Development of a solar technology for the removal of effluent organic matter from urban wastewaters (SolTec)
Development of a solar technology for the removal of effluent organic matter from urban wastewaters (SolTec)

Program At A Glance

  Funding Agencies Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, Republic of Cyprus, European Regional Development Fund
  Program Period 2008-2010
  Total Budget 139,885  €
  NIREAS Contact Dr. D. Fatta Kassinos
  Project Acronym SoITec
  Dedicated Webpage www.eng.ucy.ac.cy/soltec/index.html

Program Overview

The background for initiating the project was the high public awareness on the effects of xenobiotic organic compounds and especially disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on wildlife and humans. Such compounds are contained in the remaining effluent organic matter (EOM) of the treated sewage. Particularly, this project was motivated by: (1) the widely implemented wastewater reuse practices in Cyprus; (2) the increasing number of reports related to the existence of persistent xenobiotic organic pollutants in the outlet of conventional Urban Wastewaters Treatment Plants (UWTPs) worldwide; and (3) the fact that in Cyprus sand filtration and chlorination are applied as a tertiary treatment and disinfection process, respectively, at the UWTPs which is a step that it does not contribute to the complete mineralization of EOM.

The SolTec research project aimed at: (1) Promoting a scientifically verified technology i.e. solar photocatalysis (SPC) for the degradation of xenobiotics contained in the EOM from urban wastewater intended for reuse; (2) Establishing an updated background in regards to the standing policy and legislation concerning wastewater treatment and reuse schemes, to the state-of-the-art technical developments in SPC, and to achievable removal levels for the selected model substances with alternative treatments; (3) Determining the engineering/technological parameters needed for the scale up of the SPC process; (4) Construction and operation of the SPC pilot plant, (4) Assessing and optimizing the operation of the pilot plant; (5) Demonstrating that the coupling of SPC and biological treatment is a feasible and cost effective solution for the UWTP and reuse schemes and for the removal of the remaining EOM that contains endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceuticals and other recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds; and (6) Decreasing the final disinfectant demand, and therefore reduce the formation of disinfection by-products during chlorination.

Indicative Work Packages

WP1 Project Management

WP2 Dissemination and Exploitation of Results

WP3 Engineering and technological parameters development

WP4 Pilot plant design

WP5 Technological demonstration and assessment