Technological Centre

CETIM presents to the market sustainable commercial solutions to solve environmental problems in the dairy, forestry and water treatment sectors

This morning three webinars have been organized to present the results of the Conecta PEME BIOPOL, BIOCHARMB, and DEGRADE projects.

 

The circular economy is the common thread that connects the three R&D researches participated by CETIM Centro Tecnológico.

 

Culleredo, February 25, 2021. “Circular economy is a cross-cutting and backbone axis with growing importance that we have witnessed directly, and protagonists, in recent years,” explained Adrián Prol, Business Development technician at CETIM Centro Tecnológico.

 

The defense of the importance of this new production model for companies in particular, and for our quality of life and economy in general, marked the beginning of three webinars organized this morning by CETIM to present the results of three research projects in the who has participated. These are the three Conecta PEME of the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN), BIOPOL, BIOCHARMB and DEGRADE.

 

The circular economy has been the common thread that connects the three investigations, but also some promising results that point to the use of more environmentally and economically sustainable and efficient methods and technologies as alternatives to conventional ones and that will allow their application on an industrial scale. In all cases, they are also R + D + i proposals that provide solutions to environmental problems generated by industries of great importance in Galicia such as dairy, forestry or the treatment of water or gases in waste dumps.

 

BIOPOL objective has been to transform dairy waste into plastics of organic origin with high degradability for cosmetic applications. After evaluating the viability of the replacement, as well as its introduction into a product and its preservation over time, the properties of these biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) have been shown to be suitable.

 

Galicia is the eighth region in the EU that produces milk, the first at the state level, in addition to the fact that half of the country’s active ranchers are concentrated in our community. Consequently, the volume of dairy waste produced is also very high. For example, a single kilo of cheese generates 9 of whey which, until now, was not being used and transformed into other value-added products.

 

Through BIOCHARMB, it has been shown that biochar obtained from forest biomass -finally from pine chips-, is an effective natural origin adsorbent for wastewater and gases in landfills. The validation of the pilots was carried out at the Malpica WWTP, due to its water having a higher concentration of metals and emerging pollutants, and at the Sobrado dos Monxes Waste Treatment Centre. In the early research phases, and as a preliminary step, a pilot pyrolysis plant suitable for all types of biomass was built.

 

Currently, the use of biochar is increasing, especially in the US, and there are up to 55 different applications registered. Its greatest application is in sectors such as agriculture (80%) followed by water treatment. In this context, the results of this research would be in line with the demand and need of the market.

 

 

Last webinar was dedicated to presenting the results of DEGRADE. Based on a photoelectrocatalysis process with copper (Cu) nanoclusters and a new UV-LEDs luminaire, a new treatment system for WWTPs has been obtained that increases the removal rate of emerging pollutants up to 80%. That is, 4 times more degradation than current procedures.

 

Emerging pollutants (microplastics, pesticides, drugs, illegal drugs, health products, endocrine or hormonal disruptors, …) are a growing and serious health and environmental problem that the technology available in WWTPs is not prepared to treat and eliminate so that do not reach rivers and seas. The new R & D & I solution proposed by DEGRADE is postulated as an effective alternative to replace current treatment plant technologies (adsorbents, membrane technologies or advanced oxidation processes) with these photocatalysts based on nanoclusters on a conductive material.

 

The three projects are subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency within the framework of the 2018 call for the CONECTA PYME Program and are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).