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bIo-mimetic and phyto-techNologies DesIgned for low-cost purficAtion and recycling of water

Project description

Cleaning wastewater through osmosis

Used in nature for a long time – by plants, trees and human cells – forward osmosis is today considered a promising technology for wastewater treatment. It involves the transport of water molecules across a semi-permeable membrane. The EU-funded INDIA-H20 project will develop and demonstrate novel batch-reverse osmosis technology for high-recovery, low-cost water treatment. For rural domestic water treatment, the new system will remove salinity and emerging pollutants like agricultural chemicals. For industrial wastewater in textile, desalination and dairy, the project will develop a cost-effective hybrid technology for recycling with minimum liquid discharge. The project will test its technologies in India’s arid state of Gujarat where surface water resources are scarce. Policy briefs on economic models and governance agreements will be disseminated.


INDIA-H20 will develop, design and demonstrate high-recovery, low-cost water treatment systems for saline groundwater and industrial wastewaters. The focus for developments will be in the arid state of Gujarat, where surface water resources are very scarce. We will develop novel batch-reverse osmosis technology for a 10-fold reduction in specific energy consumption with high fractions of water recovery (80%) reducing /m3 operating costs to below €0.35/m3 (<30 rupees/m3). Forward osmosis will be developed and piloted for use in wastewater recovery applications including hybrid arrangements with reverse osmosis for further reduction in energy consumption. These solutions will be demonstrated in small-scale rurally relevant low-cost systems for brackish groundwater treatment for use as safe drinking water, which will be extended to include phyto-technology solutions for rural domestic wastewater treatment. Systems will remove salinity and emerging pollutants (e.g. agricultural chemicals), valorise rejected brines in halophytic crop cultivation. For specific industrial wastewater in textile, desalination and dairy we will develop and demonstrate cost-effective high-efficiency hybrid technologies for water recycling with minimum liquid discharge, using advanced membrane technologies to achieve the required water quality for recycling. A centre of excellence will be established in water treatment membrane technologies, design operation and monitoring. Activities such as supply chain mapping and EU India collaboration on developing industrial scale forward osmosis membranes and batch-RO systems will support the development of business models to exploit the developed solutions to mutual EU/India economic advantage. We will analyse and produce policy briefs on economic models and governance arrangements for viable adoption of the developed systems.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 657 859,50
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 64 103,00

Participants (20)