The ELECTRA project is a 4-year Research Innovation Action consisting of one EC- funded consortium working closely together with a NSFC (Natural Science Foundation of China)-funded Chinese consortium.
The ELECTRA consortium aims to jointly develop and test highly innovative bio-electrochemical systems-based remediation biotechnologies at laboratory scale in environmentally relevant conditions and bring the four most efficient technologies to the field in both China and Europe.
A diverse set of technologies will be developed because: (i) the matrices in which pollution occurs are highly diverse, requiring different approaches, (ii) the types of pollutants to be addressed is equally diverse, and (iii) multiple technologies are still at research development stage and worth further investigation.
The scientific hypothesis of ELECTRA
In the environment, electron-flow typically limits degradation, and is difficult to control; this major hurdle can be overcome with electro-microbiology. Microorganisms interacting with solid state electron donors or acceptors, be it electrodes or particles, can be deployed within many different matrices, for different pollutants and using diverse technological approaches minimizing or eliminating energy and/or chemical needs.
ELECTRA will lift bio-electrochemical systems to a next level for field applications and in-situ remediation of pollutants. ELECTRA’s experts will deliver 2 sets of in total 10 innovative environmental BES based biotechnologies, tailored for different environmental matrices and accelerating the elimination of several classes of pollutants and mixtures thereof in these matrices including wastewater, groundwater and solid matrices such as flooded soils and sediments. ELECTRA technologies must perform better in terms of risk management, energy consumption and chemicals requirement than standard physico-chemical remediation approaches such as excavation.
Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) – This body consists of stakeholders who will engage with the project on ad hoc basis according to the specific needs of the ELECTRA consortium (e.g. relevant project meetings). The mission of the advisory board is primarily to advise the consortium in terms of scientific quality, technical implementation, result valorization (incl. commercial one), trends in environmental regulation, and public acceptance. The SAB will also play a key role in multiplying dissemination and communication measures. The SAB of ELECTRA is structured in different groups of stakeholders covering the entire value chain of environmental bioremediation:
SAB members for scientific and technological expertise:
- Di Gregorio (University of Pisa, IT). She is the experienced coordinator of a several-year lasting Italian PPP on bioremediation of sediments at pilot/large scale and will help ELECTRA in accessing contaminated sediments.
- Drake (University of Bayreuth) has long-term collaboration with the SJ Liu, the coordinator of the NSFC proposal. He will advise us as a worldwide expert of anaerobic processes and support the dissemination of ELECTRA’s results as editor in Chief of AEM.
- Reichenhauer (AIT, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH Health & Environment Department) is an expert in development and investigation of in-situ remediation technologies, fate and behaviour of contaminants in the environment and has excellent knowledge of regulative issues and technical constraints.
- Lin is the director of the Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection and of the National Engineering Research Center for Urban Environmental Pollution Control. He is also the Director of China Association for Environmental Sciences and vice chair of the soil remediation committee of China Soil Association. J. Lin is one of the most relevant expert of soil remediation in China to monitor related activities of ELECTRA.
SAB members for decision-making and regulative institutions:
- Wermeille is head of Section Contaminated Site at Federal Office of the Environment Switzerland, (Bern, CH).
- de Baets from OVAM (Mechelen, BE), is the general administrator of the Flemish governmental organisation responsible for waste and soil treatment in Flanders. These policy makers will assist us in terms of existing regulations.
SAB members for transfer of technology and commercialization:
- Caspary, CEO of GreenBridge (Washington DC, USA) has a strong expertise on clean technology transfer with prestigious activity record at MIT and the World Bank.
- Zhao is the Chairman of China Environment Chamber of Commerce. With the participation of China Environmental Chamber of Commerce, we expect that the technologies of ELECTRA can penetrate the Chinese market and that our technologies will be applied by many environmental companies.
SAB members for dissemination and communication to industrial and scientific audience:
- Dupont-Inglis, the CEO of Europabio (BE), which influences over 1,800 bio-based industrial actors. She will support us in disseminating our activities and establishing contact to relevant companies.
- Lyberatos the editor of Journal of Hazardous Materials will give support for publication of one ELECTRA special issue in this journal.
- Olguin (INECOL, MX), the President of the International Society of Environmental Biotechnology (ISEB) will help in the dissemination of ELECTRA’s activities and results to further environmental biotechnologists in Africa, South America, North America and Europe.
Y.M. Koo (Inha University, KR) is the General Secretary of the Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) and co- chair of Asian Congress on Biotechnology series (ACB). He will support us in dissemination and communication activities across whole Asia.
- Nicotra (University of Milano-Bicocca, IT) is the vice president of IUPAC Division III and co-chair of International Biotechnology Symposium (IBS).
S.P. Li is the former president of the Environmental Microbiology Committee of CMS. He will be a valuable dissemination relay towards members of the Chinese Microbiology Society.
In addition, ELECTRA will profit from the personal relation of the administrative coordinator (P. Corvini) with the Swiss Consul in Shanghai, who is also CEO of Swissnex in charge with technology transfer to China and benefits from a huge stakeholder portfolio in China. In addition to the participation of ENI and ARMS as project partners and final customers (polluted site owner), ELECTRA will profit from the participation T. Keijzer who is a senior Expert Soil & Buildings and in charge with Environmental Affairs and bioremediation of numerous polluted sites at Philips Lighting B.V.
For each matrix, the best performing technology will be scaled up and validated under different environmentally relevant conditions at contaminated sites and outdoor facilities in Europe and China.
Groundwater contaminated with halogenated derivatives of hydrocarbons
Groundwater contaminated with nutrients such as NO3- and toxic minerals like As
Soil contaminated with hazardous metals (Sb and Pb)
Soil contaminated with Total Petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and halogenated hydrocarbons (HCs)
Wastewater contaminated with emerging pollutants such as antibiotics and nutrients (e.g. NH4+)
Sediments contaminated with TPHs and HCs
In Europe, the several contaminated sites and matrices have been identified:
- Groundwater contaminated with halogenated derivatives of hydrocarbons
- Groundwater contaminated with nutrients such as NO3- and toxic minerals like As
- Soil contaminated with hazardous metals (Sb and Pb)
- Soil contaminated with Total Petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and halogenated hydrocarbons (HCs)
- Wastewater contaminated with emerging pollutants such as antibiotics and nutrients (g. NH4+),
- Sediments contaminated with TPHs and HCs
In China, we also selected testing locations and/or matrices typically or recurrently contaminated by:
- TPH and emerging pollutants such as antibiotics (wastewater)
- Nutrients (NO3-) and TPHs (groundwater)
- TPHs and emerging contaminants, g. pesticides (soil)
- Hazardous metals: As, Hg, Cd and Zn (soil)
- TPHs and halogenated HCs (sediments).
TPH and emerging pollutants such as antibiotics (wastewater)
Nutrients (NO3-) and TPHs (groundwater)
TPHs and emerging contaminants, g. pesticides (soil)
Hazardous metals: As, Hg, Cd and Zn (soil)
TPHs and halogenated HCs (sediments)