Currently, LEQUIA participates in 6 European collaborative RDI projects: 1 project funded under call Water 2014-2015 of Horizon 2020 (INNOQUA), 1 Marie Curie European Industrial Doctorate network (TreatRec), 3 projects of the Environment program of VIIFP (ManureEcoMine, DemEaumed and R3-Water) and 1 project funded under Water JPI WaterWorks 2014 call (Watintech). Additionally, the group hosts 3 postdoctoral fellowships funded under the Marie Curie COFUND program “TECNIOSPRING”: REUCITY, SSAMBRA and OMBREUSE.
Six collaborative research projects
LEQUIA is one of the 3 research groups of that University of Girona that will take part in INNOQUA, a European project aimed at developing and implementing wastewater treatment solutions for rural communities. INNOQUA will develop an eco-efficient and sustainable sanitation system based on two biological treatments: lumbrifiltration with earthworms and filtration-purification by Daphnia, a planktonic crustacean. The system can be complemented with radiation treatment with solar or UV light in order to increase water quality for its further reuse. This 4-years project will start in June 2016 and involves European and Latin American countries.
In May 2016 the Kick Off meeting of another EU project within the water field, WATINTECH, was hold in Girona. The project proposes a combination of concepts of sewer mining with urban run-off treatment in decentralized treatment facilities to enhance the recovery of valuable resources including water, methane (heat, energy) and value-added chemicals. WATINTECH is funded through Water JPI WaterWorks2014 call and is coordinated by Prof Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda. LEQUIA takes part in it through its strategic alliance with the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA).
TreatRec is a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) network funded by Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions program of Horizon 2020. The project involves two academic partners (ICRA and UdG) and two non-academic partners (ATKINS and AQUAFIN) with a clear aim of producing a group of young researchers capable of conducting high quality research, but also able to address industrial and societal needs and implement wastewater-related directives in practice. In order to reach this ambitious goal, 5 PhD research projects on key wastewater treatment challenges such as nutrient recovery or microcontaminants removal are being developed.
Coordinated by University of Ghent, ManureEcoMine proposes an integrated approach to the treatment and reuse of animal husbandry waste in nitrate vulnerable and sensitive areas and beyond. Anaerobic digestion (mesophilic/thermophilic), ammonia stripping, struvite precipitation and partial nitritation/anammox will be key tecnologies to recover and valorise nutrients from pigs and cows manure. The project started in November 2013 and will be finalized in October 2016. Recently, the manure processing pilot plant could be visited in one open day activity in a farm in Calldetenes (Barcelona).
DemEAUmed and R3-Water were also initiated in November 2013 and are funded through the WATER-INNO&DEMO call of EC VII Framework program. LEQUIA participates in both projects through its strategic alliance with research center ICRA. The aim of demEAUmed is the involvement of industry representatives, stakeholders, policy-makers and diverse technical and scientific experts in demonstrating and promoting innovative technologies, for an optimal and safe closed water cycle in Euro-Mediterranean tourist facilities, leading to their eventual market uptake. By contrast, R3-Water aims at demonstrating solutions that support the transition from a treatment plant for urban wastewater to a production unit of different valuables.
Three postdoctoral fellowships through the Marie Curie COFUND TECNIOSPRING programme
LEQUIA is currently host of three Marie Curie fellowships. Dr Natasa Atanasova (project REUCITY) investigates new tools and technologies for decentralized treatment of urban grey water, Dr Hèctor Monclús (project SSAMBRA) is adapting an automatic control system for membranes to treat surface waters and industrial wastewaters, and Dr Gaetan Blandin (project OMBREUSE) seeks to optimize osmotic membrane bioreactors to produce drinking water from wastewater.
The three projects have been awarded with a TECNIOSPRING grant. TECNIOSPRING is a program launched by ACCIO and co-funded by the European Union to foster the mobility of experienced researchers carrying out an applied research and technology transfer project in a TECNIO centre in Catalonia.