The ‘WaterReuse’ Project has been developed together with the National Technological Centre for the Food and Canning Industry Research Business Association (CTC), with which the INFO maintains a collaboration agreement.
The ‘WaterReuse’ project, fully developed in the Region of Murcia, has allowed us to design and build a prototype capable of cleansing wastewater from the chemical and food sectors. This initiative, registered in the European LIFE Programme with a budget of 1,680,000 euros, has been developed by the chemical company Destilerías Muñoz Gálvez in collaboration with the National Technological Centre for the Food and Canning Industry Research Business Association (CTC), integrated into the network of Technology Centres of the Region of Murcia and with which the Institute for the Promotion of the Region of Murcia maintains a collaboration agreement. The aim of this project, which ended on 30th September 2015 after a period of two years of work, has been the reuse of industrial wastewater after a treatment that eliminates contamination, does not generate sludge and minimises the carbon footprint thanks to the use of membrane technology, electrochemistry, and photocatalysis. Thus, the prototype developed under the ‘WaterReuse’ Project has the environmental advantage of not requiring the use of additives or chemical reagents nor adding new pollutants in the treatment process without producing other waste. The operation is automated by a control and data acquisition system that provides information about the process variables and allows to intervene in them at all times. In addition, the prototype generates hydrogen as a by-product, which can be used both as an environmentally sustainable energy vector as a chemical reagent. The carbon footprint of this treatment is non-existing thanks to the use of renewable energy from solar panels connected to the system and the hiring of electricity supply from renewable sources. The results prove the ability of ‘WaterReuse’ to completely remove both suspended solids and dissolved pollution, allowing the reuse of up to 95% of the processed water. The system is particularly effective against effluents which are difficult to treat with traditional biological methods, such as those in which toxic substances are present, and those with too high initial contamination or salinity. As a member of the network of technological centres assigned to the Institute for the Promotion of the Region of Murcia, the National Technological Centre for the Food and Canning Industry Research Business Association receives, on the former’s part, important support for the promotion of research, development and innovation projects like ‘WaterReuse’, an initiative that will be a breakthrough for the Murcian economy thanks to the importance that the chemical and food sectors have in the Region of Murcia.