Circular solutions for :

The La Trappe brewery WWTP is currently investing €1M in a highly innovative greenhouse based plant root enhanced fixed bed bioreactor. The Metabolic Network Reactor (MNR) plants support an active microbial community that protects it from high loading rates, making them compact and suitable for application even in dense urban areas. As it is constructed in a greenhouse it can also perform in cold climates.

The demo integrates technology developed within the microecological life support system alternative (MELiSSA) program of European Space Agency to convert it into a “Bio-makery”. The plantmicrobe reactor generates a very similar effluent stream as the hydroponic compartment envisioned in MELiSSA for Space missions. Coupling the MNR with MELiSSA advanced separation and photobioreaction-base technologies, fit-for-use water will be produced while growing biomass for use as slow-release fertilizer and, potentially, fish fodder or human food.

Relevant Data

1  - 360 m3/day
1 st
full-scale plant-microbe based WWTP in the world

Demo site:

La Trappe Brewery

Relevant sectors

Key innovations & actions

  • Combine Metabolic Network Reactor (MNR) and membranes for nutrient and water recovery for fit-for-use industrial use such as irrigation, bottlewashing or make up water for beer production
  • Use of anaerobic reactor and “Bio-makery” for water reuse for irrigation in decentralized areas
  • Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus recovery, with nutrients removed from the water converted into fertilizer used to produce plant or microbial protein that are reused in the brewery

Lead partners