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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

Useful Wastes: Brine transformation to circular economy

Nowadays, many sectors of the industry need high quality water. For this reason industries (chemistry, pharma, food industry, etc) apply reverse osmosis to the running water, wasting more of 30% from this water due to the dumping limit. Also they produce brines that salinize water courses causing environmental problems.

Developed by Useful Wastes

The Useful Wastes innovation is a physical-chemical treatment that treats the brines, producing up to 80% more fresh water and transforming the rest into a product for use in the industry itself. The product generated is NaOCl (bleach) at 1%. This NaOCl is safe, clean, useful and enough to kill microorganisms.

TRL6. Prototype system verified
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment. Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. We are in TRL 6 because we have a first prototype operating and producing 2000L/day NaOCl. We are testing another prototype that produces more than 6000L/day and collaborating with companies to optimize the process.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

The system consist mainly of two phases: 1) Physical-chemical treatment: First, the salts that interfere with the subsequent process are eliminated. After that, another reverse osmosis is performed. Because the salts have been eliminated, higher pressure can be applied and thanks to this, up to 80% of the water contained in that brine can be recovered. In addition to getting water, a concentration of the brine is produced, which will serve to generate the bleach in the next step. 2) In the second step, the rest of concentrated brine is taken and by electrochemistry it is transformed into 1% NaOCl (bleach).

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The main limitation of the system is the elimination of salts. This is necessary to make the transformation into bleach more effective. We are currently conducting studies to increase the efficiency of salt removal. The other limitation is that it has good acceptance in the market.

We have been awarded several prizes in Spain (I Premio Internacional Tomás Ferro 2017, I Premio Ecoday Murcia 2017, Premio Innova Sostenible Fundación Aquae, II Premio Emprendedor del Año Región de Murcia 2017). We are supported by two capital entities: SODENA (Sociedad de Desarrollo de Navarra) and MurciaEmprende. We have been granted Phase I of the SME Instrument in March 2018. Links: -http://www.institutofomentomurcia.es/-/nido-robotics-usful-wastes-y-dispositivos-medicos-flecho-reciben-el-premio-emprendedor-del-ano- – https://www.fundacionaquae.org/concursos_docxpresso/useful-wastes/ – http://murciadiario.com/art/9948/los-diez-murcianos-elegidos-por-obama – http://www.emprendedores.upct.es/index.php/noticias-cat/item/140-useful-wastesecoday-2017

Added value
The main added value of Useful Wastes is the ability to obtain more fresh water. Currently in the industry a lot of water is wasted. Climate change and desertification are a reality, and increasing the water efficiency of companies is the future. In addition to that, it is also an economic issue. Companies pay to take the water, but they must also pay the discharge fee. So eliminating spills and increasing the amount of usable water is a good alternative. On the other hand, in Spain, some industries producing bleach have closed, due to a new law that has come into force in 2018. This triggered a considerable increase in the price of bleach.

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