An improved and more sustainable waste management system is required for successful development of technologies based on renewable sources. Rice straw is submitted to controlled combustion reactions and the produced ashes are chemically treated to produce silica. After a chemical activation step, the activated silica shows potential as an adsorbent agent and will be used to remove the excess of nitrates in groundwater and wells in the area of Alginet (Valencia, Spain), selected as a vulnerable zone within the Nitrates Directive. The demonstration activity aims to have a local impact on municipalities of 200 inhabitants or fewer, decreasing from current nitrate concentrations close to 50 mg/L, to a target of 25 mg/L. In a successive step, the methodology will be transferred to other municipalities with similar nitrate problems (Piemonte, Italy) and replicated to remove different pollutants such as manure (the Netherlands) and waste waters from the textile industry (Italy).
Moliner, C., Teruel-Juanes, R., Primaz, C. T., Badia, J. D., Bosio, B., Campíns-Falcó, P., … Arato, E. (2018). Reduction of nitrates in waste water through the valorization of rice straw: LIFE LIBERNITRATE project. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093007