Granular activated algae technology for wastewater treatment and resources recovery
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Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe
The National Research and Development Institute for Industrial Ecology - ECOIND is running in partnership with the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy - NIBIO, the “Valahia” University of Târgoviște, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences - NMBU the GRAALrecovery project launched in response to the current problems faced by wastewater treatment plants and aiming to develop an alternative treatment technology by capitalizing on what Natural Capital can offer us itself: microalgae.
GRAALrecovery technology stands out for its innovation as a sustainable wastewater treatment system based on the patented granulation process. Moreover, the project implementation contributes to the expansion of research in the field of microalgal biotechnology, GRAALrecovery technology using a biological product that addresses the major problem facing the sectors of microalgae cultivation and recovery of microalgal biomass products recovery: harvesting stage .
The research activities established within the project can meet the requirements of the treatment plant operators by offering solutions to reduce the economic and environmental impact faced by conventional wastewater treatment biotechnology. Although wastewater treatment plants ensure the reintroduction of used water resources, having an essential role in development, they require high consumption of energy resources, and perhaps surprisingly, their activity is notable for a negative impact on other components of the environment. The project uses the natural properties of microalgae so that their integration into the treatment process can contribute significantly to decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and reducing the dependence of aerobic processes on aeration systems, which are supported by processes that occur naturally using sunlight (photosynthesis). In addition, the microalgae biomass offers the potential in increasing the number of alternatives for biomass recovery resulting from wastewater treatment processes, thus being an important element for improving the waste management practices.
The project is provided with complex research activities, with a multidisciplinary approach and a global goal of transferring processes beyond the laboratory boundaries by testing and validating GRAALrecovery technology in real environmental conditions. The implementation period of the activities is three years (2020-2023), the project being funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 within the Research Program RO-02 operated by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI), according to contract no. 27/2020 for the Execution of Collaborative Research Projects NO 2014-2021 provided with a funding value of 1,147,010.00 euros.