Photo-irradiation and adsorption based novel innovations for water-treatment

Program at a glance

Funding Agencies

European Commission, Horizon 2020, EU – India Water Co-operation

Program Period


Project Acronym


Project Code


Project Title

Photo-irradiation and Adsorption based Novel Innovations for Water-treatment

Project Coordinator

Prof. Kevin McGuigan, Royal college of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland 

Project partners

Royal college of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland (European Coordinator)

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (India) (Indian Coordinator)

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland

Society for Development Alternatives, India

Innova SRL., Italy

Kwality Photonics Private TTD., India

Centro de investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, Spain

Nireas-International Water Research Center, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

University of Ulster, United Kingdom

Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland


Universita del Salento, Italy

Buckinghamshire New University, United Kingdom

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Society for Technology and Action for Rural Development, India

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India

Auroville Foundation India

Nireas-IWRC Principal Investigator

Prof. Despo Fatta-Kassinos

Total Budget

3,576,533 €

Budget for Nireas-IWRC

300,000 €

Project website


About 2.1 Billion people live without access to safe water sources. Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides and nanoparticles are increasingly being detected in wastewater and in drinking water around the world in addition to geogenic pollutants, pathogens, antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Water treatment systems that remove common contaminants and CECs from wastewater and drinking water are therefore urgently needed.

PANIWATER is developing, with the purpose of deploying and validating, six prototypes for the removal of contaminants including CECs such as pathogens, ARB&ARGs from wastewater and drinking water in real-field conditions, in India. 

  • The prototypes for wastewater treatment will   consist of: (i) a multifunctional oxidation reactor, (ii) a photoelectrochemical system and (iii) a solar photo(cata)lytic plant. 
  • The prototypes for drinking water treatment will consist of (i) a filtration, adsorption, and UV-C LED system, (ii) a transparent jerrycan for solar water disinfection and (vi) an electrocoagulation, oxidation, and disinfection system. 

These prototypes will be deployed and validated in peri-urban and rural areas of India. The project consortium will work closely with the communities at the real-field sites and will carry out various water quality analyses, health and social impact assessments and will also advocate for safe reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes and preservation of drinking water sources. 

PANIWATER technologies can find promising application among the agricultural sector, businesses with high water demands (e.g. textile, pharmaceutical), and Indian water utilities.


The overall goal of the action is to increase the availability of safe drinking water to the minimum level recommended by the World Health Organization (at least 7.5 L/person/day) in the target communities, and to obtain total wastewater treatment capacity of at least 10000 L/day, producing irrigation-grade, CEC-free, treated wastewater.

  1. MITO3X prototype will make use of the oxidation process between ozone and hydrogen peroxide and Fenton process activated by UV light
  2. PES will electrochemically generate radical oxygen species capable of removing CEC from wastewater at the point-of- entry (i.e. grey water)
  3. SPP will make use of the oxidation process catalyzed by the solar activation of green oxidants

These three technologies will generate irrigation-grade water from contaminated wastewater

  1. FAU system will combine traditional approaches such as filtration and adsorption, combined with UVC LED irradiation
  2. TJC will be constructed of transparent food grade material transparent to UV-light, capable of inactivating pathogens via solar disinfection (SODIS)
  3. EOD system will combine electrochemical coagulation, oxidation and chlorine disinfection

These three technologies will generate drinking-grade water from unsafe water sources.

In addition to CEC, they will also remove geogenic pollutants, pathogens, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs).

The consortium will work in close collaboration the potential end-users in low-income, water stressed, peri-urban and rural areas in India through a carefully planned social science approach. The output technologies are intended to be low-cost, power-efficient, simple to operate and requiring low maintenance, and their successful dissemination and commercialization will contribute providing safe drinking water and irrigation-grade water to businesses, public activities, and households in low-income communities in India, strengthening the local economy and improving public health.

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