The kick-off meeting of REWAISE- Resilient Water Innovation for Smart Economy took place on the past 9th and 10th of September and was held virtually due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic. REWAISE is a new H2020 funded project, led by FCC AQUALIA, with the participation of CETIM.
The project will last for 5 years and will be executed by an international consortium formed by 24 entities from 11 European countries, including big water utilities (AQUALIA, VA SYD, SEVERN TRENT WATER y AQUANET) that provide water services to more than 6 million people all over Europe. These entities are complemented by 8 innovative SMEs and 8 universities and research and innovation centres such as CETIM, as well as by the European Network of Living Labs.
The main objective of REWAISE is to create a new “smart water ecosystem”, to result in a carbon free, sustainable hydrological cycle, in line with the concept of a resilient circular economy, recovering energy, nutrients and materials from water.
REWAISE will reveal the full Value of Water, considering three key technical, economic and societal factors to generate:
– the value in water, by extracting and putting to beneficial use dissolved substances such as nutrients, minerals, chemicals and metals, as well as organic matter and energy, embedded in raw and used water streams.
– the value from water, that expresses the importance of water for economic activities and related businesses of the water sector, particularly SMEs.
– the value through water, considering the societal, health and well-being functions of water, as it enables almost all our economic activities, and most products have a significant water footprint: energy and transportation depend on it.
With the help of a network of 9 living labs, distributed all around Europe and grouped in 3 hubs across the main European climate zones (Mediterranean, Atlantic and Continental), REWAISE will demonstrate in real life operational environments the technological innovations and new water governance models achieved.
CETIM participates in REWAISE taking care of the development of the process for the obtention of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from organic matter recovered from waste water. PHA is a biodegradable polymer produced by microorganisms that presents mechanic properties similar to those of the typical thermoplastics such as PET or polypropylene. CETIM is also responsible for the design and construction of a pilot plant for the obtention of this polymer, as well as for the optimization of the process ensuring that it will be possible to reduce its costs.
Secondly, CETIM, in the framework of its research line on Critical Raw Materials (CRM), will conduct research on different electrochemical routes for the recovery of lithium from brines, including the design and construction of a functional prototype.
Furthermore, CETIM will lead the WP dedicated to the monitoring of the project’s KPIs, Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA), as well as risk analysis and vulnerabilities of water systems, regulatory risks and Life-Cost Analysis (LCC).
Together with the kick-off meeting the project launched its website: http://rewaise.eu. In this link the reader will find detailed information on the consortium, events, publications and the latest news related to the development of the project activities and results.
REWAISE is aligned with the new list of Critical Raw Materials
Last September the EU published the 4th List of Critical Raw Materials (CRM). The objective of this list is that of identifying the CRMs considered as fundamental for the Union’s economy as well as introducing the challenges related to the need of reaching a safe and sustainable supply of these materials. The EU document introduces as well the action directed at increasing the EU’s resilience and strategic open autonomy.
In this 4th List lithium, bauxite, titanium and strontium have been included as CRMs, while helium has been removed since its economic importance in the EU is lower currently. REWAISE is directly aligned with these new priorities. In particular, CETIM is responsible for the task related to the recovery of lithium from brine using innovative electrochemical technologies in the Mediterranean Hub, concretely in the Denia Lab. The aim of this task is the optimization of the process so that high recovery rates can be reached at a low energetic cost.