On 13th and 14th of June, ICRA became a think tank for the developments in water treatment engineering and innovation of wastewater purity standards. Professionals from academic and industrial work environments debated and defended their vision of the future of the wastewater reuse sector.
Additionally, the conference served as a great platform to share the outputs of the Treatrec project as represented by its five aspiring Ph.D. students. During the conference, they obtained the opinion and insights on their results from industrially oriented practitioners and long-vision academics. The Treatrec students also had the chance to present their research in the context of a bigger picture, since the conference offered four sessions which tackled the societal and technical challenges of the water sector.
The first session concentrated on the removal of micropollutants. Scientist, spearheading international research on that topic, as Christa McArdell, Francisco Omil, and Jörg Drewes presented their current research on microcontaminants and new treatment concepts. Industry representatives as Alessio Fenu from the Belgian water utility company Aquafin offered an insight into the feasibility of industrial treatment of organic trace contaminants.
The second session revolved around the monitoring of microcontaminants in wastewater. Maria Jose Farre from ICRA evaluated novel ways to monitor microcontaminants and concentrating on modern data-driven computational approaches. Antoni Munne from the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) from his side presented the real case of pollutant monitoring in a river and the challenges connected with it.
The wastewater based resource management was the topic of the third session. Here, researchers presented various innovative approaches to drive resource recovery from wastewater. Frank Rogalla from FCC Aqualia shared his vision of sustainable future in the European Union and developing countries. Bart Saerens from Aquafin gave an example of an industrial nutrient recovery pilot and Juan Antonio Baeza from the Autonomous University of Barcelona concentrated on the state-of-the-art for material recovery from wastewater.
Finally, the societal and economic as well as technological impacts of the wastewater sector were discussed in the fourth session of the Treatrec conference. Here Jan Evert van Veldhoven from the Dutch Waterboard de Dommel put the water sector, and wastewater in particular, into the context of the available resources of our planet and the possible vectors of development for resource management for the entire humanity. A vision that was supported and deepened by the research of the Treatrec students Pau Juan Garcia and Pau Gimeno as well as Peter Daldorph from Atkins in the United Kingdom.
Some of the presentations are available to download HERE