The purpose of the NHPON project is the research and development of an innovative "filter" for the purification of drinking water from organic toxic compounds (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, solvents, etc.), which even in very small concentrations are particularly harmful to the human.
The current method of solving this problem, based on the addition of oxidants (O3 or H2O2) in combination with activated carbon filtration, presents in addition to inherent problems (saturation and neutralization of activated carbon from adsorbed organic components, etc.) , environmental disadvantages and significant costs, mainly due to the use of chemicals and the frequent regeneration or replacement of activated carbon.
The innovative technology of this project is based on an advanced electro-Fenton electro-chemical process that will take place in a "filter", a form of successive pairs of porous electrodes (anodes and cathodes). The electrodes will produce Fenton's reagents, which will destroy organic micro-contaminants in "filtered" water through very strong oxidative (but extremely short-lived) hydroxyl radicals that will be constantly produced due to the imposition of continuous low voltage electric current. This provision is expected to be highly efficient, less costly and environmentally friendly compared to today's technology because it will not require chemicals, other additional materials, and considerable energy expenditure.
Key elements of the novelty of the device under development are: (a) the integration of catalytic nanoparticles into the porous cathodes required for the heterogeneous electro-Fenton reaction; and (b) the formation of the "filter" in the form of successive pairs of electrodes, which, on the one hand, and also allows uniform distribution of water and pollutants in the "filter" and their complete mixing with the constantly produced oxidants in the field.
Two research organizations (ΕΦΕΜ and OSH Laboratories of IDEM / CERTH) and an industrial partner (TEMAK) with significant commercial and technical activity in advanced water treatment methods participate in the project.
The project will last 36 months (January 2011-January 2014).
The project NIRON is being implemented within the framework of the Action "Cooperation" of the General Secretariat for Research and Technological Development, Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sport under project code 09ΣΥΝ-42-630.