Image courtesy of Acciona water.

The pilot plant developed by Life Celsius is already operational

16th June 2016.- The pilot plant, developed at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) of Archena (Murcia), in the framework of the European project Life Celsius, has finished its design and construction phase and is already operational.

This has been confirmed by sources of Acciona Agua, which is leading this project with the participation of EFE News Agency, whose aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of a water treatment system for warm climates, characterized by the low energy consumption.

Energy saving

According to sources, in a conventional sewage treatment plant, the biological process that allows the removal of organic matter and nitrogenous substances from the waste water requires oxygen supply to the reactor by blowers, responsible for 70 percent of the total energy consumption of the waste water treatment plant.

OptiAnMBR anaerobic reactor. Image courtesy of Acciona Agua.

The system developed by Acciona Agua, within the framework of the Life Celsius project, combines two processes: an anaerobic membrane reactor and a treatment of partial nitrification (anammox), that reduce the need for oxygen and thus reduce electricity consumption.

On one side, the removal of organic matter takes place in an anaerobic reactor which does not require any contribution of oxygen, and on the other hand, the removal of nitrogenous substances requires a 60 to 65 percent less air than the conventional nitrification/denitrification process.

And so, in a previous phase, the anaerobic reactor was installed in the WWTP of Archena within the framework of the OptiAnMBR project, led by Acciona Agua, Esamur (The Entity for Water Cleansing and Sanitation of Murcia) and Cetenma (Technological Center for Energy and the Environment.

Kick off

Then, at the end of last May and thanks to the initiative promoted by Acciona Agua, through Life Celsius, the unit responsible for the elimination of nitrogenous substances was launched and is in the experimental stage.

Gloria Gómez inoculating anammox bacteria. Image courtesy of Acciona Agua.

As indicated by Acciona Agua, operators of the Archena Waster Water premises and local subcontractors, contributed in its installation, with the objective of promoting the economic development of the area also.

In charge is Gloria Gómez, chemical and technical engineer of the R & D department of Acciona Agua, who explained to EFE that “once the inoculation of bacteria from other plants has been completed, it is a question of acclimatization to the new conditions and observe its evolution”.

Gloria Gómez points out that: “During this first phase of implementation, which will be carried out in the coming months and taking into account the characteristics of the incoming water, the goal is to seek for the optimum operating conditions for our process”.

The advantage of the climate

Since the plant is installed in a warm environment, the temperature of the effluent is sufficient to maintain both processes, whereas in conventional facilities an external supply of heat through electric resistances or gas burners is required.

Anammox bacteria. Image courtesy of Acciona Agua.

Gloria Gómez has pointed out that the high temperatures that are taking place in Murcia, guarantee the correct development of the system developed by Life Celsius, “which is already generating the envisaged energy saving”.


Acciona Agua expects that this technology will save 70 per cent of the total energy consumption conventional treatments, which will also result in a decrease in greenhouse gases, generated by the production of that energy through fuels.


The persons in charge of the Life Celsius project. Image courtesy of Acciona Agua.


Traducción: Carmen Gilson

Check Also


Archena shows the university students its commitment with sustainable treatment

7th November, 2017.- Students of Mechanical Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPC) and …