Main objectives & goals of Greener - European research program

To map, select, characterise and assess different polluted waters and soils/sediments
GREENER will focus on the development, improvement and deployment of at least two single technologies (phytoremediation and phycoremediation), two combined technologies (biopile and ecopile), three BES (MFC, MEC and SMFC), and two hybrid systems (PFC and CW-MFC). It will define their optimal combinations to effectively remove various contaminants, including hydrocarbons, potentially toxic metals and metalloids, and emerging pollutants.
To asses and study the microbial consortia for bioremediation and isolation of best performing species
An in-depth analysis and revision on biological systems for bioremediation will be performed. Pure species will be tested to isolate the best performing and optimal consortia combinations will be created for enhanced remediation performance. Performance will be assessed on the basis of removal efficacy and time required. Nutrient requirements, degradation capacity and limitations will be defined for each species tested.
To develop, improve, optimise and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of technologies for water bioremediation
Phycoremediation and phytoremediation will be developed for the discolouration of azo dyes and the removal of potentially toxic metals and metalloids from water. BES will be designed and employed for TPHs, pesticides, PAHs, or potentially toxic metals and pharmaceuticals removal. Recovery of potentially toxic metals as nanoparticles will also be tested. A mathematical model involving all relevant processes will be used to model the BES system.
To improve, optimise and demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of biological strategies for soil bioremediation
Biopile and ecopile, technologies will be optimised and demonstrated at lab scale for soil bioremediation. The biopile technology will combine bioaugmentation with biostimulation, whilst the ecopile is a type of biopile that includes phytoremediation as well. Both biopile and ecopile will be tested for the removal of TPHs and PAHs in soils, in the presence of potentially toxic metals.
To demonstrate hybrid bioremediation systems for the treatment of contaminated water
Bioremediation technologies from Objective 3 will be functionally integrated to develop optimal hybrid combinations for effective bioremediation of contaminated water systems. The experimental data will be quantitatively interpreted by a modification of the mathematical model implemented in Objective 3 to simulate the behaviour of the integrated systems.
To develop, optimise and demonstrate the effectiveness of a hybrid system for soil bioremediation
Plant fuel cells will be designed and developed as hybrid systems that combine SMFC technology with phytoremediation, for faster and enhanced bioremediation. Functional arrangements of multiple units in arrays electrically connected to each other will be investigated as a means to optimise the target-pollutant degradation rate and scale up the energy output generated by the BES system. The PFC technology will be also coupled with bioaugmentation and ecopiling for enhanced bioremediation. Finally, a mathematical model will be developed to assist the design of functional fuel cells.
To scale-up the optimum technologies developed for water and soil bioremediation
The most promising combination of technologies for soil and water remediation will be scaled-up and tested in the field. The selection will be made on the basis of: bioremediation time, removal efficiency, pollutant concentration, nature of the target contaminants, applicability in situ, economic feasibility, technical barriers to up-scale, and versatility.
To demonstrate, monitor and validate the performance of the different technologies for water and soil remediation in relevant environment
Integrated technologies for bioremediation will be tested in relevant environments at pilot scale for their final validation. Demonstration sites will operate with flexibility as per the contaminant and the technologies. Technologies will be monitored to measure the contaminant removal rate, and will be validated against expected outcomes from lab testing and other remediation techniques from literature. These results will inform how the proposed technologies can be applied and marketed.
To define suitable business models for diversification, exploitable results and identify potential value chains
Business models will focus on technology development priorities in the near, mid, and long term by analysing the potential cost, commercialization time, and market demands for candidates. Key exploitable results identification will be promoted from the early stages of the project in specific, targeted workshops and one-to-one follow up and the exploitation opportunities identified in the project will be further analysed. Furthermore, IPR management will ensure that innovative technology is appropriately protected.
To demonstrate the safety & regulatory compliance, and to conduct environmental & economic sustainability assessments of the developed technologies
The bioremediation solutions offered by GREENER will minimise and prevent potential risks to human health by complying with current regulation and protect the wider environment for the agreed land and water-use. Risk management (H&S, regulatory, technological, market, IPR, economic, environmental and social) will be appraised to identify the main associated uncertainties and minimise/avoid their potential negative consequences. Environmental, economic, and social effects of the project will be evaluated across the full value chain using methodologies such as LCA, LCC and S-LCA versus selected benchmarks. These studies will provide evidence on the positive economic, social, and environmental impact of the bioremediation solutions proposed by GREENER.
To maximise the innovation impacts of the project for contributing to the uptake of the project results for growth and jobs
Strategic communication will be carried out to engage a range of stakeholders, encourage a culture of innovation and experimentation and promote the accomplishments of the project. Communication activities will include distribution of technical and non-technical information to internal and external stakeholders, using traditional and digital media. The project will reach target audiences promoting the benefits of the remediation technologies, creating green jobs, spurring innovation and benefitting the environment. Training activities will enable practice-oriented education.