A Spanish non-profit private technological centre has a large trajectory in international cooperation. The centre has coordinated 19 of the total 43 participated European projects from FP4 to Horizon 2020 including LIFE and ECO-Innovation programs. The main R&D fields where the centre develops its activities are nanotechnology, new materials and advanced-environment technologies.
The centre has a deep background in wastewater treatment (WWT) from different sources: industrial wastewater (from different market sector and specific pollutants) as well as urban wastewater (including agrofood effluents, wineries…). In this way, the centre can provide different technologies and approaches for increasing the recycling and reuse of water such as:
- Protection of wastewater infrastructures to corrosion and soiling/fouling: salty water and reuse of water with high aggressive components such as acids or bases suppose a limitation for some equipment such as pipes, tanks, etc., which can have corrosion problems. Although paints and coatings exist, these are not highly durable, more specifically when water contains other abrasion agents that reduce the durability of such coatings. Summed to that, soil and fouling also represent operation problems in equipment. In this way, it has developed anticorrosion solutions based on inorganic nanocoatings and antifouling/non-stick nanocoating technology. This technology can be applied to very different substrates such as metal, plastics, ceramics, etc.
- Reduction of biofilm growth in wastewater tanks: summed to antifouling technology, the centre has expertise in the design, production and testing of antibacterial and antifungal effects based on nanoadditives in-house developed. It has been working in the integration and combination of antifouling and hydrophobic effects with antibacterial ones in coatings and has experience with different matrices such as organic (paints) or inorganic ones.
- Development of new advanced materials for pollutants removal: the centre counts with expertise in synthesis, modification and testing of new advanced materials for specific pollutants removal such as:
1) metal and metal oxide nanoparticles. Different typologies of nanoparticles can be synthesized at lab and pilot scale in the centre. This includes nanomaterials with adsorption capacity, photocatalytic performance or antibacterial/disinfection properties to remove different contaminants such as heavy metals like Cr, Pb, Cd, etc., organic contaminants such as dyes or microbials. High rates of pollutants removal (96-98%) even in lower concentrations of pollutants in different wastewater streams had been tested with the functionalized materials synthesized.
2) Elastomeric material for removal of hydrocarbons, fats and oils. New material formulation has been developed and can be synthesized at laboratory scale and pilot scale. Removal rates of 50 % have been obtained in continuous performance of an own design gadget tested in different waste water streams of agroindustrial sector.
3) Development of multifunctional nanoresins for combined removal of heavy metals and organic pollutants.
The technology centre is offering its expertise in order to form a consortium with research technology development performers (RTDs), industries and SMEs related to a range of activities related to WWT and reuse in the context of H2020 calls such as the topic CE-SPIRE-07-2020: Preserving fresh water: recycling industrial waters industry.