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Wastewater as a resource

The Environmental Engineering area at CEIT is participating in the NOVEDAR_Consolider project, whose focus is on a new conception of sewage treatment plants

CONSOLIDER is a research programme created by the Ministry of Science and Innovation to finance the activity undertaken by high-level research teams that leads to major advances in knowledge and includes technology transfer in its output. CONSOLIDER projects, therefore, are carried out in a framework that fosters excellence in research. The Environmental Engineering area at CEIT is one of the research teams chosen to participate in the NOVEDAR_Consolider project "Conception of the Sewage Treatment Plant of the 21st Century". The goal of this ambitious project, which began in 2008 and will end next year, is to develop a new conception of sewage treatment plants (STPs). In NOVEDAR_Consolider's view, effluents that are present in wastewater, which is produced continually and in great quantities in urban areas, are an abundant resource which, when properly treated, can become the source for exciting products such as reclaimed water for irrigation, organic compost for agriculture, nutrients for fertilizers and energy in the form of methane, all of which is possible with the proper use of modern STPs. In order to successfully reach the project's ambitious goal, a multidisciplinary research team made up of eight Spanish universities, two Dutch universities and CEIT was formed. The university groups are contributing their vast knowledge to each of the different technologies that can be used in the treatment of wastewater. CEIT, meanwhile, is in charge of the mathematical modelling for each technology and the integrated simulation of the various solutions put forward as part of the "Sewage Treatment Plant of the 21st Century", carrying out comparative analyses of the efficiency of each alternative and selecting the best solutions for each scenario under study. In addition to the work described above, the NOVEDAR_Consolider project has a long list of complementary activities, such as exchange programmes for researchers in the consortium, training programmes for companies and workshops focusing on the dissemination and transfer of technology.

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