ACCIONA is one of the companies participating in the “Water Mining” European project, an initiative funded by the European Commission that sets out to identify innovative solutions to transform conventional wastewater and seawater treatment systems into processes that recover resources, in a clear alignment with the principles of the Circular Economy.
On April 14th, the European Commission ratified its commitment to invest 17 million euros in the “Water Mining” project, coordinated by the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). Thirty-eight companies and research centre from 12 European countries are participating in the project.
The project, which will start in September 2020, will have demonstration sites in Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands to test innovate and efficient treatment systems, not just with the aim of obtaining high-quality water from wastewater and seawater but also extracting nutrients, minerals and energy from them.
“Specifically, ACCIONA will have an active role in the development of a solution to recover carbon from wastewater in the form of a biopolymer, a compound that has applications in a wide range of sectors such as textiles, construction or medicine”, explains María del Mar Micó, a researcher in the R&D+i Department of ACCIONA’s Water Division who is heading the project in the company. “The project also aims to develop business models that will allow the concept of the Circular Economy and the recovery of resources through water treatment to become a reality”.
A particular feature of this project is that that it will exploit synergies from a wide range of sectors and technologies, including the participation of museums or the use of augmented reality to boost the dissemination of the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the project. Through the combined efforts of the members of the consortium, it is expected that the “Water Mining” project will provide an example for the social integration of innovative solutions in a wide range of technological applications.