Technological Centre


Unidad Mixta de Investigación (UMI) AQUATIM Futuro sostenible a través de un ciclo del agua circular, eficiente, seguro y resiliente


Sustainable future through a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle.






UMI AQUATIM general objective is to respond to the current challenges of society, through the study and implementation of new technologies throughout the entire water cycle, through innovation, the development of new models of circular economy and digitization to obtain new sources of green energy (H2 and biogas), new natural resources and their efficient use (nutrients, metals and water). Likewise, the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity through nature-based solutions (NBS), the development of new digital technologies (sensors, traceability, models and predictive systems) and the introduction of improvement actions to ensure quality are included. of the water masses.

To achieve this objective, AQUATIM includes the following 6 lines of research:

● Green hydrogen from water as a key element towards decarbonization
● NBS and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs) for the efficient management of the water cycle and adaptation to climate change
● Circular economy of water for sustainable resource efficiency
● Quality of water bodies to guarantee their safe use and the protection of ecosystems
● Digitization of the integral water cycle
● Integration and validation of technologies


FILE: IN853A2022/05




GRANT: 800,806.61



The investigations carried out over the last two years, has enabled progress to be made on the project’s objectives for obtaining green H2, developing Nature-based solutions, applying the principles of circular economy to the water cycle, guaranteeing the quality of water bodies and digitising the water cycle.

In relation to obtaining green H2, waste with potential as raw material in the dark fermentation process has been identified, characterised and selected. With the selected waste, batch tests have been carried out with different mixtures of co-digestion with sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in order to identify the mixtures that have a synergistic effect. In addition, the key operating parameters of other technologies such as microbial electrolysis and electrolysis have been investigated.

In the retention of pollutants, the capacity of adsorbents from Galician by-products and waste (oyster shell and chicken droppings biochar) has been studied for the removal of heavy metals and nitrates and their future implementation in SbN. Similarly, other types of natural adsorbent materials (zeolite and coconut fibre) with the capacity to recover nutrients present in wastewater have been studied. The application of membrane technologies, such as ultrafiltration for the recovery of nutrients when treating wastewater has also been investigated. In addition, a study has been carried out on the key parameters of electrodeposition for the recovery of high-value metals from wastewater.

Water quality has also been evaluated in relation to the presence of microplastics, emerging pollutants and antibiotic resistant bacteria in wastewater from different wastewater treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants and natural waters (river).

Finally, with regard to the digitisation of the integral water cycle, a blockchain system has been developed for the control of materials, as well as a preliminary design of a sensor for the determination of emerging contaminants.


The actions carried out by the Unidad Mixta de Investigación “AQUATIM” are subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency (Xunta de Galicia) within the framework of the 2022 call for the Unidad Mixta de Investigación Program, co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) – Galicia Operational Programme FEDER 2021-2027.






Air and Water Treatment, Biorefineries and New Value Chains, CETIM, Cetim Projects, Digital Industry, ECO BIO Technologies, Internet of Things