News Details
News Details
NIREAS-IWRC to participate in the EU-funded project “SFERA”
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nireas-International Water Research Center will participate in the research project entitled ‘’Antibiotic resistance removal and disinfection potential of urban wastewater by solar-Fenton at a pilot plant scale’’. This project is funded by the European Commission under SFERA (Solar Facilities for the European Research Area) program, and aims at strengthening the scientific cooperation between European research institutes regarding the utilization and use of solar power.

Ph.D. student Popi Karaolia and postdoctoral fellow Irene Michael will participate in this project. The experiments will be carried out at the Plataforma solar detoxification laboratory in Plataforma Solar de Almería(PSA) from 17 September 2012 to 26 October 2012.The PSA, which belongs to the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), is the largest European center for research, development and testing of concentrating solar technologies. It is located in the Tabernas Desert, 35 km from the city of Almeria in Spain (Picture 1). PSA deals with various activities that configure the environmental applications of solar energy which encompass the following lines of research: (i) solar water detoxification and disinfection; (ii) solar air detoxification and disinfection; (iii) solar seawater and saltwater desalination; and (iv) characterization and measurement of solar radiation.

In the last few years there has been an increase of concern about the endocrine disrupting impacts of various pharmaceutical compounds in wastewater, which cannot be removed with conventional biological treatment. As a result, the interest of the researchers will focus on the removal of antibiotic compounds from wastewater, with the use of homogeneous photocatalysis under solar light. Also the antibiotic resistance of selected bacteria as well as the disinfection of the wastewater from antibiotic resistance genes will be investigated.

(a) Aerial view of the Plataforma Solar de Almería, (b) Concentrating or parabolic-trough concentrators and Compound parabolic collector.