Innovation, sustainability and circular economy: these are the three ingredients of #waterevolution, the revolution in which water will change how we produce and consume, for sustainable territory development. Always committed to new initiatives, we aim to safeguard the resource using non-drinking water for non-domestic uses: irrigation of crops and green areas, street washing in urban centres, supply of heating or cooling systems. Learn about all our projects!

Zero-mile Biomethane

The production of a resource such as biomethane brings both economic and environmental benefits. Italy is heavily dependent on foreign countries for the supply of methane: according to data from the Ministry of Economic Development in 2018, Italy produced 5,448 million Sm3 (standard cubic metres) of methane, while it imported 67,872 million, 92.6% of the total. The production of biomethane from organic matrices would instead be entirely national, activating a zero-mile supply chain.
According to the most recent ISPRA Report, the Metropolitan City of Milan produces approximately 215,000 tons of damp waste per year and currently has an anaerobic treatment plant capacity of 90,000 tons. Thanks to our plants, an additional 107,000 tons of damp waste could be treated annually, without the need to build new facilities or new production plants.
In particular, the amount of biomethane produced by our plants in Pero, Bresso, Robecco sul Naviglio, Sesto San Giovanni, Peschiera Borromeo, Cassano d 'Adda, Trucazzano, would be able to supply about 39,000 cars, 2.5 times the number of methane-powered cars on the road in the Metropolitan City of Milan.
In March 2018, for the first time at national level the Division Office formally approved the investment plan of the Integrated Water Service including a plant aimed at the production of biomethane from the anaerobic digestion of treatment sludge.
More specifically, this is the Bresso/Niguarda treatment plant we operate. CAP Group's 7 digesters are potentially able to produce 11,383,194 Sm3 per year of biomethane, covering about 20% of future demand.

7

anaerobic digesters

Over 1 mln di Sm3

annual biomethane

20%

future demand coverage

PerFORM WATER 2030

PerFORM WATER 2030 is the first research and experimentation platform in Italy created to address the challenges of the Integrated Water System.
Presented within the framework of the Regional Operational Programme (ROP), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 and the Innovation Call Agreements for Research and Innovation of the Lombardy Region, the project involves eight companies, two university institutes and one research institute, for an investment of about 9 million euros.
PerFORM WATER 2030 (whose official definition is Platform for Integrated Operation Research and Management of Public Water towards 2030), a pilot project on a national scale, has a duration of 30 months and will form a widespread platform for the research, development and implementation of technologies and decision-making tools aimed at ensuring increasingly effective management of the Integrated Water Service.

Objectives

The PerFORM WATER 2030 project, part of our #waterevolution strategy, aims to:

  • implement innovation strategies focused on specific needs, implementing new technologies that support sustainable territory development with a view to a circular economy;
  • consolidate a widespread network of skills to meet the challenges of the future related to water management. PerFORM WATER 2030 is the first of its kind in Italy, a real living lab that allows the rapid implementation of innovations and technologies to be validated or already industrialised. The initiative also makes it possible to quickly pass from research to technology through a network in which universities, research organisations and companies interface directly without the steps and procedures that usually take much longer;
  • represent a reference training centre in the sector for students, researchers and operators of the various companies that thus have the opportunity to address an extensive set of technologies in the world of water and energy.

Research areas

The research areas involved are:

Water lines

Control of supply water quality and optimisation of distribution networks and sewage treatment processes with innovative technologies. The aim is to meet stringent discharge quality limits by monitoring pollutants and emissions.

Sludge line

Reduction of sludge production, thermal enhancement of sludge, energy and matter recovery, modelling activities.

Energy recover

Recovery of energy and matter within plants, upgrade of biogas to biomethane, optimisation of anaerobic digestion processes and increase in biogas production.

Sustainability

Stakeholder engagement and advanced cost analysis, pricing, Operation & Maintenance.

Partner companies

The project leader is CAP Group, with the involvement of eight industrial companies, two universities and a research institute, each of which provides its own technical skills in a context of sharing ideas, projects and specific knowledge. Visit the sites of the partners who participated in the project.

GeneGIS GI
Information systems for the environment

Hydep
Aquaponics and hydrogen recovery

MMI
Hydrological modelling and monitoring

Passavant Impianti
Water treatment plants

SIAD
Chemical group

VOMM
Sludge energy treatment and enhancement plants

VEOLIA
Municipal and industrial water treatment

SEAM Engineering
Plant design in the environmental field - construction of demonstration plants

The project

For some time now, we have been developing circular economy projects for the Metropolitan City of Milan that allow us to recover waste materials from production processes for reuse as precious raw materials.

The sand extracted from the treatment process of the Robecco sul Naviglio plant is usually disposed of in landfills, with rather high costs. The Metropolitan City of Milan has given the CAP Group approval to recover this material, the first authorisation in Italy with the new End of Waste law.

The recovery and reuse involves 2,532 tons of sand (about 9.8 tons per day) coming from both “sandblasting waste”, which derives from the sewage treatment cycle, and from “waste generated by the cleaning of waste water”, the result of maintenance work on drains and manholes carried out in the municipalities of the territory.

Thanks to a special system specifically installed inside the treatment plant, the sand is treated and disinfected through a particular organic waste separation process called the “Coanda effect”, and then used in the company's worksites, for laying beds in the renovation and reinforcement of sewer and aqueduct pipes.