The transition from a linear to a circular economy is the basic scope of the ANATHREPSI project, which aims to the development of innovative membrane technologies for the effective recovery of water and nutrients (N-NH3, P-PO4) from the anaerobic digestate of food industries. ANATHREPSI project aims, through an integrated work plan, to solve specific technological issues and to achieve the necessary progress to make possible and economically viable the scale-up (on an industrial scale) of an integrated and attractive practical solution for the food industry.
The project is structured into nine Work Packages (WP), with defined objectives and deliverables, which respond to specific technological and scientific challenges.
Initially, an adequate database will be developed based on scientific and technical literature as well as partners’ own data/experience and some results of specific preliminary tests (WP1).
Subsequently, two alternative membrane processes will be investigated, a combined precipitation and membrane distillation (MD) process (WP2), and the treatment by means of nanofiltration (NF) and / or ultra-low pressure reverse osmosis (ULPRO) (WP3). Extensive laboratory studies will be performed towards the optimum recovery of nutrients and water, with special regard to the prevention of phenomena that adversely affect the performance of the membranes (e.g., membrane fouling).
Next an evolutionary sequence of actions follows, involving the comparative evaluation of the two alternative membrane processes versus the recovery of nutrients as struvite, thus, allowing the subsequent selection of the best technology for the design and construction of an industrial pilot prototype (WP4) for testing in representative environment (WP5), the synthesis of new organo-chemical fertilizers from the recovered nutrients and their application on selected plants in on-farm experiments (WP6), and finally the technical and economic evaluation of project results with proposals for applications and business exploitation (WP7). Finally, actions towards the protection of the intellectual property rights will take place (WP8), while the two industrial partners will promote the results of ANATHREPSI project through the participation in trade exhibitions (WP8).