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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SME-2011-3 | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2012

The TidalSense Demo project has been conceived by the SMEs intending to exploit a new market with huge potential growth, in Condition Monitoring of subsea energy device elements using the TidalSense System. The TidalSense condition monitoring system has been developed to detect, locate and classify defects in tidal generator structures. The Demo project will allow the SMEs to demonstrate and validate their system so that they can gain a lead in this emerging market, providing condition monitoring services and components to tidal energy operators. The SMEs will draw on their in-house research capabilities and those of participating research organisations, who will supply support to the SMEs. The TidalSense Demo project is aiming to: Apply novel LRU (Long Range Ultrasonic) and AE (Acoustic Emission) sensors to inspect tidal stream generators, allowing 100% volume coverage. Apply novel and flexible piezocomposite transducers to LRU/AE allowing perfect adaptation of shape to structures of complex contour, and thus perfect acoustic coupling into such structures. Use guided wave in new applications. Develop instrumentation and software for LRUT and AE monitoring of tidal generators. Develop signal processing techniques for signal enhancement including novel time reversal focussing. Develop an automated defect detection and classification system (ADDS) including trend analysis which combines AE and LRU in an integrated way. Implement general wireless communication methods so that the data can be collected and transmitted both from generators directly to the office, without human intervention.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2013

Nutrient recovery from wastewater has been receiving growing interest, driven by stringent nutrient discharge limits from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) and by the potential for valorization of the recovered nutrients, e.g. for application as fertilizers, which can represent an additional revenue source to WWTP operators. The NUTREC project focuses on the recovery of ammonia (N) and phosphorus (P) from wastewaters, in particular reject water from biogas production (rich in N and P) and leachates (rich in N) from landfills. The NUTREC consortium led by a group of five SMEs (from four countries) within the WWT industrial sector wishes to improve and optimize a recently developed, innovative technological process for recovering ammonia, as well as extending such process for the recovery of phosphorus from diverse wastewaters, and transforming the nutrient-rich by-streams into useful fertilisers. The technology has a very high potential for economic savings especially related to energy and operational improvements in WWTPs. However, it faces number of limitations which the SME consortium expects to overcome with the contribution of two highly specialised RTD Performers that will address the main scientific and technological barriers preventing the technology from reaching the market. A successful achievement of the NUTREC project objectives will strongly improve the competitiveness of the five SMEs together expecting an increased turnover in the order of 80M (for the 5-year period post project), broadening their knowledge and market position in the WWT sector. Moreover, implementation of the new NUTREC technology will provide a sound business case to end-users (WWTPs), with a payback time below 2.5 years. Finally, a large implementation of the NUTREC technology will elicit substantial societal and environmental benefits, contributing to meeting EU policy objectives within the Environment, Health and Energy/CO2 emission areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-13-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 6.99M | Year: 2016

The PLATIRUS project aims at reducing the European deficit of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), by upscaling to industrial relevant levels a novel cost-efficient and miniaturised PGMs recovery and raw material production process. The targeted secondary raw materials will be autocatalysts, electronic waste (WEEE) and tailings and slags from nickel and copper smelters, opening-up an important range of alternative sources of these critical raw materials, with the potential to substitute a large amount of primary raw materials which are becoming more and more scarce in Europe. For the first time five of the major research centres in Europe will collaborate in developing and fine tuning the most advanced recovery processes for PGMs. This joint effort will lead to a unique exchange of know-how and best practices between researchers all over Europe, aiming at the selection of the recycling process and the preparation of the Blueprint Process Design that will set the basis for a new PGM supply chain in the EU. Two primary and secondary material producers with a consolidated business model will carry out validation of the innovative recovery processes in an industrially relevant environment by installing and testing them in an industrially relevant environment and benchmarking with the currently adopted recovery processes. A recycling company will provide a link to market introduction by manufacturing autocatalysts with second-life PGMs obtained via the PLATIRUS technology. Two large automotive companies will validate the material produced through the new recovery process, and ensure end-user industry driven value chains for recovered PGM materials. LCA, economic and environment assessment of the whole process will be led by a specialized consultancy company. Finally, the PLATIRUS project will be linked to European and extra-European relevant stakeholders, research activities and industries, with a solid dissemination, communication and exploitation plan.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1a-2014 | Award Amount: 5.17M | Year: 2015

The municipal wastewater in Europe contains a potential chemical energy of 87,500 GWh per year in its organic fraction, which is equivalent to the output of 12 large power stations. Due to the currently applied technologies and related energy loss at each process step, wastewater treatment in Europe today consumes instead the equivalent of more than 2 power stations. Many operators are thus targeting incremental energy efficiency towards energy neutrality, but recent studies have shown that with novel process schemes using existing technologies, sewage treatment plants could actually become a new source of renewable energy, without compromising the treatment performance. The project POWERSTEP aims at demonstrating such innovative concepts in first full scale references for each essential process step in order to design energy positive wastewater treatment plants with currently available technologies. The following processes will be demonstrated in 6 full-scale case studies located in 4 European countries: enhanced carbon extraction (pre-filtration), innovative nitrogen removal processes (advanced control, main-stream deammonification, duckweed reactor), power-to-gas (biogas upgrade) with smart grid approach, heat-to-power concepts (thermoelectric recovery in CHP unit, steam rankine cycle, heat storage concepts), and innovative process water treatment (nitritation, membrane ammonia stripping). These individual technology assessments will merge into integrative activities such as treatment scheme modelling and design, global energy and heat management, carbon footprinting, integrated design options, as well as extensive dissemination activities. POWERSTEP will demonstrate the novel concepts and design treatment schemes of wastewater treatment plants that will be net energy producers, paving the way towards large implementation of such approaches and quick market penetration and supporting the business plans of participating technology providers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 1.95M | Year: 2011

Expanded polystyrene is widely used as packaging for foodstuffs and for shipping. Several hundred thousand tonnes of polystyrene are sent unnecessarily to landfill every year in the UK and Europe, where it does not biodegrade but persists for hundreds of years. Meanwhile, oil-derived feedstocks are being consumed in the production of new polystyrene. Recycling systems for polystyrene are underdeveloped compared to those in existence for many other plastics, owing to the unfavourable economics of collecting and recycling low density material. The proposed project will develop a new process by which an environmentally friendly and selective solvent is used to dissolve and recycle polystyrene waste into a highpurity product comparable to virgin material. A novel thermoplastic recovery system will be developed and integrated within a modular, scalable recycling process. This will facilitate: Reduced pressure on oil feedstocks for virgin polystyrene production High value-added product manufactured from effectively zero-value waste, to be sold by the end user The technology will build on the success already achieved under the UK TSB-funded HiPerPol project, whereby solvent-based systems have been developed for the selective separation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) from mixed plastic waste streams. The extension of the technology to polystyrene and polycarbonate will greatly increase the capability of this technology to deal with the high volumes of mixed polymer waste, whereby individual polymers can be separated and recycled at a far higher degree of purity (and consequently value) than is currently possible. The process can also be extended to other thermoplastics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.3-1 | Award Amount: 4.61M | Year: 2013

The COLABATS project will provide new industrial processes for the recycling of the critical metals Cobalt and Lanthanides and key economic metals Nickel and Lithium, from waste batteries, significantly improving recycling efficiencies and metal purity from existing recovery routes. Primarily Li-ion and NiMH will be targeted using novel task specific ionic liquids (TSILs) to selectively extract the metals. These batteries are found in everyday consumer products such as mobile phones, portable media players, etc., as well as other industrial equipment, and are prevalent in hybrid and electric vehicles, which are becoming increasingly widespread on our roads. TSILs are molecules covalently tethered to a functional group. Targeted species will be low-cost, non-toxic, environmentally benign, and will require minimal or no processing to reuse them. The battery recycling processes will be up-scaled to a pilot system using standard hydrometallurgical equipment and will include other novel concepts to further improve the process. The pilots will be operated in an industrial setting at battery recycling plants and demonstrated to the wider recycling and battery communities. The technology will result in: Substantially reducing landfill waste by recovering recyclable metals of high purity Reducing critical metal consumption by increasing recycling efficiencies of spent battery waste. Hence, high purity recovered metals can be recycled into new batteries rather than landfilling or in the case of nickel, processed into lower value stainless steel. Substantially reducing environmental impact by introducing more sustainable hydrometallurgical processing to replace current standard pyrometallurgical processes. This will reduce energy consumption and emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. Increasing the capability of the SME community to carry out the complete recycling process, thereby taking advantage of the potential value chain of critical and high value metals markets.


Patent
Aqua Solutions | Date: 2014-06-24

This invention relates to compositions and methods for improving water quality by enhancing natural bacterial processes and altering environmental conditions in situ. This is achieved by the manufacture and use of granules or tables composed of the inventive formulations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-2 | Phase: SMEInst-11-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 1.89M | Year: 2016

Our Earth is drying-up. Water is an over-used vital resource worldwide and more than 1billion people still live in water-scarce regions and around 3,5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025. Fortunately, 97% of all water contained on the Earth is in liquid phase & just few steps from the coast: Seawater. Within this scenario, global desalination capacity in 2015 reached 95 million m3 water per day, distributed among 18,700 plants worldwide. These incredible figures are translated into a global water desalination market already representing over 12 billion/year and CAGR of total cumulative contracted capacity over 9.5% per year. AQUA.abib S.L was founded in Barcelona (Spain) 2 years ago as a spin-off of BarcelonaTech after having completed the feasibility assessment of the invention. The introduction of SunAqua into the market will have a positive impact on: i) the economy of our customers, by allowing them to desalinate saline water at lower costs ii) the environment, and iii) AQUA.Abibs economic growth. SunAqua18 consists of a pyramid-shaped structure with an octagonal base, measuring 18m in height (15m of column \ 3m of human-beings), covering an area of 2.500m2. The structure is covered by an outer transparent plastic layer and an inner dark-coloured layer which is considered to efficiently harvest sunlight from sun. The system was validated by the end of 2013 with a SunAqua pilot-scale, which was running during 4 months. Moved by real market demand and several expressions of interest, we are committed to quickly moving towards our final commercial product, with overall dimensions assuring the best cost/efficiency ratio: SunAqua18. Thanks to the promising performance of the fully-operational prototype we estimate yearly revenues up to 19M by the end of the 5th year and cumulated benefits reaching 16.6. These figures would allow us to assure a Payback period of our project lower than 3 years.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 69.89K | Year: 2016

Microalgae have the potential to produce an array of compounds in a manner more sustainable than the conventional petrochemical industry. This project aims to explore a novel and innovative method to produce algal biomass and bio-products at lower costs than conventional production systems. Namely we aim to investigate the commercial opportunity of using a proprietary membrane photobioreactor (MBR) to produce the high value pigment astaxanthin from a biofilm of the microalgal strain Haematococcus pluvialis.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: NMP-25-2014-1 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2015

Ten years ago, our innovative Israeli SME company, Aqua Solutions Ltd. was founded. Since the beginning, our CEO, Mr. Ahmed Alimi, focused all our efforts on the optimisation of laundering processes by means of cleaning and disinfecting solutions without the usage of detergent. This led us to develop a process that has a strong cleaning ability and a strong disinfecting ability consuming only three elements: electricity, water and salt. With AquaPure our aim is to develop a detergent free process for industrial and household dishwashers. This apparatus will be integrated in the dishwashers and will be capable of reducing the energy consumption per cycle (70%), reduce water consumption (50%), and decrease each washing cycle duration (20%). The innovative technology helps significantly reduce costs per cycle (Energy: household: 200kWh/year; industrial: 330-2830kWh/year; water used: household: 780L/cycle; industrial: 1.200-75.200-40L/year ) and dramatically reduce environmental impact.

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