LIFE PRISTINE2024-05-16T10:12:38+02:00

PRISTINE in a nutshell

Removing Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) from water streams thanks to the PRISTINE Integrated Solution


LIFE PRISTINE project aims to develop the PRISTINE Integrated Solution to remove Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) from water streams. The PRISTINE Integrated Solution will be adaptable on a case-by-case basis for drinking water (DW), to protect humans from CECs, and for wastewater (WW), to protect the environment and remove these contaminants from the water cycle.

LIFE PRISTINE will focus on PFAS, pesticides, PPCPs, toxins, antibiotic resistance genes and microplastics as target contaminants, designated according previous studies in the two demo sites and existing literature.

LIFE PRISTINE goal is to effectively remove >80% of every CECs in WW and DW scenarios, going further if requested by existing legislation. Furthermore, the PRISTINE Integrated Solution will be cost-effective, 30% lower OpEx cost that comparable technologies.

      Key Data

  • Start-end date: 1 August 2022 – 31 July 2026

  • Duration: 48 months

  • Funder under: LIFE Programme LIFE-2021-SAP-ENV

  • Overall budget: 3.764.689,07€

  • Reference number: 101074430 – LIFE21-ENV-ES-PRISTINE

A synergistical combination of individual technologies

The PRISTINE Integrated Solution is based on the integration of encapsulated adsorbent technology, hollow-fibre NF membrane, and AOP processes (UV-LED combined with ozonation and/or H2O2), being these technologies controlled and optimised by a Decision Support System fed by AI-based soft-sensors for the online estimation of CECs concentration levels.

In opposition to other existing technologies, the PRISTINE Integrated Solution will permanently remove CECs from water, thus directly applying Zero Waste and Circular Economy principles and coming ahead of existing and near future CECs regulations.

Which are the objectives?

LIFE PRISTINE main objective is to develop and demonstrate an innovative and versatile integrated solution to remove Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) from water streams.

Thus, this main objective covers the 5 R’s philosophy of the project, as detailed in the following specific objectives, including those to ensure an efficient environment for communication, dissemination and replicability of results.

To contribute to the achievement of a CEC-free environment by developing the PRISTINE Integrated Solution able to remove at least 80% CECs in WW and DW treatment systems.

To (long-term) demonstrate the PRISTINE Integrated Solution in two relevant scenarios in a DW treatment plant and in a WW treatment plant, always guaranteeing in the later, a reduction under the levels required by Directive 2020/2184 /EC, and Directive 2013/39/EU, and also under PNEC levels in Watch Lists (Decision 2020/1161).

To ensure market uptake of the PRISTINE Integrated Solution by developing an appropriate strategy, aligning both business and governance interests and needs

To support policy development, regulatory action, and risk communication towards Green Deal and Zero Pollution and Circular Economy Action Plans

To make sure that PRISTINE project results reach the necessary stakeholders from the industry, scientific community and society as a whole.

PRISTINE Integrated Solution

The Project intends to develop and demonstrate the PRISTINE Integrated Solution: a versatile combination of adsorption, nanofiltration and advanced oxidation processes (AOP) and that aims to remove CECs in a more sustainable and cost-effective way. Thereby CECs in the water environment shall not only be relocated into other media and waste streams, but the release of CECs to the water cycle shall be permanently reduced.

Encapsulated adsorbents

Hollow-fibre nanofiltration membranes

Advanced Oxidation UV-LED reactor

Artificial intelligence based soft sensors

The Problem of CECs

The European Union defines the so-called Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) as substances that have the potential to enter the environment and cause adverse ecological and human health effects but are still largely unregulated and whose fate and potential effects are poorly understood.

CECs can be broadly classed into several categories of chemicals such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP), cyanotoxins, nanoparticles, illicit drugs, antibacterial, hormones, disinfection by-products (DBP), artificial sweeteners, benzotriazoles, 1,4-dioxane, perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFA), microplastics, and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG), as well as emerging contaminants on the horizon such as prions and ionic liquids.

CECs present risks for human health such as immune system impairing or endocrine disrupting effects, carcinogenicity and/or mutagenicity, and are related to the infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Understanding CECs’ occurrence, mobility, degradation, toxicity (short-long term) and bioavailability it is still a challenge. It is needed to protect human health and environment, since several contamination cases continue unknown due to the lack of detection techniques, regulatory policies, and impact assessments.


The PRISTINE Integrated Solution will be demonstrated in operationally representative conditions for drinking water and wastewater treatment, running for a year each.

The PRISTINE Integrated Pilot Plant constructed will be installed at in a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Murcia.

After that testing, the demonstration plant will be sent to the wastewater treatment scenario to be demonstrated for 12 additional months in the Bilbao Bizkaia Advanced Water Treatment Centre (CATABB), with the support of technology providers Eurecat, NX Filtration and Xylem.


ACCIONA leads the water treatment sector through the design, construction and operation of reverse osmosis desalination infrastructures, drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), wastewater treatment plants (WWTPS) and tertiary treatments for water reuse, with a recently reinforced focus on services for cities.

The total population that benefits from ACCIONA water services is about 100 million people in 30 countries of the 5 continents. In 2021, the company treated almost 1,033 hm3 of water, 50.4 % in water stress areas. Innovation plays a key strategic role in ACCIONA daily business activities, revealed by the many technological innovations included in WTPs and WWTPs built/operated by ACCIONA and developed by ACCIONA’s Innovation Department.

Contribution to LIFE PRISTINE

ACCIONA is the LIFE PRISTINE project coordinator. Besides the management role, ACCIONA leads the development of the CECs soft sensor and of the LIFE PRISTINE Integrated Solution for CECs removal in drinking and wastewater streams, integrating digital mathematical models which replicate physical individual processes part of the solution. This versatile Integrated Solution will be governed by a Decision Support System implementing AI techniques whose development will fall under ACCIONA’s responsibility. In addition, assessment, transferability and replication actions will be coordinated by ACCIONA, with the support of the rest of the partners.


    ACCIONA Agua

Eurecat is the leading Technology Centre of Catalonia, providing the industrial and business sector with differential technology and advanced expertise.

The centre offers to their innovation needs and boosts their competitiveness in a fast-paced environment. It brings together the expertise of 650 professionals who generate a volume of income of 50M€ per year. Serving more than a thousand companies, Eurecat is involved in 200 projects of R&D national and international with high strategic value.

Contribution to LIFE PRISTINE

Eurecat is responsible, through its Chemical Technology Unit, of the development of an adsorption capsule system for CECs elimination, both in drinking water and in wastewater scenarios.  Moreover, it is in charge of running the different communication and dissemination activities of the project, designed to maximise its visibility and to reach the identified stakeholders.


Eurecat – Centro Tecnológico de Catalunya



NX Filtration is a leading manufacturer for advanced hollow fiber membranes for nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and microfiltration applications. NX Filtration’s membrane technology is capable of selectively removing organics from polluted water, including micropollutants, color, antibiotics, PFAS, bacteria and viruses.

This has resulted in new and simple processes for the treatment of water, the reuse of wastewater and the production of potable water. We deliver robust products and innovative solutions enabling our partners to excel in sustainable membrane filtration applications.

Contribution to LIFE PRISTINE

NX Filtration will provide advanced hollow fibers direct nanofiltration membranes for pilot trials execution on drinking water and wastewater facilities, which has been demonstrated for successful elimination of certain types of persistent mobile compounds (including PFAS and pesticides), and identify PMC rejection performance of different membrane types and processing conditions allowing the technology to either be modified during operation or to be optimally implemented on sites based on the PMC type and concentration.

NX Filtration

ESAMUR is a public company created by the Law 3/2000, of July 12, of Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment and Implantation of the Sewerage fee in Murcia Region. The Law of Sewerage assigns to ESAMUR the task of collecting and managing the Sewerage fee, applying these economic resources to the tasks of exploitation, maintenance and control of the public facilities of wastewater treatment in Murcia Region (Spain).

Contribution to LIFE PRISTINE

ESAMUR will coordinate the analytical campaign for the characterization of waste water, moreover will contribute its experience and support to the demonstration activities, the evaluation of the impact of the project, the development of actions related to policies and  support the activities of communication and dissemination.





Xylem is a leading water technology company committed to “solving water” by creating innovative and smart technology solutions to meet the world’s water, wastewater and energy needs.

​In a world of ever-growing challenges, Xylem delivers innovative water technology solutions throughout the cycle of water.

Our technological strength across the life cycle of water is second-to-none. From collection and distribution to reuse and return to nature, our highly efficient water technologies, industrial pumps and application solutions not only use less energy and reduce life-cycle costs, but also promote sustainability.

Contribution to LIFE PRISTINE

Xylem is the technology provider and developer, contributing with their expertise in Oxidation (Ozone), Disinfection (UV) and Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP), that capitalizes on their 40 years of experience and more than two hundred fifty thousand water and wastewater treatment installations worldwide.

The innovation, development and integration of new UV-LED technology for treatment processes and reactor designs through the deep involvement of their Research and Development team (R&D) will bring the UV-LED technology forward. This progress is needed to bring UV-LED technology nearer to a new standard for water purification challenges and for combating emerging contaminants in water streams.







407, 2024

The LIFE PRISTINE consortium gathers for its second monitoring meeting

July 4th, 2024|

Partners from the LIFE PRISTINE project met at the facilities of ACCIONA in El Prat de Llobregat (Spain) and online on the occasion of the second monitoring meeting, which was held on July 4th, 2024. During the fruitful assembly, supervised by an expert designated by the European Commission, the [...]

2806, 2024

Xylem and ACCIONA disseminate LIFE PRISTINE at the LET 2024 conference

June 28th, 2024|

The LIFE PRISTINE project was present at the 19th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies (LET 2024), held from June 24th to 28th in Essen (Germany). The conference is one of the largest and most important events in the field of water and wastewater, with more [...]

1906, 2024

ACCIONA shares the results of the LIFE PRISTINE analytical campaign at the YWP European Conference

June 19th, 2024|

The LIFE PRISTINE project was present in the Young Water Professionals (YWP) European Conference, an event organised by the International Water Association (IWA) taking place in Copenhagen (Denmark) from June 16th-19th, 2024. On June 17th, Miriam Carolina Pérez Cova, project partner and researcher from ACCIONA, hosted the talk “Towards [...]

606, 2024

Bringing LIFE PRISTINE to the XXXVII AEAS Congress

June 6th, 2024|

Míriam Carolina Pérez Cova, researcher from ACCIONA, participated in the XXXVII Congress of the Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation (AEAS), which took place between June 5th-7th, 2024, in Castellón (Spain). On June 6th, she delivered a presentation about LIFE PRISTINE, giving a global overview of the project. [...]

2003, 2024

Eurecat presents LIFE PRISTINE at a workshop on science communication in the water management sector

March 20th, 2024|

Marina Presas, Communication and Dissemination Officer from Eurecat, has participated in a workshop on science communication in the water management sector organised by the Catalan Water Partnership on March 19th, 2024, at the Catalonia Ramblas Hotel in Barcelona (Spain). During the event, the communication strategy implemented in LIFE PRISTINE, [...]

1601, 2024

LIFE PRISTINE unveils insights from water analytical campaign: five families of Contaminants of Emerging Concern arise as primary focus

January 16th, 2024|

The LIFE PRISTINE analytical campaign has made it possible to select a total of 17 relevant compounds that will constitute the shortlist of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) that will be followed during the PRISTINE solution demonstration. These 17 relevant compounds are classified as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, industrial chemicals, microplastics [...]

2906, 2023

Exhibition of a poster based on LIFE PRISTINE research at the ecoSTP conference

June 29th, 2023|

Aina Soler Jofra, project partner from ACCIONA, has shared LIFE PRISTINE knowledge at the 6th IWA International Conference on eco-Technologies for Wastewater Treatment (ecoSTP 2023), celebrated on Girona (Spain) on June 26th-29th.During the event, she exhibited a poster entitled “Innovative and versatile integrated solution to remove contaminants of emerging concern [...]

1406, 2023

Presenting the LIFE PRISTINE project at AEDyR’s International Congress

June 14th, 2023|

The LIFE PRISTINE project has been present at the 13th International Congress of the Spanish Desalination and Reuse Association (AEDyR), celebrated on June 13th-15th in Granada (Spain). Maria del Mar Micó, project partner from ACCIONA, introduced LIFE PRISTINE during her speech, entitled “Innovative and Versatile Integrated Solution to Remove [...]

3105, 2023

ACCIONA disseminates LIFE PRISTINE during the IDEAS 2023 Conference

May 31st, 2023|

Miriam Carolina Pérez Cova, researcher of the R+D department in ACCIONA, has presented the LIFE PRISTINE project during the IDEAS 2023 Conference organised by the Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation (AEAS) and hosted by the Bilbao Bizkaia Water Consortium (CABB) on May 30th-31st, 2023. Her presentation, entitled [...]

1005, 2023

ACCIONA highlights LIFE PRISTINE as a success story in a webinar about the LIFE Programme 2023 call

May 10th, 2023|

Ana Jiménez, Head of Innovation Management & Technology Transfer in ACCIONA and LIFE PRISTINE project coordinator, participated in the webinar “LIFE Call 2023 main priorities” organised by the international consultancy Euro-funding on May 10th, 2023. During her presentation, she shared the success story of LIFE PRISTINE, one of the [...]

2404, 2023

Celebration of LIFE PRISTINE first monitoring meeting

April 24th, 2023|

The LIFE PRISTINE project celebrated its first review meeting in Murcia (Spain) on April 20th, 2023. During the meeting, which was assisted by a representative of the LIFE External Monitoring Team, all partners presented the work carried out during the first nine months of the project and discussed the [...]

1603, 2023

LIFE PRISTINE presentation at the Technical Conferences on the Reuse of Reclaimed Water

March 16th, 2023|

Aina Soler Jofra, project partner from ACCIONA, has presented the LIFE PRISTINE project during the XV edition of the Technical Conferences on the Reuse of Reclaimed Water, organised by AEDyR and ESAMUR and celebrated on March 15th-16th in Cartagena (Spain). During her presentation, entitled “Pursuing the elimination of emerging [...]

1002, 2023

LIFE PRISTINE is present during a scientific talk targeted to high-school students

February 10th, 2023|

Aina Soler Jofra, project partner from ACCIONA, introduced LIFE PRISTINE during a talk to a group of 60 high-school students from the Anna Mogas School-Institute, in Granollers (Spain). The talk was part of the 100tífiques initiative, celebrated on February 10th, one day before the International Day of Women and [...]

302, 2023

Presentation of LIFE PRISTINE during an Isle Utilities webinar

February 3rd, 2023|

Ana Jiménez-Banzo, Head of Innovation Management & Technology Transfer Innovation Department at ACCIONA, presented the LIFE PRISTINE project during the webinar “Microcontaminants: how to manage them”, part of the Isle Utilities Webinar Series, which ran on February 1st, 2023. During her presentation, she gave an overview of LIFE PRISTINE, [...]

1711, 2022

Acciona presents the LIFE PRISTINE project at the 3rd Congress of Spanish Young Water Professionals

November 17th, 2022|

Maria del Mar Micó, partner from project coordinator ACCIONA, has presented the LIFE PRISTINE project during the 3rd Congress of Spanish Young Water Professionals (YWP) 2022, celebrated on November 16th-19th at the School of Engineering of the University of Valencia (ETSE-UV), Spain. During her presentation, entitled “Emerging pollutants in [...]

2109, 2022

Acciona leads an initiative to eliminate emerging pollutants in the end-to-end water cycle

September 21st, 2022|

The LIFE PRISTINE project combines water treatment processes with artificial intelligence-based digital tools to develop a solution that removes emerging pollutants in the integrated water cycle. The integrated and versatile PRISTINE solution will be demonstrated in a representative full-scale operational environment. LIFE PRISTINE, with a budget of 4 million [...]


Here is a list of LIFE PRISTINE work packages and deliverables.

WP1 – Project Management and Coordination

→ D1.1 – Project Management Handbook – Executive Summary

WP2 – Analytical campaign for demo sites characterization

→ D2.1 – Water characterization and technical requirements – Executive Summary

WP3 – Individual technology fine-tuning and prototype construction

→ D3.1 – Report on the development of the individual technologies – Executive Summary

→ D3.2 – Report on combination and scaling up of the developed technologies – Executive Summary

WP4 – Pilot design, construction, and commissioning: integration of removal technologies and digital components

D4.1 – Report on the integration of PRISTINE components into an operational solution

D4.2 – Design tool for CEC removal prediction

WP5 – Demonstration activities in drinking water and wastewater real scenarios

D5.1 – LIFE PRISTINE DW Pilot Plant test report

D5.2 – LIFE PRISTINE WW Pilot Plant test report

D5.3 – LIFE PRISTINE Integrated Solution – Final

WP6 – Impact assessment

D6.1 – Monitoring report of LIFE PRISTINE impacts

→ D6.2 – Extract of the project data from the LIFE KPI webtool (M9)

D6.3 – Extract of the project data from the LIFE KPI webtool (end of the project)

WP7 – Sustainability, replication, and exploitation of project results

D7.1 – LIFE PRISTINE Business Plan and Exploitation Strategy

WP8 – Communication & Raise awareness

D8.1 – Communication and Dissemination reports – Full paper

D8.2 – LIFE PRISTINE website – Full paper

D8.3 – Dedicated project page on the beneficiaries’ website – Full paper

Download below the LIFE PRISTINE promotional materials, containing key information about the project.




Newsletter 1 – July 2023

In the first newsletter you will learn about the project’s objectives and expected results, the PRISTINE Integrated Solution, a selecion of media articles featuring LIFE PRISTINE and the latest events attended by project partners.




Preventing Recalcitrant Organic Mobile Industrial chemicalS for Circular Economy in the Soil-sediment-water system

PROMISCES aims to increase the circularity of resources by overcoming barriers associated with the presence of industrial Mobile, Perstistent and Potentially Toxic chemicals (iPM(T)s) in the soil-sediment-water system. To reach this overall goal the main innovation and research objectives are:

  • Enhance the ability to detect and monitor iPM(T)s
  • Improve the predictability of persistency and mobility of iPM(T).
  • Improve assessment and management of human health risks associated with the exposure to PFAS and iPM(T)s.
  • Provide risk management solutions.
  • Provide innovative approaches to prevent and manage the occurrence of iPM(T)s in circular economy routes.

Contract number


Case studies

  • Berlin (Germany).
  • Danube Basin to Budapest (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary).
  • Besos (Barcelona Province, Spain).
  • Ancona (Italy).
  • Sofia (Bulgaria).
  • Orléans (France).
  • Northeastern Spain.


  • Germany
  • France
  • Poland
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary





Dr. Julie Lions –


Innovative combination of WWT technologies for water reuse: anaerobic-aerobic, microalgae and AOP processes


LIFE AMIA is a LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency project with the main objective of obtaining high quality regenerated water in compliance with European reuse regulations, by using low energy consumption technologies, eliminating emerging contaminants and pathogens and with the application of circular economy to minimize waste.

This project hopes to not only obtain adequate water for reuse in agriculture in compliance with the new European Regulation of Water Reuse, but also other milestones such as: achieve an energetically self-sufficient system to urban wastewater treatment; reduce environmental impact of produced sludge, carbon footprint and GHGs emissions; recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus in the biomass; and the elimination of micropollutants and pathogens from wastewater, especially pharmaceutical products like  venlafaxine, ketoprofen or diclofenac that are not removed efficiently by conventional treatments.

Contract number

LIFE18 ENV/ES/000170



  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Cyprus


1.945.914 €



Elena Zuriaga –


Eliminating micro-pollutants from effluents for reuse strategies

PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) also known as the forever chemicals, are a large group of mobile persistent man-made substances, that have been linked to serious health issues. Together with other organic micropollutants, such as pharmaceuticals, their discharge management is becoming one of the most pressing environmental challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

The holistic approach to the elimination of PFAS and other persistent organic pollutants within the project incorporates regional strategies for monitoring and assessment, technological advances in wastewater treatment, and risk management assessment for cities.

Contract number

#C013 Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme



  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia


5.430.000 €



Agnieszka Ilola  –


Early warning tool based on machine learning for groundwater supply

AguAlearn has developed an innovative early warning platform for the quality of groundwater in the Llobregat delta area for its supply.

The developed platform identifies, on the one hand, the most suitable flow to minimize the entry of contaminants from data analysis with machine learning. On the other hand, it is capable of predicting the presence of specific contaminants based on salinity data and operating parameters, which are available in real time. This tool is based on the IML Artificial Intelligence code developed by Amphos 21 and allows relating variables to predict the presence of minority pollutants.

The code has been integrated into an early warning platform, developed by HYDS, which identifies alert situations and generates notices to previously selected users. This platform connects real-time data and analytics with artificial intelligence software.



  • Spain



Ester Vilanova –

Jordi Roca –


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Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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