San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain
San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain

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Jelic A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Gros M.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Ginebreda A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Cespedes-Sanchez R.,AGBAR | And 6 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2011

During 8 sampling campaigns carried out over a period of two years, 72 samples, including influent and effluent wastewater, and sludge samples from three conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), were analyzed to assess the occurrence and fate of 43 pharmaceutical compounds. The selected pharmaceuticals belong to different therapeutic classes, i.e. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lipid modifying agents (fibrates and statins), psychiatric drugs (benzodiazepine derivative drugs and antiepileptics), histamine H2-receptor antagonists, antibacterials for systemic use, beta blocking agents, beta-agonists, diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and anti-diabetics. The obtained results showed the presence of 32 target compounds in wastewater influent and 29 in effluent, in concentrations ranging from low ng/L to a few μg/L (e.g. NSAIDs). The analysis of sludge samples showed that 21 pharmaceuticals accumulated in sewage sludge from all three WWTPs in concentrations up to 100 ng/g. This indicates that even good removal rates obtained in aqueous phase (i.e. comparison of influent and effluent wastewater concentrations) do not imply degradation to the same extent. For this reason, the overall removal was estimated as a sum of all the losses of a parent compound produces by different mechanisms of chemical and physical transformation, biodegradation and sorption to solid matter. The target compounds showed very different removal rates and no logical pattern in behaviour even if they belong to the same therapeutic groups. What is clear is that the elimination of most of the substances is incomplete and improvements of the wastewater treatment and subsequent treatments of the produced sludge are required to prevent the introduction of these micro-pollutants in the environment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Bouchy L.,Water Technology Center | Perez A.,Water Technology Center | Camacho P.,Suez Environnement Cirsee | Rubio P.,Agbar | And 5 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Many drivers tend to foster the development of renewable energy production in wastewater treatment plants as many expectations rely upon energy recovery from sewage sludge, for example through biogas use. This paper is focused on the assessment of grease waste (GW) as an adequate substrate for co-digestion with municipal sludge, as it has a methane potential of 479-710 LCH 4/kg VS, as well as the evaluation of disintegration technologies as a method to optimize the co-digestion process. With this objective three different pre-treatments have been selected for evaluation: thermal hydrolysis, ultrasound and enzymatic treatment. Results have shown that co-digestion processes without pre-treatment had a maximum increment of 128% of the volumetric methane productivity when GW addition was 23% inlet (at 20 days of HRT and with an OLR of 3.0 kg COD/m 3d), compared with conventional digestion of sewage sludge alone. Concerning the application of the selected disintegration technologies, all pre-treatments showed improvements in terms of methane yield (51.8, 89.5 and 57.6% more for thermal hydrolysis, ultrasound and enzymatic treatment, respectively, compared with non-pretreated wastes), thermal hydrolysis of GW and secondary sludge being the best configuration as it improved the solubilization of the organic matter and the hydrodynamic characteristics of digestates. © IWA Publishing 2012.


Camacho A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Montana M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Valles I.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Devesa R.,AGBAR | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity | Year: 2012

56 samples, including influent, primary effluent, secondary effluent and final effluent wastewater from two Spanish municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), were analyzed to assess both the occurrence and behavior of natural radioactivity during 12 sampling campaigns carried out over the period 2007-2010. Influent and final effluent wastewaters were sampled by taking into account the hydraulic residence time within the WWTP. A wide range of gross alpha activities (15-129 mBq/L) and gross beta activities (477-983 mBq/L) in liquid samples were obtained. A correlation analysis between radioactivity in liquid samples and the performance characteristics of the WWTPs was performed. The results in liquid samples showed that gross beta activities were not influenced by treatment in the studied WWTPs. However, gross alpha activities behave differently and an increase was detected in the effluent values compared with influent wastewater. This behavior was due to the increase in the total dissolved uranium produced during secondary treatment. The results indicate that the radiological characteristics of the effluents do not present a significant radiological risk and make them suitable for future applications. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Marine S.,Rovira i Virgili University | Pedrouzo M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Maria Marce R.,Rovira i Virgili University | Fonseca I.,AGBAR | Borrull F.,Rovira i Virgili University
Talanta | Year: 2012

Different sampling methods involving the collection of biogas by Tedlar bags or adsorption tubes, and different GC-MS injection systems, loop injection or cold trap injection (with bags or by tube desorption), were compared to establish the best method to determine the minority compounds in biogas from sewage treatment plants (STPs). A study of parameters is included, such as the stability of compounds in Tedlar bags or cartridges and the adsorption effect of some less volatile compounds in the thermal desorption system (TD). The optimized methods allowed to determine most compounds at low mg m-3 levels. Among them, maximum values of D5 (4.84 mg m-3), decane (95-118 mg m-3) and H2S (2223 mg m-3) were found in biogas samples. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Rosa Boleda M.,AGBAR | Huerta-Fontela M.,AGBAR | Huerta-Fontela M.,University of Barcelona | Ventura F.,AGBAR | Galceran M.T.,University of Barcelona
Chemosphere | Year: 2011

A total of seventy samples of drinking water were tested for non-controlled and illicit drugs. Of these, 43 were from Spanish cities, 15 from seven other European countries, three from Japan and nine from seven different Latin American countries. The most frequently detected compounds were caffeine, nicotine, cotinine, cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine, methadone and its metabolite EDDP. The mean concentrations of non-controlled drugs were: for caffeine 50 and 19ngL -1, in Spanish and worldwide drinking water respectively and for nicotine 13 and 19ngL -1. Illicit drugs were sparsely present and usually at ultratrace level (<1ngL -1). For example, cocaine has mean values of 0.4 (Spain) and 0.3ngL -1 (worldwide), whereas for benzoylecgonine, these mean values were 0.4 and 1.8ngL -1, respectively. Higher concentrations of benzoylecgonine were found in Latin American samples (up to 15ngL -1). No opiates were identified in any sample but the presence of methadone and EDDP was frequently detected. Total mean values for EDDP were 0.4ngL -1 (Spain) and 0.3ngL -1 (worldwide). Very few samples tested positive for amphetamines, in line with the reactivity of chlorine with these compounds. No cannabinoids, LSD, ketamine, fentanyl and PCP were detected. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Boleda M.R.,AGBAR | Galceran M.T.,University of Barcelona | Ventura F.,AGBAR
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2013

The estimation of measurement uncertainty associated with quantitative results is essential to assure the reliability of analytical methods and mandatory when a laboratory implements ISO standard 17025. In this work, a quantitative multi-residue method based on solid-phase extraction (SPE) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS/MS) has been developed and validated for the analysis of 53 pharmaceuticals (analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, lipid regulating agents, cholesterol lowering stating agents, gastric drugs, X-ray, and miscellaneous compounds such as sildenafil, prednisone, triclosan, chlorhexidine and miconazole) in surface and drinking waters. A full validation of the method, according to ISO standard 17025 procedure, was performed. Linearity (0.01-250. ng/L range), intra-day precision (3-19%RSD in surface water and 2-19%RSD in drinking water) and inter-day precision (3-16%RSD in surface water and 1-18%RSD in drinking water), matrix effects (low matrix effects were observed for 50% of compounds in both matrices), limits of quantification (0.2-40. ng/L in surface water and 0.2-30. ng/L in drinking water) were calculated. The recoveries at 100. ng/L were >80% for 72% and 79% of the target compounds in surface and drinking waters, respectively. The information obtained from the full method validation has been used to estimate the expanded uncertainty and the uncertainties contributions of the different individual steps of the method for the determination of pharmaceuticals at trace levels in waters. Expanded relative uncertainties ranged from 6% to 23% being the uncertainty associated with reproducibility the main contribution. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Perez R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Nejjari F.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Puig V.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Quevedo J.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | And 3 more authors.
Urban Water Management: Challenges and Oppurtunities - 11th International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI 2011 | Year: 2011

Using the simulation models a methodology was developed for leakage detection and localisation in a water distribution network [4]. Such methodology is based on fault detection and isolation techniques. Sensitivity matrix of pressures to leaks [8] is generated using simulation models [1]. Such models are available in water companies. The methodology showed promising results but two main issues appeared. Calibration in models and precision in sensors was required. Investment in sensors could be afforded [6] as long as models were well calibrated enough. The main uncertainty in models lies on demands. This paper presents a study of the effect of an improvement in demand calibration on isolability of leaks. The aim is to quantify the return of an effort in calibrating in terms of leak detection one of the main issues in water industry [2].


The estimation of measurement uncertainty associated with quantitative results is essential to assure the reliability of analytical methods and mandatory when a laboratory implements ISO standard 17025. In this work, a quantitative multi-residue method based on solid-phase extraction (SPE) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS/MS) has been developed and validated for the analysis of 53 pharmaceuticals (analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, lipid regulating agents, cholesterol lowering stating agents, gastric drugs, X-ray, and miscellaneous compounds such as sildenafil, prednisone, triclosan, chlorhexidine and miconazole) in surface and drinking waters. A full validation of the method, according to ISO standard 17025 procedure, was performed. Linearity (0.01-250 ng/L range), intra-day precision (3-19%RSD in surface water and 2-19%RSD in drinking water) and inter-day precision (3-16%RSD in surface water and 1-18%RSD in drinking water), matrix effects (low matrix effects were observed for 50% of compounds in both matrices), limits of quantification (0.2-40 ng/L in surface water and 0.2-30 ng/L in drinking water) were calculated. The recoveries at 100 ng/L were >80% for 72% and 79% of the target compounds in surface and drinking waters, respectively. The information obtained from the full method validation has been used to estimate the expanded uncertainty and the uncertainties contributions of the different individual steps of the method for the determination of pharmaceuticals at trace levels in waters. Expanded relative uncertainties ranged from 6% to 23% being the uncertainty associated with reproducibility the main contribution.


1,4-dioxane is a synthetic industrial solvent used in various industrial processes, and it is a probable human carcinogen whose presence in the aquatic environment is frequently reported. Alkyl-1,3-dioxanes and alkyl-1,3-dioxolanes are compounds that have been identified as causing several odor episodes in waters over the last years, with the result of downtime of drinking water treatment plants. According to published studies, some of these episodes may be caused either by resins synthesis processes, or by industrial residues added to dehydrated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in order to increase biogas production efficiency. Analytical methods based on closed loop stripping analysis (CLSA) are routinely used when taste and odor events appear, but this technique has demonstrated to be unsuitable to determine 1,4-dioxane at trace levels. In this context, drinking water companies tend to focus on determining odorous compounds, but not on those compounds that are potentially harmful. The suitability of a SPE method and further analysis by GC/MS-MS to simultaneously determine 1,4-dioxane and alkyl-1,3-dioxanes and dioxolanes has been demonstrated. Recoveries in surface waters spiked at 25ng/L ranged from 76% to 105%, whereas method quantification limits (MQLs) varied from 0.7 to 26ng/L for dioxanes, and dioxolanes and 50ng/L for 1,4-dioxane. Uncertainties were evaluated at two different concentrations, 0.02g/L and 0.4g/L, with values of 25% for 1,4-dioxane, and of 16-28% for alkyl-1,3-dioxanes and alkyl-1,3-dioxolanes for the later. The methodology has been successfully applied to samples from the aquifer of the Llobregat River (NE. Spain).


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 15, 2016) - Today Capstone Infrastructure Corporation ("Capstone" or the "Corporation") (TSX:CSE.PR.A) announced that it has completed a transaction with its ultimate parent entity, iCON Infrastructure Partners III, L.P. ("iCON III"), to sell its 50% indirect interest in Bristol Water plc ("Bristol Water"), a regulated water utility in the United Kingdom, for £115.6 million. This transaction provides several benefits to Capstone, including a material reduction in corporate debt, the realization of a successful investment, the reduction of regulatory and foreign currency risk, and the re-focusing of the business as a pure-play Independent Power Producer better positioning Capstone for future sustainable growth in the sector in Canada. Bristol Water is a business that continues to serve its customers well, however, following the challenging price review for the 2015-2020 period, dividends from Bristol Water are expected to be materially lower than originally anticipated, and as a result Bristol Water's cash flow profile is no longer consistent with Capstone's investment objectives. Capstone's net investment for its 50% interest in Bristol Water was approximately £90 million. The purchase price represents a significant premium to Capstone's net investment, which is reflective of the significant investment and growth in Regulatory Capital Value ("RCV") during the tenor of Capstone's ownership. Capstone realized an attractive total return in Canadian dollars of approximately 8% per annum, which reflects approximately £16 million of dividends received over the course of ownership and capital appreciation realized from this sale. The purchase price represents an attractive valuation at approximately 1.2x March 2016 rate base of £441 million, which is consistent with other recent transactions in the sector and equivalent, on a pro rata basis, to the price iCON III agreed to pay to Agbar for its 30% interest in Bristol Water in a transaction announced last month. The transaction was reviewed and approved by a special committee of independent directors of the Corporation (the "Special Committee"). In the course of its deliberations, the Special Committee retained Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP as its legal counsel and engaged the UK firm of Ernst & Young LLP ("EY") as its valuation advisor. EY delivered a fairness opinion to the Special Committee to the effect that the price received by the Corporation in the transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Corporation. Proceeds from the sale will be used to eliminate $194 million of the outstanding $291 million balance of the promissory note issued by Capstone to Irving Infrastructure Corp. on April 29, 2016. Accordingly, following the transaction, debt of the Corporation will be substantially reduced with the outstanding balance of the promissory note falling to approximately $97 million. The sale of Bristol Water allows Capstone management to focus its efforts on the operations of Capstone's core power business as well as growth in the power sector across Canada to deliver long-term value creation. "The sale of Bristol Water not only allows for a significant reduction in Capstone's debt, but also allows us to reduce costs and continue growth in our core business of developing, owning and operating power assets in Canada," commented Michael Smerdon, Capstone's Chief Financial Officer. "We have reduced regulatory and currency uncertainty in our portfolio and continue to pursue opportunities that deliver long-term value for our shareholders." The Capstone power portfolio reported adjusted EBITDA ("AEBITDA") and funds from operations ("AFFO")1 over the 12 months ending September 30, 2016 of $82.5 million and $32.5 million, respectively (excluding net contributions from OEFC proceeds awarded for retroactive payments to Cardinal and the Ontario hydro facilities). Capstone's power portfolio is strong and growing with a weighted average remaining contractual life left on its power purchase agreements ("PPAs") of 14.5 years which has increased in length with the completion of recent wind farm development projects. Capstone owns Capstone Power Corp. (100% ownership), which owns, operates and develops thermal and renewable power generation facilities in Canada with a total installed capacity of net 505 megawatts, and Capstone also has a shareholding in Värmevärden (33.3% ownership), a district heating business in Sweden. Please visit www.capstoneinfrastructure.com for more information. Certain of the statements contained within this document are forward-looking and reflect management's expectations regarding the future growth, results of operations, performance and business of the Corporation based on information currently available to the Corporation. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements use forward-looking words, such as "anticipate", "continue", "could", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "estimate", "plan", "believe" or other similar words. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and, accordingly, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. The forward-looking statements within this document are based on information currently available and what the Corporation currently believes are reasonable assumptions. The forward-looking statements within this document reflect current expectations of the Corporation as at the date of this document and speak only as at the date of this document. Except as may be required by applicable law, the Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. This document is not an offer or invitation for the subscription or purchase of or a recommendation of securities. It does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any investors. Before making an investment in the Corporation, an investor or prospective investor should consider whether such an investment is appropriate to their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances and consult an investment adviser if necessary. 1 AEBITDA and AFFO are non-GAAP financial measure that assist management and stakeholders in analyzing the cash flow available for future growth capital investments, acquisitions and dividends available to the preferred shareholders and Capstone's common shareholder. For reconciliations of AEBITDA and AFFO to Net Income, see management's discussion and analysis of the Corporation's interim financial results as at and for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016, which is available under the Corporation's profile on www.sedar.com.

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