The LIFE INFUSION (LIFE19 ENV/ES/000283: Intensive treatment of waste effluents and conversion into useful sustainable outputs: biogas, nutrients, and water) (2020-2024) project The main objective of LIFE INFUSION is to demonstrate, with a circular economy vision, an innovative scheme for the recovery of resources (biogas, biofertilizers and reclaimed water (RW)) from effluents in municipal management through an almost zero discharge process.

The project is developed by a consortium in which FCC Medio Ambiente participates through its subsidiary in Ecoparc del Besós, EBESA, together with seven entities (Fundació Eurecat as project leader, AMB, AMIU, Aqualia, Cogersa, Detricon BVBA,
EBESA and IRTA), co-financed by the European LIFE programme. It has a budget of €3.12 million..

INFUSION aims to demonstrate and validate on a pilot scale a water purification treatment for landfill leachate and OFMSW liquid digestate based on the perspective of the circular economy, in order to recover resources (biogas, bio-fertilizers, and regenerated water). This system will be based on a treatment that combines various technologies of biological treatment and filtration and will be validated at pilot scale in two waste management centres: Ecoparc 2 in Montcada i Reixac, Barcelona, and COGERSA in Gijón, Asturias.

The world has an enormous waste problem: 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated globally per year and it is expected to almost double to about 2.2 by 2025. In 2015-2017, the EU generated 0.25 billion tons of MSW, 25 % of which was landfilled. Landfilling has been established as the most common treatment option for unsorted MSW due to its low exploitation and capital costs. Although today the EU promotes near-zero discharge, leachate will continue to be generated long-term in closed landfills and after-close costs for its management for 30 years should be considered. Landfill leachate management is a major engineering challenge due to high and variable concentrations of toxic and polluting components. Landfill leachate and the liquid digestate from organic fraction municipal solid waste (OFMSW) are considered wastewater (WW) and they must be treated prior to its discharge or reclamation; thus, the removal of organic matter and ammonium is always required. Although the original goal of wastewater treatment was to eliminate contaminants and protect receiving water quality, today’s resource scarcity is a key reason why WW treatment should switch to a circular economy approach.