A-CING participates in the project iMETland

11/ 2/2015

iMETland to develop a new generation of Microbial Electrochemical Wetlands for wastewater treatments

Unleashing the small community economies potential through innovative wastewater treatments technologies and standing ready for further replication and market uptake, iMETland was born locally but incorporates a global applicability potential. Innovation stands in the creation of a virtuous circle connecting water, energy, ICT and land resources, safeguarding the surrounding environment.

The project aims to construct and validate a full-scale application of an eco-friendly device to treat urban wastewater from small communities at zero-energy operation cost and generate pathogens-free water suitable for irrigation. Four different geographical locations, with very different climate conditions, will be the demonstration areas of the iMETland units: Mediterranean (Spain), North-Europe (Denmark), South-America (Argentina) and North-America (Mexico).

The concept comes from the integration of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies (MET) with the biofilter concept used in constructed wetlands. The combination of electroactive bacteria with innovative electroconductive material leads to outperformance of classical biofilters, resulting in 10-fold higher depuration rates than classical techniques.

The unique conversion of sewage treatment into electric current by electricity-producing bacteria makes such a process an internal reporter of the biological treatment. This can be used as output signal to control the process and can easily inform the operator through ICT tools, converting the depuration in an interactive process between device and a smart-phone in end-user´s hands.

iMETland try to fill the gap that was sharply identified by the programme topicWATER-1-2014/2015: Bridging the gap: from innovative water solutions to market replication.The proposed solution has already passed both research and pilot scale and is ready to try a full-scale demonstration to accelerate the market uptake. The multidisciplinary nature of iMETland makes it to fit well with the water and wastewater treatment priority of the EIPwater.

With a budget of 3.5 Million euro over three years, the project brings together European and international universities, research institutes and companies, with strong expertise and experience in the technological fields of wastewater treatments, microbial electrochemistry, ICT, carbon materials, but also on business development and communication. iMETland partners conveyed in Alcalá de Henares on 5th-6th of November to set up a collaborative workflow and kick off the first activities of the project.

iMETland has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement N.642190. The information reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained.

The consortium is led by Spanish IMDEA WATER and is composed by 11 partners from 4 different EU member states and two associated countries (Argentina and Mexico): Foundation CENTA, Aqua-Consult Ingenieros, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Piroeco Bioenergy (Spain); Aston University (United Kingdom): Aarhus Universitet and Kilian Water (Denkmark); the European research media center, youris.com (Belgium); INTEMA (Argentina) and IMTA (México).

The coordinator of iMETland consortium is also the coordinator of a recent ACTION GROUP at EIP-WATER called MEET-ME4WATER, Meeting Microbial Electrochemistry for Water. This AG focuses on overcoming the barriers to scaling up and demonstrating microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) for bringing them faster to the market.