Sustainable in situ groundwater remediation

Nirvana is a European project co-funded by the LIFE Programme that aims to address the environmental issue of groundwater pollution by developing an innovative, effective and sustainable technology for in situ remediation of nitrate polluted aquifers.

Towards more sustainable water resource management

Fertilisers together with pesticides are applied in agriculture and farming activities, but their extensive use has resulted in nitrate pollution of aquifers, leading to the degradation of groundwater quality, which limits its potential uses as a supply.

The main purpose of Nirvana is to develop an innovative, effective and sustainable technology for in situ remediation of nitrate polluted aquifers. This solution, which consists of injecting small quantities of zerovalent iron nanoparticles into the aquifer, would promote more sustainable water resource management by increasing the volume of groundwater suitable for drinking consumption.

Nirvana in numbers

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Developing a novel solution for groundwater denitrification

Nirvana will develop a novel solution for in situ groundwater denitrification. Specifically, zerovalent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) will be injected into the aquifer in order to convert nitrates into more biodegradable compounds and enhance biological denitrification in the aquifer. In addition, these nanoparticles will make it possible to reduce the concentration of organochlorine pesticides in the water. This system will be tested in a pilot-scale site located in a nitrate polluted porous aquifer.

Main outputs and achievements

nirvana removal of nitrate from the aquifer

removal of
17,500 kg
of nitrate
from the aquifer

by denitrification with nZVI

A 70% reduction of pesticide concentration in water

A 70% reduction

in the organochlorine pesticide concentration in water

Nirvana_web_icon_opex

71% reduction in total OPEX

compared to conventional
ex situ

Meet the team

Cetaqua Andalucía

Cetaqua is a model of public-private collaboration that was created to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of the water cycle while taking regional needs into account.

Aquatec

Aquatec provides consultancy services and technological solutions to confront challenges of the water cycle in the urban, industrial, agriculture and environmental sectors, contributing to its optimum management in three aspects: technical, economic and environmental.

Aguas de Murcia

Aguas de Murcia (EMUASA) is a joint venture service company, 51% owned by the City of Murcia and 49% owned by HIDROGEA, that manages the water cycle in the municipality of Murcia, serving nearly 445,086 people divided between the urban centre, the surrounding countryside and 54 villages.