Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PURATREAT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 15449
Funded under: FP6-INCO
Country: Germany

Turning wastewater into useable water

New technology promises to transform wastewater into pollution-free and pathogen-free water suitable for agricultural and other uses.
Turning wastewater into useable water
With major water shortages in countries around the Mediterranean basin, some populations are being driven to reuse their wastewater without sufficient treatment. This has lead to a rise in pollution and diseases, requiring a new approach in wastewater treatment. This is also particularly important since innovative technology using membrane bioreactor technology (MBR) can be effective, yet very costly.

The EU-funded project 'New energy efficient approach to the operation of membrane bioreactors for decentralised wastewater treatment' (Puratreat) studied a new approach to operating membrane bioreactors. It compared three leading hollow membrane technologies in order to decrease energy consumption significantly and drive down maintenance costs.

In specific terms, the project examined the complex high pressure drop and high air-flushing rate of the different MBR systems to identify ways of reducing expenses. It then proposed new methods for decentralised wastewater treatment that enable the reuse of wastewater with much lower operational and maintenance costs. Puratreat then considered the factors necessary for this technology to work in peri-urban areas across the southern Mediterranean and in the Middle East.

Pilot membrane bioreactors were established to study and compare various membrane modules under different operating conditions. This allowed the project to work on identifying the most suitable technology for wastewater treatment requiring the least energy consumption and maintenance.

In order to disseminate its findings and build networking opportunities, Puratreat established a website with all the relevant information about the project and its objectives. The website also features a private area for the project partners for transfer of information.

At the very least, the project results and enhanced knowledge on the part of the project partners will allow different industry stakeholders to create a less costly system that can be easily installed in remote and underprivileged areas around the Mediterranean. The outcome will allow populations to boost agriculture, economy and wellbeing.

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