15 May 2020

Industry

Read Time 2 mins

Shortlist Spotlight: Innovative Wastewater Treatment

Thomas Fudge, CEO and co-founder of WASE, has a mission to provide sanitation and energy to all. Thomas was shortlisted for the 2019 COINS Grand Challenge, find out more about his idea and why he entered in this Q & A.

Tell us more about your idea.
Our idea is a revolutionary approach to wastewater treatment. Using our modular electro-methanogenic reactors (EMR), we can treat wastewater to generate biogas, water and fertilisers.

How will it make a difference?
Our system impacts the built environment by creating resilience, by using our modular decentralised system we can evolve with changing communities. Through embracing a circular economy approach we can recover energy, nutrients, and water in wastewater, and address the essential needs of communities by providing for the energy-water-food nexus – the three key pillars that support our life and society.

What is unique about your idea?
Our system is unique as it’s developed around resource recovery and value creation. Currently centralised wastewater treatment systems are expensive and energy intensive which results in 80% of untreated wastewater globally being dumped into the environment. Our EMR technology enables us to treat wastewater on-site to generate biogas, create water and fertilizers. Changing sanitation from a financially draining system to one that creates value and new opportunities for communities to flourish.

What inspired your idea?
Previously, I worked in a school in Ghana where children became ill because of the poor sanitation, resulting in them missing school. When I returned to the UK, I wanted to re-educate myself and learn more about the wastewater sector in order to develop new solutions that are suitable for the world.

What is your experience in this field?
I have interdisciplinary experience, I'm doing a PhD at Brunel University focussing on developing this technology and creating new solutions for waste water treatment; within our team we have a breadth of experience which will enable us to progress this idea.

How will your idea be implemented?
At the moment, we are installing our system in a brewery as well as developing a system that's going to be installed in a refugee camp in Kenya. But our vision is to create a web of interconnected water treatment systems and energy services.

Why did you enter the COINS Grand Challenge?
We entered the COINS Grand Challenge because it's a great opportunity to network with experts within this field and the opportunities that it could create.

Who influenced you?
Our idea is developed around sustainability, but the people who've really influenced us are the community members, hearing their needs has enabled us to evolve our idea to suit them.

What do you do in your spare time?
My spare time is heavily influenced by my grandad, so I often spend this in my workshop or gardening.

Find out more at https://www.wase.co.uk/

Could your idea be a winner?  Entries are now open for the 2020 COINS Grand Challenge - visit coins-grandchallenge.com

Organised by construction technology experts, Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (COINS), this is a global competition to drive innovation within the construction industry.

 

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