The EcoModZHC project consists of a Proof-of-Concept project, in which it is intended to implement a prototype of Constructed Wetland (CW) to demonstrate the effectiveness of recovery of urban and industrial wastewater through modular systems, promote the circular economy of water and solid waste or industrial solid by-products, and disseminate this greener and more sustainable wastewater treatment technology.
The prototype to be built, installed and operated will include two innovative features in this type of wastewater treatment facility:
- Remote, constant and real-time monitoring of the operation of the installation and the performance parameters and quality of the treated water;
- The energy autonomy of the installation, through renewable energy systems.
The proposed solution, in addition to demonstrating the concept effectiveness in its technical aspect, also aims to sensitize municipal decision-makers and entrepreneurs to the ability of CWs to contribute to the Circular Economy, climate change mitigation, and the protection of water resources and the environment.
In addition to the environmental added value, economic added value is emerging for the use and recovery of industrial waste for the filling of CWs, for the reduction of installation, operation and maintenance costs compared to conventional wastewater treatment systems, and also of the potential to take advantage of treated water for various purposes, such as reuse in industrial processes, the watering of green spaces, the washing of equipment and spaces, or the reserve for firefighting, among others uses.
The EcoModZHC project was developed by a team made up of teachers, technicians and students from the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar.
Carlos F. Ferreira, Adjunct Professor of the Departmental Engineering Unit of IPT, integrated member of the Smart Cities Research Center (Ci2), member of the VITA.IPT Laboratory - Assisted Living by Intelligent Environments, PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3948-2206)
Dina Mateus, Coordinating Professor of the Departmental Unit of Engineering of IPT, integrated member of the Center for Technology, Restoration and Enhancement of the Arts (Techn&Art), Director of the BIOTEC.IPT – Laboratory of Bioenergy and Applied Biotechnology, PhD in Biotechnology (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8374)
Henrique Pinho, Principal Investigator of the EcoModZHC project, Adjunct Professor at the Departmental Engineering Unit of IPT, Director of the Smart Cities Research Center (Ci2), member of the BIOTEC.IPT – Laboratory of Bioenergy and Applied Biotechnology, PhD in Chemical Engineering (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1344-6517)
Isabel Silva, Senior Technician at LAB.IPT – IPT's Central Laboratory Unit, member of the BIOTEC.IPT – Laboratory of Bioenergy and Applied Biotechnology, Executive Responsible of LTQA – Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Technology, Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering
Manuel Barros, Adjunct Professor of the Departmental Engineering Unit of IPT, integrated member of the Smart Cities Research Center (Ci2), member of NHRC.IPT – Laboratory of Applied Research in Natural Hazards, PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5891-1371)
Pedro Granchinho, Adjunct Professor at the Departmental Engineering Unit of IPT, integrated member of the Smart Cities Research Center (Ci2), Specialist in Electrical and Computer Engineering (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2718-3279)
Pedro Neves, Senior Technician at LAB. IPT – Central Laboratory Unit, collaborating member of the Smart Cities Research Center (Ci2), member of the VITA.IPT - Assisted Living by Intelligent Environments, Executive Responsible of LE - Electrotechnical Laboratory, Bachelor Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6571-3058)
Gonçalo Sousa, student of the Master's Degree in Computer Engineering – Internet of Things, IPT
Joyce Sousa, student of the Master's Degree in Chemical Technology at IPT
Simão Lopes, student of the Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at IPT
We would like to thank IPT technicians, collaborators and students for their participation in the EcoModZHC project:
André Teixeira, Carlos S. Ferreira, Hugo Magalhães, Miguel Felizardo
Adélia Leal, Ana Pereira, António Pimpão, Arlete Figueiredo, Elisabete Ferreira, Helena Damas, Hirondina São Pedro, Joaquim Nunes, Orlando Fonseca, Rita Oliveira, Susana Nunes, Tânia Matos,
The sensor network operation test phase was successfully completed.
Sensors are installed for water parameters (temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, and estimation of chemical oxygen demand), and for ambient air parameters (temperature, relative humidity, velocity), light radiation intensity, and precipitation.
Testing of an integrated set of water composition sensors, including nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus compounds), is underway.