Project TitleDegrade
Year Start2018
Year End2020
DescriptionDEGRADE project aims to design and develop a system that allows the adaptation of the current channel disinfection systems by UV radiation of the wastewater treatment plants, to achieve not only a disinfection treatment but also the elimination of the emerging contaminants present (mainly Carbamazepine, Diclofenac, 17-β-estradiol and Bisphenol A, and Propylparaben). For this purpose, a technology based on photoelectrocatalysis will be developed, through the combination of UV-LEDs, which replace the current LED lamps, with photocatalysts based on noble metal nanoclusters supported on a conductive material, and the generation of sulfate radicals, highly oxidants, in order to achieve target mineralization and elimination rates of both emerging organic pollutants and pathogens.
Core TechnologyNano Catalysts
Industry of applicationCatalysis
CallConecta Peme
Funding infoThe project has been funded by the Galician Innovation Agency within the framework of the 2018 call of the CONECTA PEME Program. It has been supported by the Ministry of Economy, Employment and Industry (Xunta de Galicia) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the Operational Program FEDER Galicia 2014-2020, Thematic Objective 1: “Promote development technology, innovation and quality research. “.
Progress 2018:
Characterization of the wastewater of two WWTPs has begun with different characteristics, in order to determine the concentrations of microorganisms and emerging pollutants, as well as usual physical-chemical parameters. In addition, the identification of the essential parameters for DEGRADE technology as the wavelength of the LEDs, nanocluster type, etc.

On the other hand, a comprehensive study of current and future legislation on concentration has been carried out maximum allowed for organic pollutants in wastewater both nationally and international.

Finally, the determination of the main technical parameters for the development of nanoclusters, as well as the beginning of the design and approach to their synthesis through the Evaluation of the different methodologies.

Characterization of the wastewater has been completed, which has allowed to establish the base concentration of emerging and microbiological contaminants, as well as finalize the identification of the essential parameters for the development of DEGRADE technology.

On the other hand, the work of synthesis of nanoclusters and the study of their activity have been carried out Photocatalytic.

In addition, the deposition of the nanoclusters on a conductive material has been carried out and have initiated the tests o photoelectrocatalytic activity.

Finally, work has begun on the optimization of laboratory-scale parameters for degradation of emerging contaminants and disinfection, as well as the design work of the pilot pilot plant.

During the 2020, work on the optimization of laboratory-scale parameters for the degradation of emerging pollutants and disinfection for the wastewater from two WWTPs with different characteristics has been completed.

Based on the results obtained in the laboratory tests, the scaling of the synthesis of AQCs has been carried out for the development of pilot-scale photocatalysts, the design and development of a pilot-scale UV-LED luminaire, as well as the design and construction of the pilot plant itself that integrates all the elements of the DEGRADE technology.

Finally, the experimental pilot plant has been commissioned and validated under real operating conditions. Based on the results obtained, the techno-economic and environmental evaluation of the process has been carried out, as well as the market analysis of the proposed technology.
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