Breathing iMETland innovation into the local environment and communities

Published On: May 12, 2016

The iMETland wastewater treatment device is being constructed

iMETlandThe iMETland wastewater treatment device is being constructed to fully benefit from natural biological processes and to mimic nature’s way of generating new ecosystems from urban wastewater.

iMETland innovation partners experienced the device’s potential in Seville, when the project consortium gathered for the second time. The unique landscape offered by Fundación CENTA provided an opportunity to assess how iMETland has been progressing and to get a taste of the project’s ultimate outcomes. The scientific debate focused on the composition of the electro-conductive material and on the main scope for designing a suitable environment to maximise electroactive bacteria behaviour with MET technologies.

​In parallel with scientific innovation, the project team used the opportunity to assess two non-technical benefits: its landscape beautification potential and its service to the small community of Carrión de los Céspedes, ultimate users of the unit. The two aspects enabled to grasp the iMETland purpose of not only safeguarding local environment, but also designing an eco-friendly device able to create a new biological ecosystem, adorned with ornamental plants, colorful flowers attracting birds, and, finally, contributing to place its units at the level of nature.

iMETland was born locally, for the advantage of the local environment and communities. As Juan José Salas, Fundación CENTA director, explains “Carrión de los Céspedes is proud to have been selected as a pilot location for iMETland, alongside the municipalities of Orbi (Denmark), Mar del Plata (Argentina) and Jiutepec (Mexico). It is an exceptional opportunity to spread internationally”.

Ultimately, it’s about learning from nature how to restore water purity for small communities. We are designing an innovative tool drawing on a virtuous combination of water, energy, ICT and land resources. Its application potential extends far beyond the geographical location of the four units and its innovative technologies will help preserve nature and treat urban wastewater without energy costs, providing pathogen-free water suitable for irrigation and bringing people closer to their local environment.


​iMETland has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement N.642190. The information reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained. The information reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained.

The consortium is led by Spanish IMDEA WATER and is composed by 11 partners from 4 different EU member states and two associated countries (Argentina and Mexico): Foundation CENTA, Aqua-Consult Ingenieros, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Piroeco Bioenergy (Spain); Aston University (United Kingdom): Aarhus Universitet and Kilian Water (Denkmark); the European research media center, youris.com (Belgium); INTEMA (Argentina) and IMTA (México).

The coordinator of iMETland consortium is also the coordinator of a recent ACTION GROUP at EIP-WATER called MEET-ME4WATER, Meeting Microbial Electrochemistry for Water. This AG focuses on overcoming the barriers to scaling up and demonstrating microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) for bringing them faster to the market.​

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