NX Filtration, a provider of direct water nanofiltration technology, has announced its participation in the European innovation project LIFE PRISTINE. The project’s objective is to eliminate emerging contaminants in the integral water cycle, which is one measure to promote alternative water resources in the face of water scarcity.
The LIFE PRISTINE project has a budget of €4 million and is coordinated by Acciona, the Spanish sustainable infrastructure solutions group. Other project partners include Eurecat, Xylem Services, the Regional Entity for Wastewater Sanitation and Treatment of the Murcia Region (ESAMUR) and the water utility provider Bilbao Bizkaia Water Consortium (CABB). The project hopes to combine water treatment processes, such as NX Filtration’s hollow fibre nanofiltration membranes, with artificial intelligence (AI)-based digital tools to develop a solution that removes the emerging pollutants.
The project was launched in light of various forums being alerted to the urgent need to take steps in protecting water resources. Such an outcome can be achieved through reducing water consumption, but also by promoting alternative resources and reuse.
One key issue that has been raised in efforts to encourage water reuse is the presence of pollutants and microplastics in water supplies. These substances of anthropogenic origin are difficult to eliminate when using existing treatment systems and they may end up in seas and rivers, or even enter the food chain. Their presence may create hazards. There is thus an increasing emphasis on regulating the use of these substances and developing solutions to remove them from the environment.
LIFE PRISTINE thus aims to eliminate up to 80% of emerging pollutants in the end-to-end water cycle, particularly per and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances. These are typically found in flame retardants, pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products, toxins microplastics and genes of microorganisms that are resistant to antibiotics. The project aims to strengthen the existing legislation and promote the reuse of water with the highest possible quality and safety standards.
The PRISTINE solution involves the processes of adsorption, nanofiltration and advanced oxidation using virtual sensors, process modelling and decision-making support tools. The machine is said to be capable of reducing emerging pollutants from water sources and wastewater effluent. The PRISTINE project is set to be demonstrated in a representative operating environment: namely, the secondary effluent of a treatment plant in Murcia, Spain, and supporting drinking water pre-treatment in the Bilbao Bizkaia Advanced Water Treatment Centre (CATABB).