Research project

intelWATT - Intelligent Water Treatment Technologies for water preservation combined with simultaneous energy production and material recovery in energy intensive industries (DCM.AD005.046)

Thematic area

Chemical sciences and materials technology

Project area

Chimica e materiali per le energie rinnovabili (DCM.AD005)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute on membrane technology (ITM)

Project manager

Phone number: 0984492010


IntelWATT aims to develop innovative, cost efficient, smart separation technologies applied in energy and water intensive industries. The goal of the project is to demonstrate 3 TRL7 case studies that will achieve water preservation along with energy production and material recovery. The proposed solutions will also target at zero liquid discharge while implementing maximum water reuse. Tailor made sensors and automated decision making mechanisms will optimize the process conditions in real time. The case studies will be implemented in crucial EU and global industrial applications such as electricity production, mining and metal plating.


To design, evaluate and optimize the 3 intelWATT's case studies (CS):
-CS 1:Demonstration prototype for CTBD treatment. The development of efficient, cost effective, smart solutions for water management in a thermoelectric power plant, aiming at minimization of the cooling tower blow down (>99% recovery) trough developing a pilot unit of 100 m3/day treatment capacity installed in the premise of PPC's unit V (natural gas combined circle facility, Megalopolis, Greece) based on a closed loop, near zero liquid discharge approach.
-CS 2: Demonstration of a symbiotic concept between industries: sustainable production of energy and water. In this context, an integrated pilot unit (100 m3/day) comprised by Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) and solar powered membrane distillation (MD) systems.
-CS 3: The application of a novel, hybrid high recovery RO (HRRO) / Ion exchange (IX) resin prototype will demonstrate the recovery of valuable electrolytes and fresh water preservation in a plastic electroplating facility. The process is aiming towards recovering up to 95 % of Chromium and Copper and 50% of Nickel, while preserving 65% of fresh water.
ITM-CNR is leader for the case study 2.

Start date of activity



Water re-use, reverse electrodialysis, membrane distillation

Last update: 08/12/2023