Published on 17 Oct 2022
The WalNUT partners finally had their first physical meeting on 5-6 October, hosted by the National Technical University of Athens.
After the end of the social distancing restrictions forced by the Coronavirus pandemic, it was time for the WalNUT people to shake hands for the first time after the project start and dive into the face-to-face discussion.
The project meeting was held at the Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park in the town of Lavrio, in the metropolitan area of Athens, Greece. Lavrio was renowned in classical times for its silver mines (one of the main resources contributing to the power of the Athenian state), and the history of the Park is rooted in this glorious tradition. Founded in 1992 within the facility of the old French Mining Company of Lavrion, today it has become a hotspot for research and innovation in Greece, hosting technological companies, laboratories and educational institutions.
This meeting was the right occasion for all of us partners to give an overview of the first year of WalNUT activity, assessing the work done so far. Next steps and future activities were discussed as well.
We carried out the preparatory work for the launch of the first tests, developing a harmonised protocol for the characterisation of waste water streams from different sources and the validation of technologies for nutrient recovery at lab scale. Challenges ahead for the upcoming tests will include assessing technologies for microbiological processes (Cartif & Veolia), HRAS/CS & adsorption/ion-exchange (University of Ghent and Aquafin), ABC-BioPhosphate multi functional biofertiliser and adsorbent (3R), Nanofiltration and selective crystallisation processes (NTUA), Ion exchange and membrane contactors processes (CETAQUA).
The selected technologies for nutrient recovery will be integrated into five waste water facilities at pilot scale, maximising the production of bio-based fertilizers to perform field trials over the next project phase.
We are facing a great challenge, but thanks to this meeting we strengthened our teamwork and confidence. We are ready for the future steps of the project, to demonstrate that waste water is not wasted.
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