LEQUIA research group develops a new BioElectrochemical system (BES) to treat groundwater polluted with different nitrate levels

The technology, which has led to the submission of a European patent and papers in international high impact journals, is based on the capacity of certain bacteria to reduce nitrates.

A team of researchers of LEQUIA led by Dr. Jesús Colprim has developed a system able to treat groundwater polluted with different nitrate levels, at low energy cost and without producing additional waste products. The technology has led to the submission of a European patent and the publication of papers in international high impact scientific journals such as Environmental Science and Technology and Bioresource Technology. It is based on the capacity of some bacteria to reduce nitrates to nitrogen gas.

Main innovations are working with exoelectric (electrically active) bacteria, so that it is not necessary to add organic matter, and adjusting the electrode potential with an electronic device (a potentiostat) fed with a photovoltaic panel. This allows solving the main limitation of such systems: treating groundwater polluted with different nitrate levels at a reasonable cost.

The technology is applicable to both groundwater and wastewater, and it can be developed at industrial scale. Tests were carried out with groundwater from wells in the town of Navata (Alt Empordà, Girona): waters with nitrate levels higher than 150 mg/l were successfully treated.

Additional Info

  • Date: 2013-03-13

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Laboratory of Chemical and Enviromental Engineering

Institut de Medi Ambient
Universitat de Girona
Campus Montilivi
17003 Girona

Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la UdG
Edifici Jaume Casademont, Porta B
Pic de Peguera, 15
17003 Girona
Tel. +34 972 41 98 59
info@lequia.udg.cat

 

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