“Removal of As from water using innovative BIO-adsorbents produced from by-products of the agro-industrial”

(co-financed by European Commission LIFE19 programme)

Life BIOAs (LIFE19 ENV/IT/000512) is a project co-financed under the LIFE+ program and aims to demonstrate the environmental and economic feasibility of a process for the production of an innovative bio-adsorbent starting from olive pomace and, at the same time , its use for the purification of drinking water from arsenic. The project will highlight the advantages related to the environmental impacts (related to water purification) and the economic advantages related to a lower use of expensive raw materials and a lower energy consumption compared to currently produced adsorbents). Within the project, three prototypes will be built and experimental campaigns will be carried out both for the production of bio-adsorbents and for the decontamination of water both in Italy and in Portugal. Eco Recycling srl is the project leader while the other project partners are the following: ALFO ENERGIA srl, HTR center (High Tech Recycling, Chemistry Department of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome), TALETE SpA, Technosind S.r.l., Universidade de Évora.

In the Life BIOAs Eco Recycling project it is involved and responsible for the following activities:

  • Coordination and monitoring of project activities;
  • Engineering support: basic and detailed design of 2 prototype units: one for the production of bioadsorbents (6.3 kg/day) and one for water treatment (48 m3/day);
  • Procurement, construction and commissioning of prototypes;
  • Demonstration activity: validation of the production process on a prototype scale aimed at the production of bio-adsorbents starting from olive pomace;
  • Assessment of environmental impacts through LCA analysis;
  • Business plan: creation of a business plan for a full-scale plant.

The demonstration activities at the Eco Recycling industrial site include the production of bio-adsorbents starting from pre-treated olive pomace. As agreed in the documentation provided to the Lazio Region, a waterproofed floor was created in order to make the area where the prototype was positioned suitable. The prototype for bio-adsorbent production has a capacity of approximately 12.6 kg of bio-adsorbent per batch and all the equipment has been placed inside a 12m container.

The prototype for the production of bio-adsorbents is composed of the following units:

  • Reagent dosing station;
  • Hydrothermal reactor with control panel;
  • Filtration system with pump;
  • Oven with control panel (for drying and activation);
  • Granulation system with control panel;
  • Inerting system (for furnace and reactor);
  • Electrical panel and lighting;
  • Piping.
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