ALGAECAN project will reduce the environmental impact of fruit and vegetable processing industry

26 october 2017

In the presence of the whole consortium gathered together in Valladolid, researchers from CARTIF has presented ALGAECAN project, funded by European Commission throughout LIFE Programme.

The main objective of the project is the development and implementation of a demonstration plant for a sustainable treatment model of fruit and vegetable processing industry wastewater based on heterotrophic microalgae. Heterotrophic microalgae require organic compounds for their nutrition and grow in the absence of light. They have great potential to remove organic carbon and several types of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from wastewater, since they use it as a source of carbon and energy without the need of sunlight (as in the case of autotrophs). Then, they will be used to obtain a product of commercial interest as raw material for the production of biofertilisers, animal feed, etc.

With this goal, ALGAECAN consortium will design and develop a prototype of plant powered by renewable energies, concretely energy supported by biomass, which will minimise the carbon footprint and operating costs of the process.

It will be located in two demo sites for 6 months, the first one in the facilities of Huercasa (Segovia, Spain) and the second one in the facilities of VÎPI (Slovenia).

The technology developed in this project allows to obtain high quality final effluents that can be reused (e.g. in irrigation and cleaning) or discharged into watercourses while reducing the cost of FVPI treatment and the environmental impact associated with waste sludge generation in traditional aerobic treatment systems and its usual landfilling.

The final goal is this technology will be replicated in other places.

The consortium, led by CARTIF, is integrated by HUERCASA (Spain), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), AlgEn Technology Center (Slovenia) y VIPÎ (Slovenia).

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