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Development of new materials and processes for water treatment

The SMYRNA project seeks to unite technological synergies and capabilities to keep Basque industry competitive in the field of water treatment.

The GAIKER Technology Centre, member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, is participating in the "New materials and processes in physicochemical water treatment, SMYRNA” project.

The aim of this project is to bring together technological synergies and complementary capabilities among the six entities participating in the proposal for the development of new advanced materials and processes in the field of water treatment. The aim is to relaunch Basque industry through the development of new materials and processes in physicochemical treatment technologies.

The new regulations on water treatment foster the re-use and efficiency in the use of water in industrial processes. In the coming years, this will require the adaptation of these processes in terms of water saving through re-use and resource recovery of critical materials, biomaterials derived from sewage sludge and energy generated from biogas. There is a need to move from a concept of treatment for landfill to a concept of treatment for re-use, which leads to the need to address the following challenges:
•    Develop new materials to increase the efficiency of existing water treatment processes.
•    Eliminate emerging compounds present in the water and which may pose risks to the environment or to health.
•    Guarantee the sanitary quality of treated water
•    Increase the energy efficiency of the processes while facilitating the recovery of value-added compounds in liquid streams.

Facing these challenges means addressing them with a vision of sustainability, adopting technologies that reduce the use of chemical compounds and energy.

The SMYRNA project seeks to address these challenges and to do so, it proposes different strategic lines, such as the development of materials for their incorporation in water treatment systems and the development of new water treatment schemes for the elimination of compounds of emerging concern (CEC), pathogens and for the recovery of materials.

Funded by the Basque Government as part of the Elkartek collaborative research grant programme, the SMYRNA project will conclude at the end of this year. GAIKER, as an expert in advanced physicochemical treatment systems and water re-use technologies, will be responsible for developing new materials for the filtration and treatment of water by means of additive manufacturing and membrane modification and for testing and validating the materials developed. On the other hand, it will evaluate different treatments of emerging pollutants by means of advanced oxidation, adsorption and membrane separation processes. It will also carry out different water disinfection systems and assess their toxicity. Finally, it will collaborate in the simulation and modelling of the different innovative water treatment processes evaluated.

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