These researches, financed by European Union programs Horizon2020 and LIFE, involve an investment mobilization of around € 25 million.
Among the benefits for society are from reducing the importation of critical raw materials to optimizing water treatment systems.
Culleredo, May 27, 2019. Since its beginnings in 2011, CETIM has collaborated, and led, international projects with objectives such as improving water quality or revalorizate by-products; as well as mitigate, through innovation in processes and technologies, human activity footprint on the planet. With a defined strategy and committed to encouraging the circular economy, only in 2018, the Technological Centre achieved five top-level European projects totalling a total budget of almost € 25 million. In all cases, the research is financed by the LIFE and Horizon 2020 programs, the financial instruments of the European Union to contribute to sustainable development, the environment and research and innovation.
Specifically, it is about BIORECOVER, through which the recovery of critical raw materials from waste will be investigated; INDIA-H20 and LIFE GREENSEWER for sustainable wastewater treatment; LIFE REFOREST for regeneration of burned soils; and LIBERATE for revaluation of byproducts of the paper industry such as lignin.
In all cases, the results will be tangible for society. These benefits include reducing the import of critical raw materials, more efficient control of wastewater treatment systems, reducing energy consumption in the treatment and management of water, reducing the discharges of pollutants and emerging pathogens, or the protection of biodiversity and the natural environment.
The technological research is coordinated from Spain by CETIM, collaborating with 13 other companies, technological centres and leading universities around the world. It focuses on the bioremediation of rare earths, magnesium and platinum group metals from different waste sources. One of the challenges is to achieve “zero waste”. It is the last of the Horizon 2020 achieved by the Technology Centre.
It is a project that, integrated by an international consortium, focuses on the one hand on the development of phyto and biomimetic technologies for the purification and recycling of water at low cost. On the other, in the definition of the construction of the two pilot systems for the treatment of saline groundwater and industrial wastewater.
LIBERATE‘s main objective is the development of an electrochemical flow reactor for the extraction of vanillin and oligomers of lignin. In the project, the life cycle analysis will be carried out to quantify the environmental impact of the different approaches developed in the project, comparing them with current technologies.
LIFE GREENSEWER’s project goal is to design and test a new secondary wastewater treatment system based on a direct-indirect osmosis integration with an anaerobic membrane bioreactor. In addition to treating wastewater, simultaneously recovering resources will be achieved, in line with the Strategic Plan for Circular Economy of the European Commission, obtaining biogas, nutrients and water for reuse. CETIM is the leader of the project.
LIFE REFOREST’s cross-border consortium (Galicia-Portugal) led by CETIM aims to demonstrate a new strategy to mitigate the loss of soil associated with episodes after fires in forest areas by applying a technosuelo based on organic waste inoculated with fungal species (micotecnosols) ). The goal is to prevent soil erosion and increase the natural regeneration of burned areas.