LIFE STO3RE - Synergic TPAD and O3 process in WWTPs for Resoruce Efficient waste management

LIFE14 ENV/ES/000150

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Contact details:

Contact person: Jose Guillermo Berlanga
Tel: 34964255063
Email: jgberlanga@grupogimeno.com

Project description:


Pollution from agriculture is a major pressure on Europe’s freshwater resources. Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) from fertilisers, pesticides, organic material, pathogenic micro-organisms in sediment and micropollutants are washed into waterways. This is especially the case in areas with intense rainfall and poorly drained soils. In some river basins, the high nitrate concentration levels can even promote eutrophication in receiving coastal waters.

The EU Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) was adopted to protect waters against pollution caused/induced by nitrates from agricultural sources. However, nitrate pollution of water bodies remains a problem. According to Eurostat data (2009), although nationally averaged nitrate concentrations were well below the Nitrates Directive limit (50 mg/L), the value was exceeded at about 13% of the measuring points. Exceedance of limits was most significant in Belgium (30%), Denmark (26%), Spain (22%) and Cyprus (19%). Other countries including Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic , Germany and Montenegro also had high exceedance levels.


LIFE STO3RE will implement an innovative and cost-efficient technology to protect aquatic environments against pollution caused by diffusion of nitrates and micropollutants. The technology will allow conversion of manure and sludge from waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) into a high environmental quality biofertiliser.

The technology is called CavO3+DAG-TPAD (dual acid-gas temperature phased anaerobic digestion configuration coupled with ozone oxidation and hydrothermal cavitation). It was developed in a previous R&D project (Sludge4Energy), carried out by FACSA and co-funded by Spain's Competitiveness and Economy Ministry. STO3RE will test this technology in a newly-developed demonstration plant that will centralise the treatment of secondary sludge from small WWTPs and cattle manure from surrounding farms. The facility will be located in Totana (Murcia, Spain) and be able to deal with sewage sludge from five surrounding WWTPs (Aledo, Librilla, Alhama, Mazarrón and Puerto Lumbreras) and several farms, covering an area of about 2 700 square kilometres. The total amount of sewage sludge treated in the demonstration plant is expected to reach 5-10 cubic metres of mixed substrate per day.

Expected results: The project expects to produce the following main results:

  • A reduction of uncontrolled nitrogen pollution of water bodies, and therefore a reduction in eutrophication episodes;
  • A reduction in waste generation from farms and small WWTPs, because of the use of by-products for obtaining energy and biofertiliser; the volume of waste generated will be cut by 20%, and the dehydration capacity of sludge will be increased by 15-25%, reducing reagent and logistics costs associated with sludge management;
  • The CavO3+DAG-TPAD technology will enable an increase in the elimination ratios of basic contaminants (salmonella, clostridium perfringens and e-coli) in sewage sludge treatment. The removal of these pollutants will increase by 50%.
  • Through the use of the new biofertiliser, soil quality will be improved and a 50% increase in crop yield is expected; and
  • A reduction of greenhouse gas emissions due to: (i) natural biogas emissions from stored manure will be avoided because of its treatment in the demonstration plant (300 kg CO2-equivalent/tonne cattle manure); (ii) the biogas obtained will be used as a substitute for fossil fuels for supplying heat and power to the demonstration plant (2.61 kg CO2-equivalent/litre of diesel).



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Water - Waste water treatment


eutrophication‚  Agriculture‚  soil degradation‚  waste water treatment‚  water quality‚  groundwater

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 91/676 - Protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural so ...
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
  • Directive 2006/118 - Protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (12.12.2006)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description Sociedad de Fomento Agrícola Castellonense S.A. (FACSA) is a water management services company. FACSA supplies water to more than 400 000 people and provides sewage and water treatment services for 800 000 people.
Partners CSIC(AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS), Spain IPROMA(INVESTIGACIÓN Y PROYECTOS MEDIO AMBIENTE S.L.), Spain AINIA(Asociación de Investigación de la Industria Agroalimentaria (AINIA)), Spain ESAMUR(Entidad Regional de Saneamiento y Depuración de aguas residuales de la Región de Murcia (ESAMUR)), Spain


Project reference LIFE14 ENV/ES/000150
Duration 01-SEP-2015 to 30-JUN -2019
Total budget 1,957,874.00 €
EU contribution 1,093,762.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version