The prestigious international project of eco-friendly water treatment

The international consortium of research institutions, universities and industrial companies from three countries of the EU (Sweden, France and the Czech Republic), including UJEP and the Faculty of Environment, gained financial support of a project focused on the eco-friendly ultrafiltration technologies for water treatment.

The international team including the members of the Faculty of Environment was able to obtain the prestigious grant of the ERA-NET cofund AquaticPollutants 2020 „Risks posed to human health and the environment by pollutants and pathogens present in water resources“. The project of eco-friendly ultrafiltration technology for water treatment – Green WaterTech – had to show a real potential to be able to compete.

Total of 184 requests (short versions) were sent to this call out and just 53 made it to the second round. In the second round, the fully presented projects competed and the project GreenWaterTech was successfully picked as one of the 18 supported propositions.

The Czech scientists from UJEP and ÚACH really outdone themselves because their project is also one of the two winning propositions with a Czech member in the team.

This project lasts for three years and got the overall support of 1 381 575 euros (out of which 181 242 euros are for UJEP) from the EU programme called Horizon 2020 – research and innovation. The Technological Agency of the Czech Republic administered the Czech part of this challenge within the Epsilon programme.

The newest result of the stable cooperation of the two teams from FŽP UJEP and ÚACH is the success of getting the AquaticPollutants grant. On this project, led by the University of Uppsala, will participate the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, University of Lyon and the Institute for Research on Catalysis and the Environment of Lyon. Our research ground here, on UJEP, will be led by prof. Ing. Pavel Janoš, CSc., who is the guarantor of the doctoral study programme Environmental Chemistry and Technologies with a shared accreditation on FŽP UJEP and ÚACH.

The main coordinator (for the Czech Republic) of this project will be Ing. Jiří Henych, Ph.D. from ÚACH. He also works at the Faculty of Environment and the Faculty of Science UJEP. He is one of the first graduates of the mentioned doctoral study programme on the FŽP UJEP.

As you can probably tell by the name „GreenWaterTech”, this project is focused on the sustainable techniques of water treatment to fulfil the ever increasing demands of our modern society. The goal is to utilize available and non-toxic materials to remove the so-called emergent pollutants, which are quite common in the environment. They are often unmapped and their effects on organisms including humans are not entirely known. Some pesticides and medicaments can serve as an example of such substances. Furthermore, the scientists will focus on pathogens, including the antibiotics-resistant bacteria, and will search for technical solutions of clearing these undesirable components.

The team effort is focused on the development of a new modular concept for water treatment using the four following steps:

  1. Nanoporous materials carrying the enzymes and chelating functional groups for dangerous metals detainment,
  2. Artificial enzymes based on the nanomaterials to eliminate the pathogens,
  3. Nanoporous absorbents for small organic molecule removal,
  4. Photocatalytic step that ensures the null contaminant release.

The goal of this project is to verify the technologies on a pilot scale.

The main goal of the researchers from ÚACH and UJEP is to develop the transition metal oxides based on Nanoporous absorbents and the materials with a so-called pseudo-enzymatic activity (Cerium (III) oxide based), which will be used as a complex cleaning technology.

More information here – AquaticPollutants.