ELECTRACCUM: a R&D project helping preserve the environment
Xanthi, Greece, 11 January 2022
R&D is at the heart of the Sunlight Group and extroversion is one of our most significant pursuits. Both these aspects of our operation are reflected in the company’s participation as implementation partner in a wide range of innovative research projects, to which we offer our expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and facilities. This platform is dedicated to such projects.
The ELLECTRACUM Project
Project ELECTRACCUM pertains to the design, construction, and experimental testing of an electrodialysis unit (ED) for the treatment of the liquid effluents in Sunlight’s manufacturing plant located in Xanthi, northeastern Greece. The project was implemented in collaboration with CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas) and serves a triple purpose:
to purify the water used in the production and manufacturing process, and return it to the surrounding environment, thus providing suitable water for agricultural use and supporting farming activities in the area.
to replace Sunlight Group’s current water purification process that’s more labour- and carbon-intensive, thus conserving human resources and minimising the company’s environmental footprint.
to recover lead and sulfate ions from the water during the purification process and reuse it in production, thus reducing operational costs and demand for natural resources.
Sunlight’s commitment to ESG
This project reflects the commitment of the Sunlight Group to incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors across the company’s operation and facilities. At Sunlight, we acknowledge the significance of ESG and sustainable development as one of our highest priorities, and aim to integrate it in our culture. This acknowledgement and commitment; the ensuing benefits of the project to local communities, the environment, and the conservation of natural resources; as well as the reduction of Sunlight’s own operational costs and more effective implementation of the circular economy model, informed our joining the ELECTRACCUM project.
Electrodialysis is a mature technology for the purification of liquid effluents, but existing units for lead and sulfate ions are small-scale and experimental. The ED system built in the context of ELECTRACCUM, on the other hand, aims to achieve industrial operating standards – such as our own. The goal is for Sunlight Group to continue contributing to the circular economy model and key sustainability targets, while also further enhancing the company’s advanced technical expertise.
The ED system developed has a budget of ca. €500,000 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, via the EPAnEK operational programme COMPETITIVENESS-ENTREPRENEURSHIP-INNOVATION. The project started in October 2018 and, following an extension due to COVID-19, will be concluded in April 2022.
The SUNLIGHT Team working on this project comprises Dimitris Bollas, Christos Bouzinidis, Aristoklis Karamanidis, Stergios Pantazis, and Symeon Parcharidis. The collaborating CERTH Team comprises Athanasios Latinis, Athanasios Papadopoulos, Konstantinos Plakas, Panos Seferlis, and Alexia Voutetaki.
The teams have already issued two publications related to the project:
Efficient Modeling of Electrodialysis Process for Wastewater Treatment through Systematic Parameter Estimation, published at the Chemical Engineering Transactions journal, v. 81, 2020.
Lead and Sulfate Ions Removal from Aqueous Solutions with Electrodialysis Process, presented in the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) Annual Meeting (Boston, 7-19 November 2021)
For more information, please visit electraccum.cperi.certh.gr/en