The WATINTECH project: Re-use of waste from water treatment processes

The WATINTECH project, in which ACCIONA is participating together with technology centers and European universities, has won the ‘Best Research Project 2016’ award at the IWater Show in Barcelona. The project will convert waste from treatment processes into products that can be used as corrosion inhibitors and odor neutralizers in wastewater networks, for the generation of energy for self-consumption by plants, and to increase the amount of treated water that can be re-used.

The European innovation project Watintech, in which ACCIONA Agua is taking part, will enable waste generated in treatment processes to be converted into useful products to neutralize odors and avoid corrosion in sanitation networks, and also to obtain energy for self-consumption of plants. In addition, the technology implemented will make it possible to increase the amount of treated water that can be re-used for agricultural or industrial purposes.

The Watintech project won an award at the IWater Salon in Barcelona in the category of Best Research Project for its potential to improve the efficiency of treatment processes, in both economic and environmental terms.

The project involves the use of direct osmosis membranes for the filtering of wastewater; this increases the percentage of treated water suitable for re-use. The remaining water, containing high concentrations of waste, will be processed in an anaerobic digester where it will generate up to four times more biogas than a standard treatment system. The gas will then be used to generate power for self-consumption by the treatment plant.

The by-products of this process will also be re-used. Due to their chemical composition, they can be used as odor neutralizers and corrosion inhibitors in the sanitation network itself. The project has been designed to work in a ‘decentralized’ way, as it uses technologies that can also be incorporated into small and medium-sized plants located near points where water is re-used (industrial or intensive agriculture facilities, for example).

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Article published in: FuturENVIRO #35 November 2016