Nitrate removal and recovery of 98 percent of the desalinated groundwater


The companies of the AgritechMurcia platform are constantly working on the search for new technologies that allow a more sustainable and efficient agriculture, with criteria of circular economy. In this case, Hidrotec, a member of the platform, participates in the European project LIFE-DESIROWS whose aim is to eliminate the existing nitrates from the groundwater draining into the lagoon and thus contribute to reducing the nutrients reaching the Mar Menor.

From an industrial perspective, the elimination of nitrates and the recycling and reuse of all the groundwater is addressed. This project will reduce the arrival of nitrates into the saltwater lagoon.

The brine from the desalination of the groundwater has a multitude of dissolved salts which can be used in an appropriate manner, and this will also make it possible to generate additional water resources.

The project aims to recycle the brine by first removing the nitrates, recovering some of the less soluble salts for subsequent use as fertilizers, and allowing the remaining salts to be used for industrial purposes. At the same time, the salts are concentrated and up to 98% of the desalinated water is recovered when yields of less than 75% are currently achieved. Everything is done by means of renewable energies obtained by combining photovoltaic solar energy and that generated by means of biomass.

The project, which began in September, will run until the end of 2023, with a budget of more than 1.6 million euros, of which 867,000 euros are financed by the European Union.

LIFE-DESIROWS involves a consortium made up of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, the Arco Sur Irrigation Community and companies from the Murcia Region with experience in this type of project, such as Hidrogea and Hidrotec, a member of AgritechMurcia.