• The LIFE DREAMER project aims to develop more efficient reverse osmosis desalination solutions that enable the recovery of resources that are available in seawater.

ACCIONA and its partners, AQUASTILL and WE&B, held the final event of the European LIFE DREAMER project on December 2. The project’s main results were presented at the virtual meeting.

The main goal of the LIFE DREAMER project, coordinated by ACCIONA, is to develop and demonstrate a highly resource-efficient desalination solution that enables an increase in reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process conversion rates, lower chemical and energy consumption and the recovery of valuable products that are available in seawater. Two other international organizations are participating in the project: AQUASTILL, a leader company in the field of membrane distillation, and WE&B, focused on the economic and social aspects of the water and environmental sectors.

The technological solution proposed by LIFE DREAMER consists of integrating different technologies, including a pretreatment based on granular filtration and phosphorus adsorption, filtration-settling for treating pretreatment cleaning effluents with a high-suspended solid load, advanced oxidation to treat high organic load RO cleaning effluents and a brine treatment system, employing nanofiltration and membrane distillation.

The demonstration pilot plant, designed and built during the first phase of the project, is located in the facilities of the San Pedro del Pinatar-II seawater desalination plant (SWDP) in Murcia, Spain. It processes up to 10 m3/h of the same water intake as the SWDP, thereby ensuring representative results and enabling subsequent replicability and transferability.

LIFE DREAMER project results

The main results after more than three years demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed concept, as well as associated environmental benefits. More specifically, they have shown an increase in the overall conversion rate of the system up to an additional 35% compared to a conventional system, a 99% reduction in the volume of the pretreatment washing effluents and reduced biofouling in RO membranes, thanks to advances in pretreatment./p>

The project thus aligns the desalination process with the concept of Circular Economy, considering seawater as a resource of resources and contributing to the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, in line with ACCIONA's commitment to sustainability and caring for the environment.

The €1.5M+ LIFE DREAMER project is co-financed by the European Commission under the framework of the LIFE Programme, the financial instrument of the European Union exclusively dedicated to environmental protection (Grant Agreement number: LIFE16 ENV/ES/000223). Special thanks to the owner of San Pedro del Pinatar-II SWDP, Mancomunidad de los Canales del Taibilla (MCT), an autonomous body under the Secretary of State for the Environment, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

Other initiatives in the field of circular economy

The event held on December 2 included the presentation of LIFE NEWEST, SALT-MINE and Sea4Value, three projects with scopes similar to that of LIFE DREAMER, focusing on circular economy in the field of water treatment, with the purpose of creating synergies among the projects.

More information about LIFE DREAMER on https://life-dreamer.com/