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Intelligent wireless sensors could reduce desalination costs by 45 percent

Researchers at a Spanish University are designing intelligent networks to optimise the operation of sewage treatment plants and water desalination plants.

This new technology will save 45% of the desalinated water costs and it will reduce by 74% the energy consumption in the purification facilities.

The Institut de Robòtica i TIC (Robotics Institute and ICT) coordinates the European project Hydrobionets, which is considered a pioneering project in the world.

For the first time ever, an intelligent interconnected wireless network of biosensors will be able to control bacterial activity, to determine the ideal biocides injection, and thus increase the efficiency of these facilities.

The research platform is made up of an international multidisciplinary team. Participating in the team are, apart from Universitat de València, the Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica from the Superior Council of Scientific Research, several Swedish, Hungarian, Greek and British research centres, and the company Acciona Agua.

The GSIC director and coordinator of Hydrobionets, Baltasar Berefull, explained that the main goal of this initiative is to fundamentally increase the plant’s productivity and reduce its costs.

This will be accomplished by the higher durability of osmosis’ membranes – in the case of the desalination – and the higher durability of bioreactors in the sewage treatment plants. A more accurate use of chemical products will play a part as well.

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