ALCHEMIA project pretends to eliminate radioactivity of human consumption water

25 october 2017

The project team, led by CARTIF, will work on developing a sustainable process to reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, as well as to eliminate the radioactivity of water by 75%.

Until now, reverse osmosis is the most widely treatment used to eliminate radioactivity. However, the carbon footprint of this process is very high and generates large volumes of water rejection with radioactivity that needs further treatment. Due to it, it is necessary to develop processes abled to reduce it and improve the sustainability of purification systems.

ALCHEMIA purposes the use of alternatives systems based on bed filters that will seek to reduce between 75% and 90% of the concentration of radioactive elements in water, as well as reduce the NORM residues generated during the elimination of radioactivity by 90%. In addition, these systems aim to achieve an 80% reduction in energy consumption compared to reserve osmosis, which would mean an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions too. The emission of this 80% less greenhouse gases will result in a reduction of about 60 tons of CO2 per year.

Demo sites of ALCHEMIA will be located in Almería (Spain) and in Viimsi (Estonia). In the first case, Almería has been chosen because it is one of the three Spanish cities with higher concentration of natural radioactive elements in human consumption water.

In the Estonian region of Viimsi, high levels of natural radioactivity in groundwater have been combated since the 1990s. The latest study states that about 18% of the Estonian population drinks water with a radionuclide concentration greater than as permitted by law.

In addition to the performances at the plants in Spain and Estonia, five other European cities will follow the process to replicate the results. The objective is to disseminate this solution at national and international level and create a sustainable radioactivity treatment network.

The consortium of the project is formed by the CARTIF Technology Center, as coordinator, the Diputación de Almería, the Center for Research in Solar Energy, the Joint Center of the University of Almería/Solar Platform of Almería, the Technological University of Tallinn, the University of Tartu and Viimsi Vesi Ltd.

The consortium of the project is formed by the CARTIF Technology Center, as coordinator, the Diputación de Almería, the Center for Research in Solar Energy, the Joint Center of the University of Almería / Solar Platform of Almería, the Technological University of Tallinn, the University of Tartu and Viimsi Vesi Ltd.

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