Energetic and material recovery issues in modern urban metabolism: strategies and technologies for a sustainable future

University of Pavia, Fondazione Alessandro Volta Material recovery, urban metabolism

Target Audience

Water professionals and researchers; engineers and architects involved in urban planning and development; urban water systems and reclamation utilities managers and technical staff; graduate students in environmental engineering and science, urban planning, and ecology.


Course include issues related to the treatment of wastewater and urban-generated wastes in view of the possible and desirable achievement of a truly sustainable urban metabolism compatible with the recently advocated circular economy paradigm.
Some of the best experts around the world have been invited to share their research results and practical experience on these subjects and offer their views on future developments concerning sustainable urban metabolism. Recent/ongoing case studies will be presented to illustrate the concepts exposed. Purpose of the course is to offer attendees state-of-the-art, practical and case-validated information concerning its focus themes. The course setting and limited attendees’ numbers will encourage and foster close interaction among participants in fruitful exchanges of ideas and experiences

Learning Objectives

- to be familiar/understand state-of-the-art processes and technologies for wastewater treatment and nutrient removal/recovery and energy recovery potentials
- to be familiar/understand state-of-the-art processes and technologies for urban wastes and residual treatment and nutrient removal/recovery and energy recovery potentials
- to be exposed to state-of-the-art technologies for energy recovery from waste streams, including Microbial Fuel Cells, fuel recovery from waste sludge, and Integrated Biorefinery concepts.
- to understand the critical issue represented by the water-energy nexus, and its consequences in the operation and design of urban water systems
- to understand the Water-Nutrient Nexus and the complexity of Global Cycles of Nitrogen and Phosphorus, including Resources and Leaks; to be familiar with Substance Flow Modeling and Resource Conservation
- to be exposed and understand new paradigms for decentralized wastewater treatment with energy recovery (‘New Sanitation‘), also by assimilation of full-scale applications and projects under development that will be presented as case studies, next to new technologies for Black water, Grey Water and Urine treatment/recovery and reuse.