ChitoClean - Enhanced chitin-based biosorbents for drinking water purification
The project represents a technical and technological contribution to purification of polluted drinking waters by selective biodegradable sorbent derived from biowastes.
ChitoClean will implement a holistic approach taking into account all necessary steps of a novel drinking water treatment process. This approach is centred on chitin-based biosorbents, which are already used in different applications and known for their excellent adsorption capacities. Natural materials made from carcasses of shrimps and crabs are to be physically and chemically enhanced to be suitable for the use in drinking water purification applications. The characteristics that the Enhanced Chitin-based Materials (ECM) will ideally present are improved stability, adaptability to different forms of filters and maximal adsorption rates and capacities.
ECMs are to be implemented in prototypes of filtering units. Different kinds of prototypes will be generated in order for the new technology to be applicable for different use: household filters, on-site water treatment in wells, big-scale treatment and integration into central water supply systems of small towns. In parallel products and processes will be tested in order to regenerate charged filters and extend their lifetime of the latter. As – despite material regeneration - ECM will eventually lose its absorption capacity and be ‘spent’ needing replacement, the project also investigates on methods to recycle and/or dispose of the ‘old’ filter material. In addition, the health aspect will be taken into account by evaluating the effect of the treatment by ECM on the mineral content/balance of the purified water.
First discussions towards validation of results by potential customers are supposed to take place within the External Advisory Board regrouping representatives of stakeholder groups e.g. industry and water suppliers. Exploitation of results and IPR management are substantial components of the project and will be streamlined through the project's Exploitation & Dissemination Strategy. In order to raise awareness for project results, a major stakeholder event is planned at the end of the project.