Aoife Moloney

Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Denise Barnett


This thesis aims to explore the sustainability potential which exists in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP's); particularly focusing on nutrient, energy, and water recovery and reuse. The core of the research will focus on the establishment of a sustainable Resource Recovery Treatment Plant (RRTP) plan for Limerick Main Drainage (LMD) WWTP, and potentially utilising this as a case study plant which could act as a foundation example within the sector.

There is a genuine need to investigate more sustainable options in wastewater treatment (WWT); increasing energy and sludge management costs are a real issue for non-sustainable WWTP's given that thousands of euro's are spent per annum on these expenditures. Other drivers exist such as increasing global population, increased urbanisation, climate change, requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), energy scarcity and security of supply issues, depletion of finite resources such as Phosphorus and water shortage issues. These difficulties are fast becoming increasingly important to deal with now before the damaging effects of climate change becomes irreversible, or before we face stark scarcity of fuel supply issues, or before we deplete our finite resources completely. Alternative solutions and a more sustainable approach are required on a global scale.

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