Clean water
Treatment of natural radioactivity in water for human consumption
Environmental sustainability
Reduction of environmental impact and GHG emissions
European LIFE project
Development of 3 pilot plants in Spain and 1 pilot plant in Estonia
Dissemination project results
Development a network on sustainable radioactivity treatment

Towards a smart & integral treatment of natural radioactivity in water provision services

LIFE ALCHEMIA addresses one of the current challenges of water for human consumption such as the presence of natural radioactivity. There is a considerable lack of knowledge by the actors involved and it can be stated that, despite the current legislation (Directive 2013/51/Euratom), radioactivity is not systematically monitored at European level. Indeed, this is an environmental problem that cannot be solved at source, as it is generated by the groundwater dilution of minerals rich in radioactive isotopes, mainly from uranium (U), radium (Ra) and thorium (Th) series. Therefore, new systems able to provide sustainable removal of radioactivity from a cost-effectiveness point of view are needed. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most commonly treatment used for this application; however carbon footprint of this process is very high and generates large volumes of water rejection with radioactivity that needs further treatment. LIFE ALCHEMIA offers a breakthrough in this problem from two angles. First, with the use of removal systems based on bed filters, which will reduce up to five times the cost of the water purification. Moreover, the whole life cycle of the radioactivity will be considered, including the management of the waste generated.

To demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of bed filters that will be optimized to remove radioactivity from water and to minimize the generation of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) exceeding the exemption level...
The structure of the project ensures its successful implementation, since there is an effective interaction between the activities foreseen. The duration of the project will be 39 months, starting on 02/10/2017 and ending on 31/12/2020...
In quantitative terms, LIFE ALCHEMIA will lead to the following results: 4 filter-based pilot plants will provide removal rates of gross alpha and beta activity up to 90%, and reductions in the concentrations of specific radionuclides (U and Ra) between 75% and 90%...

Improving drinking water quality

Building a sustainable future

Project news

Latest activity in LIFE ALCHEMIA

Water characterization of the pilot plant in Tahal (Almería)

Last sampling tasks for water characterization in the pilot plants (Action A3). For this, partners of CIESOL and Diputación de […]

Characterization of the DWTP water in Benizalón (Almería)

Continue with the tasks within the preparatory action A3: Selection of catalytic filter media. Personnel of CIESOL and Diputación de […]

Water characterization of the pilot plant in Alboloduy (Almería)

Within the preparatory action A3: Selection of catalitic filter media, partners of CIESOL and Diputación de Almería are taking samples […]

Sample preparation procedure. Radioactivity measurement

Within the preparatory action A4: Optimizing the operation conditions for the HMO technology (Estonian Demo), University of Tartu has been […]

Radio interview on Cadena COPE

The Special Radio Program “Prioridad Agua” of the Cadena COPE, has interviewed Javier Martínez of Diputación de Almería, to talk […]

Visit to DWTP of Alboloduy (Almería)

Diputación de Almería visits the ETAP of Alboloduy, which is considered as a possible location of one of the three […]


NORM reduction percentage generated during the elimination of radioactivity


Cost reduction percentage in water treatment


Alpha and beta reduction percentage radioactivity in pilot plants


Environmental impact reduction percentage


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