In the framework of Germany´s international climate initiative Fraunhofer IGB is executing the project “Energy Recovery from Sludge Gases at a Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant in Americana, SP, Brazil“ (09_I_029_BRA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The purpose of the project is to capture the sludge gases from Carioba sewage treatment plant in Americana, upgrade them to natural-gas quality and make them available to the public vehicle fleet as biofuel (biomethane) by means of a compressor and filling station.
In the project „Adapted planning for a sustainable and innovative water management in semi-decentralized systems“ funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Fraunhofer IGB utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the improvement of planning processes in water management. One model site is the municipality of Saltinho, Sao Paulo. Project partner in Brazil is UNIMEP FEAU, Santa Barbara d’Oeste.
In partnership with the Methodist University of Piracicaba (UNIMEP), the municipality of Piracicaba and its Water and Wastewater Treatment Department (SEMAE), the municipality of Americana and its Water and Wastewater Treatment Department (DAE Americana), Fraunhofer IGB carried out the collaborative project “Decentralized Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment combined with recovery of nutrients and energy under consideration of hygienic aspects for the Piracicaba river basin”. The goal of this project was to demonstrate how a sustainable water resources management system can be executed through decentralized water and wastewater treatment, considering the existing techniques and introducing solutions to new problems through novel technologies, while respecting local needs and conditions, management infrastructure and available techniques as well as ecological, sociological and economical local demands. This was achieved using the knowledge generated through the partner institutions and through the research developed by Fraunhofer IGB.
Results of this project collaboration were the formation of the group H2O and its accreditation by the national council for scientific and technologic development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico CNPq), the organization of several seminars (Seminar for Alternatives in the Water and Wastewater Treatment Sector – 5 editions; International Symposium on Biotechnology – 2 editions), and exchange of post-graduate and joint support of students and doctoral candidates. Other H2O Group (http://www.unimep.br/grupoh2o/alemabrasileiro.html) activities were the development of field and laboratory research, meetings, scientific publications and evaluation and optimization of some Wastewater treatment plants in the Piracicaba region. There was also registered a growing interest on the part of Brazilian companies in co-operations, particularly in the fields of energy, the environment and chemistry.
Fraunhofer IGB will also be expanding its contacts in Brazil to molecular biotechnology. After the First Biotechnology Seminar in Piracicaba in October, IGB responded somewhat later to an invitation to the Brazil-German Technology Meetings in Porto Alegre. The main topic of the IGB presentation, Life Sciences, was of considerable interest to representatives of centers of innovation from eleven federal states.