emission from the oxidation tanks. The remaining 96% is attributable to CO2 (19500 kgCO2/d). The last measurement campaign planned for June 2020 will allow to confirm the results obtained during the previous campaigns. While, in the next months, the prototype will be tested and optimized in 5 further European WRRFs, with different characteristics in terms of treatment trains and loads, in order to validate the tool and make it applicable in a wide range of situations.
The dissemination and networking actions of the project continue. 
ECOMONDO Fair 2019

On November 6, 2019, at the ECOMONDO Fair 2019 (The Green Technology Expo) in Rimini – Italy, in the Global Water Expo section and within the Conference “Energy and carbon audit and efficiency in urban water cycle: towards standard methods and verified practice” (Sala Global Water Expo pad.D3) the first results of action B3 were presented.

Fifth student visit

On November 7, 2019 the fifth didactic visit with the students of the TE.CH. course (Technology and chemistry in the tanning industry – Technician performing biochemical and microbiological laboratory activities) of POTECO took place at CUOIODEPUR WRRF. During the visit, the functioning of the WRRF and the development of the LESSWATT project was illustrated with particular reference to the LESSDRONE floating sampling.

Sixth student visit

On November 14, 2019, the sixth student visit was held at Cuoiodepur WRRF with the students of with students of the course of Complements of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering of the School of Engineering of University of Florence. During the visit, the functioning of the WRRF and the development of the LESSWATT project was illustrated with particular reference to the LESSDRONE floating sampling.

July is the Lesswatt month!

The 2020 calendar of the LIFE Program has been published and the LESSWATT project had the honor of representing the month of July!

Seventh student visit

On January 21, 2020, the seventh student visit was held at Cuoiodepur WRRF with the students of the Istituto Buonarroti secondary school of Ponte a Egola. During the visit, the functioning of the WRRF and the development of the LESSWATT project was illustrated with particular reference to the LESSDRONE floating sampling.

LIFE Waste-Water Treatment Platform Meeting

The Lesswatt project was present to the Event Guide for the LIFE Waste-Water Treatment Platform Meeting, held on the 29th and 30th January in Barcelona, Spain. The project manager Cecilia Caretti presented the project and carried out the networking activities with the other LIFE projects.

Dissemination at Covid-19 time

Starting from March 8, 2020, when the restrictions for the COVID-19 epidemic began in Italy, the LESSWATT project continued its work as far as possible. Dissemination and networking activities involving participation in the international conferences SIDISA2020 in Turin, ECOSTP in Milan and WWCE2020 in Copenhagen initially scheduled for spring/summer 2020 have been postponed to the same period of the year 2021. All other activities continue regularly.

To follow the progress of the project and the initiatives promoted, we invite you to consult the website ( For detailed information on technical activities, please send an e-mail to the following address:
Contact: Cecilia Caretti
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (DICEA)
University of Florence - Via S.Marta, 3 – 50139 Florence, Italy
Tel. +39 055 2758850
Copyright © 2020 Lessawatt Project, All rights reserved.

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