LIFE LEACHLESS proposes a more sustainable treatment of water resources

21 october 2016

The LIFE LEACHLESS project has been launched today after its first kick off meeting, which has taken place in CARTIF facilities in Boecillo (Valladolid). The main goal of this European project is to promote water resources management action in accordance with Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC by enabling managers of landfills and waste treatment centres to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of their effluents.

Large amounts of leachates are generated in Europe and, because of their composition, having a high pollution load. The LEACHLESS project proposes a treatment model that will be carried out ‘in-situ’ using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The prototype will be powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality will be very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses.

This project has three main objectives. On the one hand, demonstrating the technical an economic feasibility of an innovative concept for leachate treatment based on solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis, by reducing, in the most efficient way, the environmental impact associated with leachate generated at management activities. On the other hand, valorising highly pollutant effluents by completely reuse of the streams generated in the treatment process. And finally, the project wants to provide to managers of facilities generating leachate with a cost-effective process for on-site treatment of emerging pollutants and pathogens, among others compounds as metals or inorganic and organic matter.

The final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream will be also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

The results will be replicated in the facilities of two European cities, Botarell (Spain) and Athens (Greece), and the consortium will study the possibility of transferability of the LIFE LEACHLESS model to other facilities and EU members.

The consortium of this project is composed by CARTIF, as coordinator, InfinitValueEngineering, the National Technical University of Athens and Triton Water Technologies, and will be implemented in Greece and Spain.

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