Technological Centre

CETIM’s expertise in the LIFE program

From CETIM we know the LIFE programme perfectly, due to our experience as coordinators and participants in the call throughout our trajectory. Today we want you to know in detail the activity of CETIM aligned with several of the themes of the LIFE programme. Remember that to participate in these calls you must submit your initiatives until 6th September 2023 at the latest.

Circular Economy, resources from Waste, Air, Noise, Chemicals and New Bauhaus.

1.Recovery of resources from waste:

    • Resource recovery from electronic waste (WEEE).
    • Treatment of waste from the automotive industry (black mass, ELVs).
    • Recovery of plastics by physical and chemical recycling.
    • Use of digital tools for the management and traceability of construction waste.
    • Development of technologies for the recovery of construction waste.
    • Recovery of packaging elements and obtaining advanced materials such as nanocellulose and lignin.
    • Recovery of water resources by electrochemical and membrane technologies.
    • Recovery of critical raw materials (CRM) by biotechnological means.
    • Obtaining biogas and hydrogen from waste.


CETIM is a multi-sectoral centre that deals with resource recovery and has equipment adapted to all its research areas: ECO BIO Technologies, Advanced Materials and Digital Industry.

Among the research we carry out in the ECO BIO Technologies area are the analysis of certain microorganisms to obtain biogas and hydrogen from waste or the development of biotechnology for the recovery of critical raw materials. An example that endorses us in this field is our H2020 BIORECOVER project, which investigates the selective recovery of critical raw materials present in primary and secondary sources in a sustainable and innovative way.

In the Digital Industry area, we develop the most disruptive technological systems for the recovery of water resources and the elimination of pollutants, and we use blockchain and Digital Twins systems for traceability and optimization of recycling processes. This area is developing projects such as HORIZON EUROPE GIGAGREEN, in which a digital twin has been designed that enables the industrial scaling of manufacturing processes for electrodes and components for electrochemical cells, seeking the least environmental impact and energy consumption.

LIFE ULISES is another example of our projects in this area, for which innovative technologies have been developed to produce valuable resources such as vehicle biofuel, agricultural biofertilizers and water suitable for reuse from wastewater.

Pilot equipment installed in water treatment plant for LIFE ULISES project.


2.Circular economy and waste:

    • Implementation of the Safe & Sustainable by Design (SSbD) framework.
    • Degradability and recycling studies.
    • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA/LCC, s-LCA).


An example of the work carried out by CETIM in this area is reflected through the H2020 SUNRISE project, where multisensor sorting technologies are investigated in a circular economy approach for the efficient recycling of PVB interlayer material in high quality laminated glass construction products and demolition waste. Specifically, for this project from CETIM we carried out the Life Cycle Analysis to assess the environmental impacts of a product or service during all stages of its existence: extraction, production, distribution, use and end of life (reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal/disposal of waste/disposal of waste).


3.Air quality and emission reduction: membrane systems.

In this field, we are leading the LIFE GREEN SEWER project, through which we are implementing a new secondary wastewater treatment at pilot scale, suitable for both municipal and industrial effluents. The initiative consists of the novel integration of direct-indirect osmosis technologies with an anaerobic membrane bioreactor. With this system, we can obtain resources such as biogas, nutrients and water for reuse in water treatment plants.

LIFE ULISES is another example of the development of membrane systems that allow the recovery of valuable resources present in wastewater, such as agricultural biofertilisers and water suitable for reuse.


4.Water: innovative water treatment systems based on oxidation processes, membrane technologies, biological treatments, electrochemical treatments, absorption/desorption technologies and nature-based solutions (NBS).

This is the theme with more presence in CETIM, since most of the European projects that we develop and coordinate are related to the water sector and its recovery. An example of this is the LIFE GREEN SEWER project we are leading, in which we are developing and validating a new system for secondary treatment of wastewater, allowing, at the same time, the recovery of energy and resources and reducing the presence of pollutants, costs and energy consumption. The initiative has already achieved initial successful results, achieving the reuse of wastewater suitable for agricultural irrigation. The same system is currently being tested under completely different atmospheric conditions in order to reach conclusive results.

LIFE GREEN SEWER pilot plant.

Other research projects in this field are: LIFE ULISES, LIFE PHOENIX or LIFE DRAIN RAIN. All of them are focused on water recovery for reuse.


5.Soil: environmental remediation technologies for soil recovery (mycotechnosols, nutrient recovery, obtaining biofertilisers, etc.).

In the LIFE REFOREST project, we have worked for the prevention of erosion and the reforestation of the flora of burnt forest areas, through an innovative solution of fungi and technosols. The project has achieved successful results, which you can consult here.


6.Chemicals: technologies for the prevention and elimination of pollutants (PFAs, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, etc.), adsorbent materials, selective materials, molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs), nanofiltration, etc.

As mentioned above, CETIM’s Digital Industry area works with Artificial Intelligence technologies to design advanced data analysis and automatic learning algorithms. Thus, with the implementation of the necessary code and its integration in applications, it is possible to recognise images, develop predictive systems or decision support systems.

Examples of these technologies are our ESENCE and FIBERCLEAN projects. In the first case, photonic techniques are implemented for the continuous detection and monitoring of drugs, pesticides and narcotics in wastewater from WWTP. In the second case, the FIBERCLEAN project investigates the detection of microfibres in water through image recognition techniques, based on AI algorithms, image recognition and artificial vision systems.


7. New European Bauhaus:

  • Sustainable building materials, bio-based materials with insulating properties, low-carbon concrete formulations from waste, etc.
  • Nature-based solutions applied to the construction of facades and green roofs.

CETIM’s Advanced Materials area has specific laboratories for the development of research in the field of sustainable construction. In them, we develop new binders, alkaline mortars and concretes or geopolymers from waste and by-products with differential properties and lower carbon footprint. We also use 3D printing moulding methodologies. In this line, we participate in projects such as KEOPS, which seeks geopolymeric cementitious solutions of integral sustainability and high added value from construction waste.


Support yourself in a technological centre of reference in R+D+i like ours:


For more information on CETIM’s LIFE projects you can visit the official websites:






You can also visit all our national and international projects HERE.