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CORDIS - Wyniki badań wspieranych przez UE



Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-08-01 do 2022-01-31

Steep increase in water consumption due to population growth, urbanisation, and industrialisation, has led to crisis in water resources. Providing adequate contaminant-free water supply for various usage and sanitation is a challenging task throughout the world. In India, contamination of water bodies with heavy metals and xenobiotic poses a serious threat to life. About 64,000 MLD of sewage is generated in India. Currently only 15-20% is treated, without 100% success. Contaminated water finds its way into fresh water sources increasing incidences of water borne diseases in the public. About 16 million such cases were recorded in 2017. This creates a huge burden on society in terms of health care costs and loss of workplace man hours. Water resources are becoming increasingly scarce and valuable, and many are in danger of being abandoned due to pollution. There is a clear need for water purification systems to produce potable water of good quality and quantity under conditions in India and in many other places around the world.

The principle aim of SPRING is to present an integrated water resource management system which is cost-effective, easy to replicate and install and can be deployed to provide reliable and safe water supply in rural or urban areas.

This will be achieved through:

1. Developing innovative, simple to operate, bio-oxidation systems for treating polluted water bodies (stagnant and flowing)
2. Creating cost-effect real-time monitoring tools
3. Implementing good practices in water planning for treatment, supply and usage.

SPRING targets improving and developing technologies for the elimination of water pollutants using a bioremediation approach employing novel microbial technological advances for removal and monitoring of organic micro-pollutants present in ground- and surface-water. The project will also develop real-time detection systems to identify pollutants’ risks and flooding/water shortage scenarios.
Despite disruption during RP1 and 2 with pandemic restrictions and funding delays in India, work has progressed well by adopting alternative approaches.

• Administrative issues proceeded to plan
• An Amendment Process was undertaken extending deliverables deadlines (all submitted)
• Site mapping/vulnerability tasks are complete
• Development/testing on the enzymatic production process, selection of enzymes, developing process and successful testing of a lab scale system
has been achieved
• A survey of the study area wastewater system for sewage blockages and current removal systems has been conducted. A technological solution is
in development
• Developing of online sensors, field testing of a robotic vehicle and laboratory-based modules for the system are on schedule. Integration of an
overall system is slightly delayed
• Collection of water/sludge samples from test sites has been challenging. Initial testing was carried out on samples from polluted European waters
• Transfer of samples from India to Europe was not possible. Initial testing was carried out in India. Full sample analysis for set-up of the sensory
system has delayed fine-tuning of the sensory platform
• First system testing has been successful concluded, with adaptations needed for on-site deployment
• Sludge Library establishment is started
• Development/lab testing of 2 designs of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) has been conducted.
• Workshops, seminars, and outreach activities for stakeholders/wider public have been held.
• A pilot Indo Nordic EU Water Forum (INEUWF) has been launched. As a sectoral industry support hub (activities, standards, best practice) it will
provide long-term self-sustaining dissemination, extension of project outcomes and delivery of resulting commercially viable product
• 1 patent application
• 3 journal publications
SPRING technological advancements include:

1. Identification of polluted sites and physicochemical analysis of water quality, and development of water health maps using geospatial techniques to provide the reference point to evaluate the efficacy of the developed bio-oxidation technology. TRL levels will improve from TRL3 to TRL6 or above.
2. Microbial profiling to identify the required enzyme producers by conventional and metagenomics approaches: strain improvement, production, and purification of the enzymes with increased stability and robustness. Currently, a complete process for production of hydroxyl radical producing enzymes, immobilization of the produced enzymes and packaging the enzymes into a suitable dispersal system is at TRL4 with proposed advance to TRL6.
3. Development of multi-analyte sensor for determination of pollutants in water. MFC-based sensors currently at TRL3 will be further developed. NIR-based sensory platforms for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) determination is developed at lab scale for integration into the complete sensory system (TRL4). Biosensors for some pollutants are available, others require development. By project end, a laboratory prototype of the MFC sensory system will be at TRL5. Biosensor, ready for field demonstration, will be at TRL6 to TRL7.
4. AUV for water quality monitoring with auxiliary system to support its operation. A robotic boat, with mounted sensors, will be developed and deployed to check water quality parameters. AUV system is available, the sensory platform is being developed together with the robotic actuation system, on-board control electronics and navigation systems. Current TRL is 3-4. The complete system will be TRL6 or above.
5. An autonomous bio-oxidation system to treat pollutants in wastewater. The self-operated system for treatment of polluted water bodies will be developed and demonstrated at pilot scale. Components and modules already exist at TRL3 or above. Technologies integration will achieve TRL6.

The impacts from the SPRING project are multiple:
• SPRING will sustainably enable water sector to meet EU and Indian drinking water criteria
• Water resources already, or in danger of being, abandoned, due to pollution, can be brought back into use with safe, clean, water
• The fast-acting technology can be applied in many different situations of water pollution. Preliminary investigations have shown that
pollutants are degraded within 3 to 4 hours. No dedicated land usage, skilled manpower, fuel or power is required for implementing the
technology which is scalable and has low operational costs (50% of conventional water treatment costs). With no toxic residues, possible to
integrate into almost any water system for wastewater, the technology will enable reuse and conservation of water and reduce water borne
• Direct impact on the lives of more than 0.6-0.8 billion people in India alone improving consumer health, quality of life and livelihoods
• Reductions in water borne diseases (16 million cases recorded in 2017) to less than 0.16 million has huge financial benefits. Reduced illness
can save 73 million man-hours and generate 1 BN Rupees of cost savings alone
• Decontamination from micro-pollutants contributes to the implementation of the Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC) and to the
Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP)
• The technology can be deployed in emergency or natural disaster situations to ensure clean and safe use of water resources
Image depicting the essential elements of Integrated Water Resource Management