The aim is to bring resource recovery to rural areas
The newly launched Interreg Sudoe CircRural4.0 project aims to convert, within a three-year period, small and medium sized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in rural areas into facilities that are oriented toward resource recovery.
Ceit-IK4 is coordinator of the project, which is embedded within the Sudoe Program. The Sudoe Program itself is part of the European territorial cooperation project known as "Interreg" and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The mission of CircRural4.0, which brings together nine partners from Spain, Portugal and France, is to develop and validate innovative technological solutions that make the recovery of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphorus from wastewater and the production of biogas from organic waste economically viable.
In contrast to large WWTPs, where resource recovery takes place in the plant, CircRural4.0 is basing its proposal for rural areas on a holistic view of waste and wastewater management.
In this proposal, the main processes that make the recovery of resources possible in the large WWTPs will be distributed geographically in order to make the solution as a whole economically viable and environmentally sustainable.
Today the project's first working meeting takes place at the offices of Agencia EFE in Madrid. The project itself began on April 1, and it is slated to run until March 31, 2021.
In addition to project coordinator Ceit-IK4 and Agencia EFE, the other CircRural4.0 partners are Centro Tecnológico Agroalimentario Extremadura CTAEX, Consorcio de Servicios Medioambientales de la Provincia de Badajoz and Fundación Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia (ITG).
There are also partners from France and Portugal: Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, Syndicat Mixte de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement de Haute-Garonne, Universidad Nova de Lisboa and Aguas de Portugal-SGPS.
Interreg Sudoe, which was approved on June 8, 2015, by the European Commission, has a budget of 141 million euros and is one of the 15 programs approved for the Interreg B 2014-2020 period, which is dedicated to transnational cooperation.