MArket uptake of an innovative irrigation Solution based on LOW WATer-ENergy consumption

The world of irrigation requires innovative solutions, less water and energy dependant. UPM developed in 2013 solutions for large power photovoltaic (PV) pumping systems at TRL5 that was successfully tested in a real Irrigators Community (IC) of Alto Vinalopó (Spain).

The results showed great technical reliability (solving the problem of the variability of solar energy), matching the IC irrigation needs just with the solar electricity (thanks to sun-tracking systems) and reducing dramatically the cost of energy (60% regarding the conventional grid consumption)

In parallel, ELAIA has integrated systems with, in one hand, automatisms and ICT solutions that reduce the water consumption (30%) detecting in real-time the actual needs of the specific crop in a certain moment, and in the other hand, low pressure systems that reduce the energy needs

This project proposes activities to integrate both developments at a TRL9 for the first application and market replication of a new green product at TRL9 consisting of PV pumping systems for productive agriculture irrigation consuming zero conventional electricity and 30% less water

Main objectives:

1 To show the technical and economical viability of efficient and intermittency-free large scale PV pumping systems for irrigation allowing 100% renewable energy consumption

2 To reduce the water consumption, using Automatisms and ICT and Precision Agriculture-based solutions

3 Market uptake and market replication of a new green product for irrigation at TRL9 consuming 100% renewable electricity and 30% less water

The expected impact is, first, the market penetration of this innovative solution through five real scale first market systems (in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco) and other technical, economical and diseemination actions for the market uptake. And second, the generation of a real market of 6GW of large-scale systems meaning a real business of 9000M€. MASLOWATEN is the initiative of an AG of EIP Water (PVAIZEC)

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Metal Recovery from Low Grade Ores and Wastes Plus

METGROW\ will address and solve bottlenecks in the European raw materials supply by developing innovative metallurgical technologies for unlocking the use of potential domestic raw materials. The METGROW\ consortium has received an EIP RM Commitment status. The consortium is supported by internationally respected research institutes and universities. Many of the partners (9) are members of EIT KIC Raw Materials consortium as well.

The value chain and business models for metal recovery from low grade ores and wastes are carefully looked after. Within this project, both primary and secondary materials are studied as potential metal resources. Economically important nickel-cobalt deposits and low grade polymetallic wastes, iron containing sludges (goethite, jarosite etc.) which are currently not yet being exploited due to technical bottlenecks, are in focus.

Concurrently, METGROW\ targets innovative hydrometallurgical processes to extract important metals including Ni, Cu, Zn, Co, In, Ga, Ge from low grade ores in a cost-effective way. In addition a toolbox for metallurgical system is created in the project using new methods and combinations.

The unused potential of metal containing fine grained industrial residues are evaluated, while hybrid and flexible hydrometallurgical processes and treatment methods of fines are developed for both materials. Training and education of new professionals are facilitated within the METGROW\ project. The knowledge of raw materials and sustainable technologies will attract new talents in the field who can flexibly change fields from treatment of secondary to primary resources, which also smoothens the economic ups and downs in the primary sector.

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Increasing yield on Tungsten and Tantalum ore production by means of advanced and flexible control on crushing, milling and separation process

Modern economy is highly dependent on specific raw materials, and it is envisaged that this dependency will increase in the near future.

Most of them are scarce in EU and of poor purity, being mixed within complex and low grade aggregates which need to be processed by means of a separation process consuming high quantities of energy and water, and even in some cases this makes its exploitation unfeasible due to production costs.
Being EU dependent on some of these materials, as identified by EIP initiative, our society is demanding more efficient extracting processes to contribute to major European independency on these Critical Raw Materials.

Tungsten and Tantalum ores are two recognized CRMs: In a market currently dominated by China and Russia production (among others), in Europe Tungsten (limited) production is mostly concentrate into UK, Spain and Portugal . On the other side, Tantalum is a key element on electronics with clear EU external production dependency, as it is naturally really scarce in Europe (only 1% of world production is concentrated in EU).

Knowing this situation, OptimOre Project proposes the research and development of modelling and control technologies, using advanced sensing and advanced industrial control by means of artificial intelligence techniques, for the more efficient and flexible Tantalum and Tungsten ores processing from crushing to separation process, with the participation of relevant international players in the mining field on research (Chalmers University- Dr. Magnus Evertsson, Exeter University with Dr. Richard Pascoe, Freiburg University with Dr. Holberg Lieberwirth, among others). The project proposes a 3 years collaboration among 8 partners of 4 different countries.

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PRocess-based climate sIMulation: AdVances in high resolution modelling and European climate Risk Assessment

The goal of PRIMAVERA is to deliver novel, advanced and well-evaluated high-resolution global climate models (GCMs), capable of simulating and predicting regional climate with unprecedented fidelity, out to 2050.

This capability will deliver innovative climate science and a new generation of advanced Earth System Models. Sector-specific end-users in policy and business will be identified and engaged individually, with iterative feedback, to ensure that new climate information is tailored, actionable and strengthening societal risk management decisions.

These goals will be achieved through the development of coupled GCMs from seven groups across Europe, with sufficient resolution to reproduce realistic weather and climate features (~25km mesh size), in addition to enhanced process parameterisation. Thorough assessment will use innovative process-based metrics and the latest observational and reanalysis datasets. Targeted experimental design will reduce inter-model spread and produce robust projections, forming the European contribution to the CMIP6 High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project, led by PRIMAVERA.

It is the first time that high-resolution coupled GCMs will be used under a single experimental protocol. Coordination, and the underlying process-understanding, will significantly increase the robustness of our findings. Our new capabilities will be used to improve understanding of the drivers of variability and change in European climate, including extremes, since such regional changes continue to be characterised by high uncertainty.

We will also explore the frontiers of climate modelling and of high performance computing to produce simulations with a reduced reliance on physical parameterisations. These will explicitly resolve key processes such as ocean eddies, and will include new stochastic parameterisations to represent sub-grid scale processes. These “frontiers” simulations will further our understanding of the robustness of climate projections.

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Colloidal Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for the REclamation of Toxic Metal Contaminated GROUNDwater Aquifers, Drinking Water Wells, and River Bank Filtrations

The main objective of the presented innovation action is the first application and near-market replication of a novel water nanogeotechnology for the immobilization of toxic metals in groundwater aquifers, drinking water wells, and river bank filtration sites.

The basic concept of our technology is the creation of an adsorptive in situ barrier for the immobilization of toxic metal contaminations. This barrier is made of iron oxide nanoparticles, which are injected into sediments as colloidal suspension, forming stable deposits there. Over the last 6 years, we have developed a novel technology for the injection of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) into groundwater contaminant plumes. The feasibility of this approach has been successfully tested in lab experiments and a scientific field application. Specifically, our approach addresses arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc, all of which are known major groundwater contaminants. Now, we want to bring this novel, green and near-market water eco-innovation into the European markets, and beyond. The very core of this effort is the performance of two industrial-scale applications of our technology at two different types of contaminated sites. This first application of our technological approach under field conditions is the major objective of REGROUND. By developing our technology into a market-ready application, REGROUND will globally transform the efforts to mitigate the risks posed by toxic metal contaminations to humans and ecosystems. The REGROUND technology, due to its low costs and wide applicability, will be made highly available. The near-market replication of our technology and subsequent commercialization efforts are an integral part of REGROUND. This will enable immobilization of toxic metal contaminations at sites which were left untreated so far due to technical or economic reasons.

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Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas

The project MERCES is focused on the restoration of different degraded marine habitats, with the aim of:

1) assessing the potential of different technologies and approaches; 2) quantifying the returns in terms of ecosystems services and their socio-economic impacts; 3) defining the legal-policy and governance frameworks needed to optimize the effectiveness of the different restoration approaches. Specific aims include: a) improving existing, and developing new, restoration actions of degraded marine habitats; b) increasing the adaptation of EU degraded marine habitats to global change; c) enhancing marine ecosystem resilience and services; d) conducting cost-benefit analyses for marine restoration measures; e) creating new industrial targets and opportunities.

To achieve these objectives MERCES created a multi-disciplinary consortium with skills in marine ecology, restoration, law, policy and governance, socio-economics, knowledge transfer, dissemination and communication. MERCES will start from the inventory of EU degraded marine habitats (WP1), conduct pilot restoration experiments (WP2, WP3, WP4), assess the effects of restoration on ecosystem services (WP5). The legal, policy and governance outputs will make effective the potential of marine restoration (WP6) and one dedicated WP will assess the socio-economic returns of marine ecosystems’ restoration (WP7). The transfer of knowledge and the links with the industrial stakeholders will be the focus of WP8. The results of MERCES will be disseminated to the widest audience (WP9). The project will be managed through a dedicated management office (WP10).

MERCES will contribute to the Blue Growth by: i) improving the EU scientific knowledge on marine restoration, ii) contributing to EU Marine Directives; iii) implementing the Restoration Agenda, iv) enhancing the industrial capacity in this field, v) increasing the competitiveness of EU in the world market of restoration, and vi) offering new employment opportunities.

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Managing crOp water Saving with Enterprise Services

The main objective of MOSES is to put in place and demonstrate at the real scale of application an information platform devoted to water procurement and management agencies (e.g. reclamation consortia, irrigation districts, etc.) to facilitate planning of irrigation water resources, with the aim of:

  • saving water;
  • improving services to farmers;
  • reducing monetary and energy costs.

To achieve these goals, the MOSES project combines in an innovative and integrated platform a wide range of data and technological resources: EO data, probabilistic seasonal forecasting and numerical weather prediction, crop water requirement and irrigation modelling and online GIS Decision Support System. Spatial scales of services range from river basin to sub-district; users access the system depending on their expertise and needs. Main system components are:

  1. early-season irrigated crop mapping
  2. seasonal weather forecasting and downscaling
  3. in-season monitoring of evapotranspiration and water availability
  4. seasonal and medium/short term irrigation forecasting

Four Demonstration Areas will be set up in Italy, Spain, Romania and Morocco, plus an Indian organization acting as observer. Different water procurement and distribution scenarios will be considered, collecting data and user needs, interfacing with existing local services and contributing to service definition. Demonstrative and training sessions are foreseen for service exploitation in the Demonstration Areas.

The proposed system is targeting EIP on Water “thematic priorities” related to increasing agriculture water use efficiency, water resource monitoring and flood and drought risk management; it will be compliant to INSPIRE. This SME-led project address to the irrigated agriculture users an integrated and innovative water management solution.

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Full scale demonstration of energy positive sewage treatment plant concepts towards market penetration

The municipal wastewater in Europe contains a potential chemical energy of 87,500 GWh per year in its organic fraction, which is equivalent to the output of 12 large power stations.

Due to the currently applied technologies and related energy loss at each process step, wastewater treatment in Europe today consumes instead the equivalent of more than 2 power stations. Many operators are thus targeting incremental energy efficiency towards energy neutrality, but recent studies have shown that with novel process schemes using existing technologies, sewage treatment plants could actually become a new source of renewable energy, without compromising the treatment performance.

The project POWERSTEP aims at demonstrating such innovative concepts in first full scale references for each essential process step in order to design energy positive wastewater treatment plants with currently available technologies. The following processes will be demonstrated in 6 full-scale case studies located in 4 European countries: enhanced carbon extraction (pre-filtration), innovative nitrogen removal processes (advanced control, main-stream deammonification, duckweed reactor), power-to-gas (biogas upgrade) with smart grid approach, heat-to-power concepts (thermoelectric recovery in CHP unit, steam rankine cycle, heat storage concepts), and innovative process water treatment (nitritation, membrane ammonia stripping). These individual technology assessments will merge into integrative activities such as treatment scheme modelling and design, global energy and heat management, carbon footprinting, integrated design options, as well as extensive dissemination activities.

POWERSTEP will demonstrate the novel concepts and design treatment schemes of wastewater treatment plants that will be net energy producers, paving the way towards large implementation of such approaches and quick market penetration and supporting the business plans of participating technology providers.

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Real-time optimization of extraction and the logistic process in highly complex geological and selective mining settings

The overall aim of Real-Time-Mining is to develop a real-time framework to decrease environmental impact and increase resource efficiency in the European raw material extraction industry.

The key concept of the proposed research promotes the change in paradigm from discontinuous intermittent process monitoring to a continuous process and quality management system in highly selective mining operations. Real-Time Mining will develop a real-time process-feedback control loop linking online data acquired during extraction at the mining face rapidly with an sequentially up-datable resource model associated with real-time optimization of long-term planning, short-term sequencing and production control decisions. The project will include research and demonstration activities integrating automated sensor based material characterization, online machine performance measurements, underground navigation and positioning, underground mining system simulation and optimization of planning decisions, state-of-the art updating techniques for resource/reserve models. The impact of the project is expected on the environment through a reduction in CO2-emissions, increased energy efficiency and production of zero waste by maximizing process efficiency and resource utilization. Currently economically marginal deposits or difficult to access deposits will be become industrial viable. This will result in a sustainable increase in the competitiveness of the European raw material extraction through a reduced dependency on raw materials from non-EU sources.

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ECO-FRIENDLY CERAMIC MEMBRANE BIOREACTOR (MBR) BASED ON RECYCLED AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTES FOR WASTE WATER REUSE

The main objectives of the REMEB project are the implementation and validation of a low-cost ceramic membrane bioreactor (MBR) in a Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), the study of the impact and replication of the technology for the reuse of the water in regions with water scarcity and the industrial sector, and finally, the definition of a proper business plan to start the commercialization of the technology, once the project will be finished.

The low cost recycled ceramic membranes of the project are based on residues obtained in agricultural and industrial processes (sub-products), such as olive oil solid wastes, marble working wastes and chamotte from fired scrap, in addition to the typical raw materials used in the ceramic tile industry. The project aims to achieve several specific objectives: valorization of wastes from different agricultural or industrial processes, manufacturing of an innovative product using recycled materials, validation of a new MBR with a lower initial and running costs by using low cost ceramic membranes and comparison between REMEB MBR and the MBR in operation in the WWTP selected for the validation.

Replication of both, manufacturing and validation tasks, is assured by repeating the processes in the facilities of some participants. Manufacturing membrane replicability will be performed in Turkey and Italy. The replication study of the MBR implementation in the urban and industrial wastewater sector will be performed in Colombia and nearby countries, Cyprus and nearby countries and Europe. Furthermore, evaluation of the environmental impact of product and process will be carried out by the method of LCA. Finally, a marketing and dissemination plan of the technology will be done by the entire consortium.

It is expected that this technology would be implemented massively, principally due to the low cost of REMEB MBR (3.5 times lower than a MBR of organic membranes and 2.5 times lower than a ceramic MBR).

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