SERPIC - Sustainable Electrochemical Reduction of contaminants of emerging concern and Pathogens in WWTP effluent for Irrigation of Crops

serpic.pngSERPIC will develop an integral technology, based on a multi-barrier approach, to treat the effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to maximise the reduction of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).

A membrane nanofiltration (NF) technology will be applied to reduce CECs in its permeate stream by at least 90 % while retaining the nutrients. A residual disinfection using chlorine dioxide produced electrochemically will be added to the stream used for crops irrigation (Route A). The CECs in the polluted concentrate (retentate) stream will be reduced by at least 80 % by light driven electro-chemical oxidation. When discharged into the aquatic system (route B), it will contribute to the quality improvement of the surface water body.

A prototype treatment plant will be set-up and evaluated for irrigation in long-term tests with the help of agricultural test pots.
A review investigation of CECs spread will be performed at four regional showcases in Europe and Africa. It will include a detailed assessment of the individual situation and surrounding condition. Transfer concepts will be developed to transfer the results of the treatment technology to other regions, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Notizie (in italiano)

Project details

Scientific responsability: Paola Verlicchi

 Funding source: ERA-NET Cofund - AquaticPollutants

Call: 1st AquaticPollutants Joint Call 2020

Start date: 01/09/2021 - end date: 31/12/2024

Total cost:  1.343.897 €

Contribution to UniFe:  99.750 €


  • Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, Germany (Coordinator)
  • SolarSpring GmbH, Germany
  • University of Ferrara, Italy
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway
  • Faculty of Engineering University of Porto, Portugal
  • AdP – Águas de Portugal, Serviços Ambientais, S.A., Portugal
  • Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain