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Conversion of urban bio-wastes into sustainable materials and products

Conversion of diluted mixed urban bio-wastes into sustainable materials and products in flexible purple photobiorefineries - DEEP PURPLE

This holistic research consortium is working to transform diluted urban bio-wastes, including mixed waste streams, organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), wastewater (WW) and sewage sludge (SS), into feedstock for bio-industry to obtain sustainable bio-products.

This revolutionary concept will be implemented in a novel Single-Site Multi-Platform Concept (Biomass, Cellulose and Biogas) to replace current polluting destructive practices with new value added concepts. The beneficial use of bio-waste is obtained by an innovative combination of optimized recovery technologies and novel solutions: the Purple Phototrophic Bacteria (PPB) PhotoBiorefinery.

The use of PPB -the most versatile metabolism reported- ensures the adaption to fluctuating and diluted waste streams to support a stable profitable production chain. The first PPB PhotoBiorefinery in the EU (the biggest worldwide) will be validated in different environmental, economic, logistic, and social scenarios. The concept will be implemented by end-users from four municipalities, namely Madrid (ES), Toledo (ES), TÅ™inec (CZ) and Velká Polom (CZ) to transform bio-wastes (OFMSW: 422 t/y, mixed waste: 438,000 m3/y) into high-added value bioproducts: fine chemicals (bio-cosmetics), fertilizers, bio-packaging and self-repairing construction materials.

The market uptake of DEEP PURPLE is facilitated by optimal logistics of bio-wastes conversion (reduction of landfilled OFMSW: 60%, WWTP solids recovery: 71%), and bio-products quality to favor their commercialization (440 t/y). The integration of value chains is boosted by relevant stakeholders participation and innovative business models, minimizing waste and maximizing benefits (85mln Euro benefits, GHG emissions savings: 11,300 tCO2eq/y in 2025). Key communities (social engagement strategies) will participate in the new value creation, calibrating the returns of the project like social innovation promotion and creation of new opportunities along the urban value cycle.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Evina Katsou - Academic / Research Career Dr. Evina Katsou is Reader in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Course Director of the Water Engineering MSc at Brunel University London. Dr Katsou is leading the Water Engineering group consisting of 8 PhD students and 4 postdoctoral researchers. She has authored 77 publications (h-index: 21), 11 book chapters, over 100 presentations in international conferences/workshops and has delivered over 16 invited talks. Dr Katsou has 1 patent on the production of biopolymers within wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). She is the PI of 6 H2020 and 4 UK National projects, as well as Co-I of 4 H2020 projects in the area of circular economy. Evina is currently leading the WG (Transformation Tools) of the Cost Action CA17133 and co-leading the SMART WATER working group of the ICT4Water Cluster, while she is member of the drafting team of the New ISO standards TC 323 on Circular Economy (WG: measuring circularity). Within projects HYDROUSA (H2020; Technical Director), SmartPlant (H2020; Technical Director), DEEP-Purple (BBI; DSS development and circularity assessment), WATER-MINING (H2020; WP leader), BL2F (H2020; WP Leader), INTCATCH (H2020), iWAYS (SPIRE H2020) she is leader of the WPs related with the development and application of tools for the optimization, monitoring, assessment  and validation of the new processes / products. Dr Katsou has also conducts wide range of consulting activities with contracts awarded from leading UK water industry partners, including Affinity Water, Arup, Sever Trent, BuroHappold Engineering, Anglian Water. Industrial Activities Determination of the most effective & low-cost solution for tackling the problem of galvanized iron corrosion in specific parts of the Affinity Water piping network, which is caused by the surface water imported from Grafham reservoir; 2019-2020  Circular Economy Shop Window, Anglian Water 2019-2020  MBR design and start-up, Astana, Nazarbayev University, 2019-2020 Technical support for the chemical-physical-respirometric control & preliminary evaluation of an EGSB reactor for the treatment of wastewater from textile industry, SIMEM SpA, 2014             Technical support for the evaluation & optimization of the wastewater treatment plant (technical & economic data) of the pharmaceutical company Fidia Farmaceutici SpA, Abano Terme (PD), 2013-2014.  Monitoring of the current treatment processes & capacity of the municipal wastewater treatment plant of Maser Municipality (TV, Italy); examination & evaluation of the potential co-treatment of wastewater from the Municipality of Asolo (TV, Italy); feasibility study & technical aspects, Alto Trevigiano Servizi Srl, InnovEn srl, 2013-2014.   Monitoring of the wastewater treatment plant of the Hellenic Petroleum in the Eleusis Refinery, Hellenic Petroleum, 2010  Disposal of the treated wastewater of the Hellenic Petroleum in the Eleusis Refinery & monitoring of the sea water & sediments in the vicinity of the outfall, Hellenic Petroleum, 2010  Monitoring & improvement of the industrial & municipal wastewater treatment plants of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI), HAI, 2010  Environmental assessment of the disposal of the treated wastewaters of the Eleusis Refinery, Hellenic Petroleum, 2009

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Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/07/2021