European Twinning for research in Solar energy to (2) water (H2O) production and treatment technologies
While the largest resource to avail is saline water, desalination faces two main challenges to its sustainability: the energy consumption required for the process and the waste residual brine, that can have a serious environmental impacts. Whereas the combination of Solar PV with Reverse Osmosis or Solar Thermal heat with Distillation processes has been developed along the recent decades into commercially available solar desalination solutions, the innovative integration of brine valorization and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) concepts aims at developing strategies to close the material loop, minimizing the liquid waste. The integration of these technologies results in a ZLD solar-powered desalination system – a circular economy scheme with the production of fresh water and recovery of valuable resources from the waste of the process.Gathering the experience of three non-Widening (TOP) partners presenting some of the most outstanding background and Research Infrastructure (RI), at European level, in the development of Solar-driven water production and wastewater treatment technologies (WP&WT), Sol2H2O aims at supporting the Coordinator (WIDENING) partner in the development of establishment of high-level research in this field. Based on the outstanding WIDENING RI and background in Solar Energy technologies and on its preliminary experiences in the Water-Energy nexus field, Sol2H2O seeks the development and implementation of a common scientific strategy, with a strong focus on an enhanced capacity building of researchers, going beyond purely scientific capacities and strengthening their research management and administration skills. By means of a common research strategy aiming at further developing Solar-driven Water-Energy Nexus solutions, Sol2H20 aims at creating a reference European facility for the development and testing of Circular Solar-driven Water Production & Treatment technologies, enabling the development of renewable gas or agriculture activities.