Brussels, 02 Apr 2003
Researchers from four European countries are currently testing a novel wastewater treatment plant which they have developed with the help of funding from the EU's CRAFT (cooperative research action for technology) programme.
Current EU legislation states that all communities with more than 2,000 inhabitants must have their own wastewater treatment plant.
'This means that there is a need for over 40,000 new plants in Europe. In addition, 30 per cent of the wastewater treatment plants built before 1992 have to be renovated,' says Elmar Schmid, Technical Director at the German ttz environmental institute, one of the project partners.
The aim of the zeoReactor project is to develop a technologically ultra-modern, innovative and environmentally friendly compact plant. A prototype has already been installed at ttz in Bremerhaven. Once this has been tested for four months, the consortium intends to develop the model to meet the needs of factories and industrial sites.
The zeoReactor's innovative features include the ability to carry out nitrification and de-nitrification continuously. This will be carried out using zeolites and highly effective bio-catalysts.
'Also crucial is of course the fact that the zeoReactor can be installed without huge constructional complexity, and extremely cost effectively - it is therefore suited to the renovation of existing plants,' explains ttz's project leader, Anja Degenhardt.
After this four month test phase, it will be installed at a food factory in Spain, and following the official end of the project in December 2003, 'the zeoReactor partners will market it together - for the good of the European environment,' says Ms Degenhardt.
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