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AQUACAT Informe resumido

Project ID: ICA3-CT-2002-10016
Financiado con arreglo a: FP5-INCO 2
País: Spain

Engineering of final experimental solar reactor system

During the AQUACAT project recent advances in solar water treatment (disinfection & decontamination) were confirmed and improved by using TiO2 and Ru(II) complexes as fixed catalyst. Ru(II) complexes are used as an alternative to chlorination or pasteurisation for potable water conditioning, meanwhile TiO2 photocatalyst is used as an unique way for oxidation of organic matter pollution dissolved in drinking water. Our firm has designed a new solar system for water treatment by coupling the contribution and research work of all partners (catalyst supporting, optics, disinfection and decontamination tests, handling recommendations, etc.) and the final result was a simple and robust equipment completely driven by solar energy.

This equipment is able to produce potable water from polluted surface waters or wells in remote regions where no tap water and/or electricity are available. Also its design makes it an useful equipment for Scientists and Researchers working on water treatment issues. As a result of all these works our firm has got an important experience and skilled personnel in the engineering design of solar reactors for the use in different fields as disinfection, decontamination, wastewater treatment, fine chemical reactions and also in the design of new equipment for other solar topics as water heating.

UCM: Two models of CPC solar photocatalytic collectors have been received from AOSOL (coaxial and fin-type). Both collectors included the TiO2 paper, that was exchanged for the photosensitizing material prepared at UCM to test the effect of singlet oxygen on bacterial disinfection). The supporting units and all the necessary equipment were constructed and assembled by UCM, in order to set up the solar demonstrator reactors. The layout of the units is according to the plans provided by ECOSYSTEM, with slight modifications.

From the engineering point of view, both systems operate in closed circulating batch mode, for the batch treatment of up to 30 L of water. Each unit consists of (a) a storage tank (with vent hole), (b) CPC collector unit (coaxial: 4 out of 5 tubes with photosensitizing material; fin-type: 5 out of 7 tubes containing photosensitizing material), (c) pump, (d) radiometer, (e) 2 thermocouples (water inlet & outlet) and datalog, (f) PVC piping and valves and (g) stainless steel frame.

After their construction and assembling, the prototypes had been tested by UCM for bacterial disinfection of potable water (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis at 100 and 10000 CFU/mL initial concentrations, respectively). Bacterial inactivation (reduction of the initial concentration by 2-3 orders of magnitude) has been achieved with an accumulated energy of 0.8 MJ/m2L in the visible region (350-700 nm) with both collector models and types of bacteria, although the fin-type collector seems to be more efficient.

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