The Politecnico di Torino hosted the kick-off meeting of the European project MEloDIZER, coordinated by the Politecnico and involving a consortium of 18 partners from 9 EU countries, plus Switzerland and Israel. The project focuses on membrane distillation, a promising technology for the desalination of high salinity water and the reuse of contaminated water.
The aim of the research is the manufacture of large-scale, sustainable membrane distillation components, that replace harmful materials with non-harmful ones and are based on the principles of green chemistry. The energy efficiency of the technology is another aspect that will be emphasised, operating using only waste heat or solar energy. The project, funded by the European Union, has a contribution of over €7 million , of which €1.4 million will go to the Politecnico di Torino, and will last four years. Prototypes will be developed and tested at industrial level in the textile, chemical, aquaculture and beverage sectors for the recovery of contaminated water. The aim is to reduce the water footprint of the production sector and approach the zero-waste target, while also recovering valuable secondary raw materials from contaminated water.
Furthermore, MEloDIZER intends to demonstrate the operation of passive, autonomous, cost-effective, small-scale drinking water production systems using solar energy as the sole energy source. The ambition of the project is to contribute to the sustainable use of water resources, access to critical raw materials and the transition to renewable energy driven processes. Politecnico di Torino's CleanWaterCenter@Polito will host the laboratories for the development of prototypes of this innovative technology for sustainable water treatment.
The Professor Alberto Tiraferri, lecturer at the Politecnico's Department of Environmental, Territorial and Infrastructural Engineering-DIATI and coordinator of the project together with Professor Matteo Fasano of the Department of Energy-DENERG, explains that "with this project we will reach the next generation of technology, both considering the highest performance and energy efficiency, and from the point of view of the sustainability of the materials and type of energy sources used, thus demonstrating its implementation for the reduction of the water footprint of industries and for the supply of drinking water in areas subject to severe droughts“.