Bioelectrogenic wetlands, a sustainable solution for small populations

June 14, 2017

Coordinator Abraham Esteve took part in a technical session on artificial wetlands.


Abraham Esteve, associate researcher at IMDEA Agua and IMETland Coordinator, spoke about METlands: a new generation of wetlands based on electroactive microorganisms, and showed the advances of this new technology that is already being applied on a real scale.


The purification of wastewater from small populations through a system of artificial wetlands is a sustainable process both economically and environmentally, with low initial investment costs and maintenance, which can be implemented in municipalities that cannot afford conventional treatments.


These purification systems were the protagonists of the Technical Day dedicated to the purification of wastewater, organized yesterday by the public sanitation system of the Valencian Community (EPSAR) and the Diputación de Castellón. The aim is to incentive the construction and the exploitation of new systems of purification more modern, effective and sustainable.


The concept of METland or electrogenic wetland is part of the integration of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies (MET) with the biofilter used in artificial wetlands. The combination of electroactive bacteria with an innovative electroconductive material means an improvement in the performance of classic biofilters, with a purification rate 10 times greater than that achieved with the usual technology.


These principles are based on the iMETland H2020 project, coordinated by IMDEA Water, whose objective is to build and validate these wetlands to scale to treat wastewater from small communities at zero energy cost. The project foresees the implantation in four different geographic locations (Spain, Denmark, Argentina and Mexico). The first METland already operates at CENTA facilities in Carrión de los Céspedes (Seville).


During the session several experts presented designs and practical experiences carried out in different autonomous communities, among them the presence of Juan José Salas, CENTA R & D & I manager and main specialist in Spain in the design and building of constructed wetlands.



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