The consortium has already tested INCOVER technologies individually at lab scale. The innovation of INCOVER project comes from the combination of all INCOVER technologies, for a bio-production and resource recovery-based wastewater treatment. The description of each technology is as follows:
The technology is focused on the intensification of the symbiosis between microalgae and heterotrophic/quimioautotrophic bacteria at high pH (= enhancement in the CO2 and H2S biogas-liquid mass transfer) in photobioreactors as a platform technology to simultaneously remove CO2, H2S, NH3 and VOCs from biogas at a low energy cost, with a low environmental impact and without biomethane contamination by O2 and N2. Microalgae use solar energy to fix the CO2 from biogas via photosynthesis with the concomitant production of O2. This in-situ generated O2 will be used by quimioautotrophic bacteria to oxidize H2S to sulphate, which would avoid operational problems such as elemental sulphur accumulation in the packed bed of biotrickling filters, and biomethane contamination with O2 or N2. This photosynthetic oxygen will be also used in the biological oxidation of NH3 and VOCs. The oxygen demand created by H2S, NH3 and the VOCs will prevent O2 stripping to the upgraded biogas. Residual nutrients from raw wastewater and concentrates can be used to support microalgae growth, which will reduce operational cost and partially mitigate the eutrophication potential of the digestate.