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Valorization of by-products from industrial effluents: integration of membrane technologies in the separation, concentration and purification steps

Total activity: 7
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
314.600,00 €
Start date
End date
Scope: One of the main problems facing the industry is the need to reduce the generation of wastes. In the case of liquid wastes are
characterized by large volumes, high content of dissolved compounds and the low value associated of these components. In general the
management routes are based on the reduction of concentration of the dissolved components to the regulated levels and then their
discharge to water bodies. The reduction of the pollution load has been mainly focused on the reduction of the organic fraction and minor
effort has been allocated typically in the inorganic fraction, due typically to their lower toxicity and minor impact on the receiving water
The high ratio of flow-rates or volumes of the receiving water bodies in relation to the discharges of brines containing inorganic ions (e.g.
Cl, SO4, NO3, H2PO4, Na, K, Mg, Ca, NH4) as well other organic compounds is not acceptable management option. The increasing
legislation pressure to reduce liquid discharges has promoted the introduction of advanced treatments. These treatments, typically
membrane technologies, reduce the discharge volume and increase ratio of water recovery to be used internally in the industry. However,
more concentrated brines are generated and then without any further option of being discharged. As, the conversion of these effluents to
solids to be disposed in landfills by using typically evaporation processes is not a sustainable solution and evaporation of brines containing
mixtures of salts is providing a mixture of solids with limited value.
Under this scenario, and supported policies by the EU, this project is devoted to integrate separation processes to convert the complex
and non-value industrial brines onto value by-products. With this objective, it will be solved the problem of waste management; by avoiding
the discharge of toxic chemicals onto the medium, reduce the need of raw materials or chemicals for the processing steps, promoting in
this way the concept of circular economy.
General Objectives: The global objective of the project is to develop integrated processes of separation, concentration, purification to
valorize inorganic components of industrial or domestic liquid wastes to probe de concept of waste to products.
To achieve this global objective the following specific objectives have been defined:
- To determine experimentally the ion separation properties of inorganic ions mixtures with NF and IX membranes and with hybrid ion
exchangers (membranes ion permeances, ions selectivity factors of multi, mono and non charged).
- To integrate the experimental data on ions transport and rejection with theoretical models to predict the behaviour of multi-to monocharge
ions separation with NF and IX membranes (ED and EDBP).
- To evaluate the integration of selective ion exchange mono and bipolar membranes to concentrate and purify brines in a single step and
to valorize as strong acid and bases.
- To integrate of hydrophobic hollow fiber membranes for concentration of and purification of rich ammonium salts or concentration and
crystallization of rich brines generated with NF membranes.
- To evaluate inorganic natural and synthetic adsorbents (e.g. zeolites, flying ashes) or selective hybrid adsorbents prepared by
modification with hydrated metal oxides for selective extraction of nutrients (P, N, K,Ca,Mg) to produce slow-release fertilizers for
agronomical applications.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Resoluton year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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