Rennes Metropole deploys a pioneering project with Purecontrol and Cobalt Water Global to fight global warming

Since 2021, Rennes Métropole has been deploying a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions related to the energy used for its wastewater treatment processes with the artificial intelligence solution developed by the company Purecontrol. Its real-time control solution will now be used to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, a greenhouse gas that is much more powerful than CO2. A world first.

In 2021, the Rennes Métropole sanitation authority has called on the Breton company Purecontrol to optimize the operation of wastewater treatment facilities. This unique technology, based on artificial intelligence, has reduced the electricity consumption of wastewater treatment plants by nearly 20% and saved nearly 20 tons of CO2 emissions.


Rennes Métropole, an innovative city, will henceforth take into account direct greenhouse gas emissions through the management of nitrous oxide (N2O) in the real time regulation of treatment processes. This gas, emitted under certain conditions by wastewater treatment plants, can indeed represent the major contribution of wastewater treatment to greenhouse gas emissions. In order to offer Rennes Métropole a solution to effectively reduce these emissions, Purecontrol has partnered with Cobalt Water Global, an American ClimateTech company specialized in the modeling and management of this gas in wastewater treatment plants.

“N2O is the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective, and most impactful greenhouse gas for water utilities to reduce. It is 300 times more potent than CO2.  If net zero is the goal, everyone should be starting with N2O,” says José Porro, CEO and founder of Cobalt Water Global. “We are proud to be working with partners, Rennes Métropole and Pure Control, who understand the importance of reducing N2O and who are not afraid to take immediate climate action by incorporating the insights of our N2O Risk DSS platform.” 


“The partnership between Cobalt Water Global and Purecontrol is a major step forward in the fight against global warming,” said Geoffroy Maillard, CEO and co-founder of Purecontrol. “One of our main objectives is to help water managers significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The synergies provided by our solutions will therefore allow water authorities such as Rennes Métropole to achieve these objectives.”


“Rennes Métropole’s ambition is to halve its greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 2030,” says Boris Guégen, Director of Sanitation for Rennes Métropole. “The primary emission factor of a sanitation service is nitrous oxide produced in the aeration basins of wastewater treatment plants. It is therefore essential to act and for this, the disruptive technology proposed by Purecontrol and Cobalt Water Global seems to us the only solution in line with our ambitions.”


This innovative project, launched in October 2022, will be implemented at the Beaurade wastewater treatment plant (360,000 population equivalent). After a measurement phase of the real N2O emissions, the technology developed by Purecontrol will be used to control and optimize in real time the aeration systems of the biological reactors with respect to N2O emissions. This intelligent device will be effective from the beginning of 2023.


Rennes Métropole was recently awarded the IWA Climate Smart Utilities recognition program for its involvement and the relevance of its actions in the fight against global warming.

Download the full press release >


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