Knowledge transfer strategies, networking and public engagement for a successful mitigation of risks induced by aquatic pollutants (AquaticPollutantsTransNet)

This transfer project is part of the AquaticPollutants projects’ family and accompany its research and innovation projects. It will support the funded projects in scientific communication and in the uptake of research results with the aim to increase their impact.

Ongoing project

Protecting all our water resources from pollutant inputs and the spread of pathogens is essential for a healthy environment, ecosystems, and our life! “Strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of clean and healthy aquatic ecosystems and to leverage untapped potential in the collaboration between the freshwater, marine and health research areas.” – That is the goal within the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants where the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) on Water, Oceans and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) are working closely together. To support the achievement of this goal is in the focus of the upcoming transfer project AquaticPollutantsTransNet.

Aims

The project aims to:

  • Improve stakeholders’ & citizens’ perception through active involvement in the reduction of aquatic pollutants in the water cycle,
  • bring aquatic pollutants to the public’s attention and improve social impact awareness and understanding of the advantages in their reduction,
  • realise the above by using innovative tools and by implementing engagement activities around the AquaticPollutants projects to foster societal embedding.

Key objectives

To support knowledge transfer, scientific networking, and public engagement on aquatic pollutants,the key objectives are:

  • identification of key stakeholders and their knowledge gaps,
  • development of innovative approaches for enhanced knowledge transfer and exchange,
  • create synergies amongst the AquaticPollutants projects and strengthen stakeholder collaboration,
  • foster the knowledge transfer from the research projects to stakeholders and its uptake,
  • implementation of multiple dissemination and exploitation routes with thematic (non-scientific) groups, political fora, scientific networks and citizens.

Project phases

The transfer project consists of two interacting phases:

  • Phase one aims (a) to identify key stakeholders and knowledge demands relevant to aquatic pollutants (CEC, AMR and pathogens) and (b) to develop innovative methods/strategies/tools to improve the transfer of scientific knowledge on aquatic pollutants to policy makers, the public, the health, agricultural and industrial sectors.
  • The aim of phase two is (a) to create added value by cooperation among the AquaticPollutants projects, (b) to strengthen collaboration with stakeholders and (c) implement innovative methods and channels for strategic transfer exploitation and uptake of results by communication to reach the relevant identified stakeholder groups.

Thus, AquaticPollutantsTransNet will follow a tailored dissemination, exploitation and knowledge transfer strategy with multiple dissemination and exploitation routes integrating standardisation, thematic expert groups, political fora, scientific networks and the public.

Once the project has started, we will keep you updated on our website and communication channels. The entire AquaticPollutantsTransNet team looks forward to cooperate and interact with you as funded projects, stakeholders, interested parties or individuals!

Contact: Thomas Track, Head of Water Management, DECHEMA e.V., Frankfurt/Main, Germany, thomas.track[at]dechema.de

Project partners

  • Dennis Becker, DECHEMA Gesellschaft fuer Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V., Germany (Coordinator)
  • Gunnar Thorsén, IVL Swedish Evironmental Research Institute, Sweden
  • Nicole Baran, BRGM , the French geological survey, France
  • Pierre Strosser, ACTeon, France

Call

CECs and AMR bacteria pre-concentration by ultra-nano filtration and Abatement by ThermoCatalytic Nano-powders implementing circular economy solution. (NanoTheC-Aba)

This project will deliver an energy efficient new integrated prototype system for water purification, composed of three different components.

Ongoing project

The components are:

  • The first-to-be realised ultra-stable silicon carbide (SiC) UltraFiltration/NanoFiltration (UF/NF) membrane
  • An innovative nano-enabled Thermocatalytic energy efficient Packed-Bed Reactor (TPBR)
  • A nano-enabled antimicrobial MicroFiltration (MF) membrane.

The TPBR beads are obtained by recycling SiC membranes scraps deriving from the ordinary production process and will be coated with thermocatalytic perovskite-nano powders allowing full abatement of CECs and of AMR pathogens at mild temperatures without need of chemicals and light sources. The MF membrane is coated with antibacterial titania-silica-core shell nanoparticles for inactivating AMRbacteria, while removing suspended solids. The UF/NF membrane separates the clean permeate stream, ready to be recycled or reused from the toxic concentrate, which is purified by the TPBR, thus preventing discharge of CECs and pathogens in rivers and oceans.

The new system is compact, amenable to scale-up, and ease to integrate in mariculture, aquaculture, tannery, hospital, and other industrial wastewaters treatment facilities, providing safe and efficient operation. The integration of the three components allows the optimization of each system unit both alone and in combination, boosting the efficiency of the process and ensuring high water quality and safety, by enabling a water and SiC recycling multi-circular model.

Project partners

  • Giuliana Magnacca, Torino University, Italy (Coordinator)
  • Victor Candelario, LiqTech International A/S, Denmark
  • Vittorio Boffa, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Francesca Deganello, Italian National Research Council (CNR) – Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN), Italy
  • Mariana Ornelas, CeNTI – Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials, Portugal

Call

Potential of decentralized wastewater treatment for preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance, organic micropollutants, pathogens and viruses (PRESAGE)

New approaches are needed to reduce the emission of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Some sources contribute strongly to suchemissions, which has driven the focus of PRESAGE on innovative decentralized wastewater treatment (WWT), based on anaerobic andaerobic compact systems.Ongoing project

An integrated analysis of the behaviour of organic micropollutants (OMPs), antibiotic resistant microorganisms and genes (ARMs/ARGs) and pathogens (viruses and bacteria) will be carried out. This will allow better understanding the relation betweenthe operational parameters of reactors, the microbiological evolution in the system, the removal of OMPs and pathogens, and thedevelopment of ARMs and ARGs. The contribution of such a complex mixture on the final effluent ecotoxicity will be assessed.The technologies will be validated at 4 demosites treating black and grey water, and effluents from hospitals and an antibiotic industry, inclose collaboration with the industrial sector. This high readiness level anticipates a good impact of project results on wastewater innovation. Experts in the field of advanced WWT, microbiology and ecotoxicology will strongly cooperate and participate in a mobility plan focusing oncomplementary skills.

PRESAGE impacts society and economy, boosting the water industry and protecting the environment from effluent discharges containing CECs. In the proposed treatment strategy a minimum global impact is targeted, preferentially promoting the onsite water reuse.

Project partners

  • Francisco Omil, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain (Coordinator)
  • Marcelo Zaiat, University of São Paulo (USP), Brasil
  • Henrik Rasmus Andersen, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • Eric Pinelli, CNRS/Institut National polytechnique de Toulouse (INP Toulouse), France
  • Thomas Ulrich Berendonk, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Luis Melo, Faculty of Engineering of Univ Porto (UP), Portugal

Call

Development a smart forewarning system to assess the occurrence, fate and behaviour of contaminants of emerging concern and pathogens, in waters (FOREWARN)

This project will assess the occurrence, fate and behaviour of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and pathogens, and develop machine-learning methods to model their transfer and behaviour and build a decision support system (DSS) for predicting risks and propose mitigation strategies.

Ongoing project

FOREWARN will be focussed on CECs such as antibiotics and pathogens such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) and emerging viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2. The project will consider 2 types of case studies: 1) In-silico case studies will be selected from previous results, and dataset obtained in past or ongoing EU projects. Data will be used to develop the models and algorithms to feed and develop the DSS system to better understanding the sources, transport, degradation of CECs and pathogens and modelling their behaviour. 2) The adaptive DSS system will be refined and tested under real environmental conditions (6 months) to achieve TRL5 in real environment case studies.

Project partners

  • Esteban Abad, CSIC, Spain (Coordinator)
  • Leena Maunula, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Sandra Martin-Latil, ANSES, France
  • Spyros Pournaras, Attikon University Hospital, Greece
  • Kevin McGuinness, Dublin City University, Ireland

Call

Sustainable Electrochemical Reduction of contaminants of emerging concern and Pathogens in WWTP effluent for Irrigation of Crops (SERPIC)

This project will develop an integral technology, based on a multi-barrier approach, to treat the effluents of wastewater treatment plants(WWTPs) to maximise the reduction of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).

Ongoing project

A membrane nanofiltration (NF) technology will be applied to reduce CECs in its permeate stream by at least 90 % while retaining thenutrients. A residual disinfection using chlorine dioxide produced electrochemically will be added to the stream used for crops irrigation (route A). The CECs in the polluted concentrate (retentate) stream will be reduced by at least 80 % by light driven electro-chemicaloxidation. When discharged into the aquatic system (route B), it will contribute to the quality improvement of the surface water body.

A prototype treatment plant will be set-up and evaluated for irrigation in long-term tests with the help of agricultural test pots. A review investigation of CECs spread will be performed at four regional showcases in Europe and Africa. It will include a detailed assessment of the individual situation and surrounding condition. Transfer concepts will be developed to transfer the results of thetreatment technology to other regions, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Project partners

  • Jan Gäbler, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, Germany (Coordinator)
  • Rebecca Schwantes, SolarSpring GmbH, Germany
  • Paola Verlicchi, University of Ferrara, Italy
  • Pawel Krzeminski, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway
  • Vítor Vilar, Faculty of Engineering University of Porto, Portugal
  • Marta Carvalho, AdP – Águas de Portugal, Serviços Ambientais, S.A., Portugal
  • Gideon Wolfaardt, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Manuel Andrés Rodrigo, University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Call

Green Ultrafiltration Water Cleaning Technologies (GreenWaterTech)

Clean water is a key challenge in the 21th century, identified in the UN sustainable development goals. In close collaboration with industry and stakeholders, this project aims at developing new types of sustainable water treatment techniques that is, cheap, easy tomaintain and can be applied in settings/countries where clean water is a challenge.

Ongoing project

By using non-critical and non-toxic materials to mitigate contaminants of emerging concern and pathogens, including antibiotic resistant bacteria, it helps avoid their further spread. We will develop a potentially cost-effective water cleaning concept, amenable for decentralized use, that will be validated on a small pilot scale comprising a series of modules: 1) An enzymatic step including nanoporous materials bearing enzymes andchelating functions to retain hazardous metals, 2) enzyme-mimetic nanomaterials, 3) nanoporous adsorbents, and finally 4) a photocatalytic step that ensures zero-discharge of contaminants.

Laboratory scale research will be implemented in reactor modules in collaboration with industrial partners. The evaluation of different combinations of modules will be an integral part of the project. Industrial partners will provide engineering solutions that allow testing of new materials/technologies. Associated partners will evaluate the technology and spread results, to various industries as well as stakeholders in the developing world.

Project partners

  • Lars Österlund, Uppsala University, Sweden (Coordinator)
  • Jiří Henych, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
  • Pavel Janoš, University of J.E. Purkyne, Czech Republic
  • Chantal Guillard, CNRS/IRCELYON, France
  • Stephane Parola, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France
  • Gulaim Seisenbaeva, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Call

Surveillance of Emerging Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistances in Aquatic Ecosystems (SARA)

Appropriate methods for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) and a better understanding of the fate of pathogenic viruses and antibioticresistant bacteria from the sources to river basins and estuaries are urgently required.Ongoing project

Our project will determine the prevalence of pathogenic viruses (including SARS-CoV-2), microbial indicators, antibiotic resistance, and microbial source tracking (MST) markers in wastewater, surface water, coastal sea waters, sediment and bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) in catchments located in different climate areas (Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Mozambique, and Uganda).

The project aims are: (i) method harmonization and training of European and African partners, (ii) SARS-CoV-2 detection in raw wastewater as a biomarker of COVID-19 cases, (iii) enteric viruses, antibiotic resistances and MST markers monitoring in aquatic environments, (iv) evaluation of sediments and BMS as integral reservoirs, (v) determination of the impact of climate and extreme weather events, and (vi) microbial risk assessment for water resources.

Results and recommendations will be transferred to the scientific community by peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations. International health and environment organisations as well as authorities and waterworks that represent end-users on a global, European and African level will participate in the Stakeholder Forum.

Project partners

  • Andreas Tiehm, DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (TZW), Germany (Coordinator)
  • Edgar Mulogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Uganda
  • Clemencio Nhantumbo, Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU), Moçambique
  • Timothy Vogel, Ecole Centrale de Lyon (ECL), France
  • Abidelfatah Nasser, Ministry of Health (PHLTA), Israel
  • Ricardo Santos, Universidade Lisboa, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Portugal
  • Anicet Blanch, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Spain
  • Magnus Simonsson, European Union Reference Laboratory for Foodborne Viruses, Swedish Food Agency (SFA), Sweden

Call

Reduction and assessment of antimicrobial resistance and emerging pollutants in natural-based water treatment systems (REWA)

The main goal of the REWA project is the strategic development and implementation of sustainable and cost-effective technologies for theremoval of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), metals, pathogens including antimicrobial resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistancegenes (ARGs) from water.

Ongoing project

The scientific and technological aims are to demonstrate 1) new concept in surface water treatment based onstate-of-the-art methods (nanocomposites coagoflocculation and pathogens removal, photocatalysis oriented to visible light catalysts, andtailor-adapted sorbents), 2) sewage effluent polishing with biosorbents and carbon-based nanomaterials, 3) the use of biocoagulants formetal-rich effluents.

The efficiencies of the treatment steps for removal of CECs and antibiotic resistance (ARGs, mobile genetic elements and bacteria) will be assessed. Mitigation of selection pressures for antibiotic resistance/co-selection potentials will be investigated. Special attention will be given to the raising of awareness via various channels and to the education by developing training material including an elearningcourse.

The REWA consortium brings together four RTDs and associate partners providing a multi-disciplinary approach with expertise onwater engineering, chemistry, materials’ synthesis and microbial ecology.

Project partners

  • Tiina Leiviskä, University of Oulu, Finland (Coordinator)
  • Kristian Koefoed Brandt, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Giora Rytwo, MIGAL- Galilee Research Institute, Israel
  • Bice Martincigh, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Call

Nature-based Solutions to Reduce Antibiotics, Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance in Aquatic Ecosystems (NATURE)

This project will assess nature-based solutions (NBS) as management option for water treatment on the catchmentscale.

Ongoing project

An array of NBS including conventional and high-end constructed wetlands, river re-naturalization, and restoration of wetlands will cover the continuum from urban sources to coastal biota in estuaries. We propose a comprehensive quantification of the fate of ABs, pathogens, and AMR in these systems together with ecotoxicological and human health assessments. NBS performance will be analyzed using multivariate modelling techniques to identify parameters with the greatest empirical influence on the attenuation of targeted pollutants.

The NATURE project will encompass three interconnected phases: An experimental phase in which the reduction of aquatic pollutants will be evaluated in NBS and compared with reference sites. In a data modelling phase, diagnostic indicators (indicative parameters from the first phase) will be identified for cost-effective future monitoring. In a risk assessment phase, the effect of aquatic pollutants on environment and human health will be evaluated, estimating its reduction due to NBS implementation. The unique combination of advanced approaches from analytical chemistry, molecular microbiology, modelling and ecotoxicology will be of paramount importance for an accurate evaluation of NBS treatment performance. NATURE’s key objective is to promote the sustainable and green attenuation of aquatic pollutants.

Project partners

  • Victor Matamoros, CSIC, Spain (Coordinator)
  • Sidy Ba, École Nationale d’Ingénieurs – Abderhamane Baba Touré (ENI-ABT), Mali
  • Pedro Carvalho, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Rene’ Kilian, Kilian Water Ltd., Denmark
  • Jochen Mueller, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany
  • Marisa Almeida, CIIMAR-Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Portugal

Call

Nanoenabled strategies to reduce the presence of contaminants of emerging concern in aquatic environment (AMROCE)

Contaminant of emerging concern (CECs) such as antibiotics, pathogens and antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria in water bodiesassociated to intensive fish and inland animal farming, represent a great threat to the environment and human health.

Ongoing project

AMROCE aims at reducing antibiotic pollution and spread of AMR bacteria in the entire water cycle through a platform of novel antibiotic-free antimicrobial products. AMROCE will develop antimicrobial/antibiofilm fish cage nets and wastewater filtration membranes through polymer bulk and surface nano-engineering. Marine-derived antimicrobial agents and antibiofilm enzymes will be nano-formulated as alternative to antibiotics for fish and animal feed supplement. Human and environmental nanosafety during the manufacturing and use of the novel nanotechnology-embedded products will be continuously evaluated to anticipate nanosafety issues.

Project partners

  • Tzanko Tzanov, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain (Coordinator)
  • Tommi Vuorinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland
  • Konstantinos Komnitsas, Technical University Crete, Greece
  • Aharon Gedanken, BIU-Faculty of Exact Science, Israel
  • Paride Mantecca,University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • Massimo Perucca, Project sas, Italy
  • Rasa Slizyte, SINTEF, Norway
  • Maciej Szwast, Polymemtech, Poland

Call