The European Green Deal, an ambitious growth strategy aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), calls for the mobilization of the industry. Indeed, while important steps have been taken in the past, the annual global extraction of materials tripled in the last 50 years and is expected to increase further. The dual transformation, green and digital, place special emphasis on resource and energy intensive sectors. Furthermore, the expected zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil will enforce this transformation. In this changing environment, industry will have to adapt swiftly and decisively but the ease and smoothness of this transition is up for debate. Solutions that increase costs and impede productivity will face substantial resistance. There is a pressing need for new technologies and approaches that complement economic growth and productivity while firstly addressing environmental challenges. iWAYS is a step in this direction, featuring a wide array of technologies that are non-disruptive and applicable in any industry with wastewater and gaseous emissions. While the concept of water and heat recovery have been demonstrated and widely applied, in iWAYS a unique approach is taken, focusing on until now impossible streams to address and building synergies between heat and water reclamation and exploitation. The project also addresses several issues afflicting commercial technologies (such as Reverse Osmosis and Membrane Distillation) through innovative and enabling approaches.
Coordinator: University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE)