Cetaqua, Water Technology Center, represents a pioneering model of collaboration between the administration, the university and the company. This model has been consolidated as a European reference in the application of scientific knowledge to water and the environment. Our mission is to anticipate society’s needs in order to propose new R+D+i solutions to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of the water cycle, taking into account local needs.

Cetaqua ecosystem is formed by 4 independent entities that follow the same structure, share strategy and work in collaboration from Barcelona, Galicia, Andalusia and Santiago de Chile.

Areas/Lines R+D+i


We develop technologies and knowledge to improve resource management and water regeneration, creating solutions applied to a more efficient and integrated operation.


We develop technologies and optimize processes to make wastewater treatment more sustainable, and to convert waste into new resources.


We provide solutions to ensure the sustainable development and well-being of the population by promoting the circular economy.


We develop and optimize advanced control methods to guarantee water quality standards beyond legal requirements, both for the population and the environment.


The application of ICTs transforms water management infrastructures and processes into cyberphysical systems, where advanced data processing enables more efficient, sustainable and secure operations and decisions.


We provide solutions that enable more efficient management and higher performance of water cycle infrastructures.

Most important R+D+i projects

“CIGAT-BIOFACTORY: THE TRANSIT TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY (Cetaqua Galicia)”: Innovative technological solutions for the production and recovery of high added value by-products from urban and industrial waste flows from sectors with a high weight for our economy such as dairy, canning and wine. Demonstration of a technology that transforms urban waste water treatment sludge into high value-added carbon-based products, as a sustainable alternative to oil derivatives.

“COSIN: TOWARDS BIOMETHANE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: A pilot plant is evaluating technologies to produce biomethane from biogas from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, and to apply the Power-To-Gas concept to store surplus electrical energy from renewable sources in the form of synthetic fuel.

“CIGAT: ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO TREAT WASTEWATER (Cetaqua Galicia)”: Innovative technology launched to the market to treat, in a decentralized way, hospital and industrial wastewater with substances of potential health risk, such as emerging pollutants: compact aerobic and anaerobic technology.

“CODIGESTION TO PRODUCE MORE BIOGAS (Cetaqua Chile)”: Study of waste potentially usable in co-digestion processes with sewage sludge to increase biogas production through synergies of up to 20%.

“CIRCULARITY FOR MOST SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND REGIONS (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: In the municipality of Gavá a circular economy model has been implemented, in collaboration with the city council and Aigües de Barcelona. Based on a strategic agenda, the use of regenerated water is promoted and industrial waste circles are closed in this municipality, evaluating the social, economic and environmental impact of the measures applied. In addition, in 2019 Gavá became the first Spanish city to be recognised by the International Water Association (IWA) as a reference in urban sustainability through the “”Water- Wise Cities”” accreditation.

“RED_SCOPE: WATER RECOVERY AND VALUABLE RESOURCES IN THE MINING SECTOR (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: Minimize the volume of liquid waste from the mining sector industries, specifically in copper smelters in Europe, thus contributing to the current strategy of circular economy of the European Commission. By combining conventional electrochemical technologies with new Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technologies, it has analyzed the technical and economic feasibility of a new zero discharge process. With this process, 99% of the effluent water has been recovered in a pilot plant implemented in the Atlantic Copper foundry, suitable for reuse in the facilities themselves.

“FENLAB: AQUIFER DENITRIFICATION (Cetaqua Andalucía)”: This study has allowed to characterize in the laboratory the effectiveness of in situ denitrification through the controlled addition of small amounts of iron nanoparticles, a novel technique that has not yet been tested at real scale.

“RECOSOL-HIDROSOL: QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE EVALUATION OF AVAILABLE GROUNDWATERS (Cetaqua Andalusia)”: Analysis of an aquifer to define a sustainable strategy for the exploitation and conservation of its waters, guaranteeing the quality of the supply service and sustainability in accordance with the Basin Hydrological Plans. In addition, exploitation alternatives have been proposed to guarantee the sustainable use of the resource in a way that is compatible with the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive.

“AQUAVALENS: DETECTING PATHOGENS IN DRINKING WATER (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: New, more sensitive and faster methods to detect microorganisms in drinking water and water used for food preparation, to protect people’s health: a European strategy

“LIFE ENRICH: RECOVERING NUTRIENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL USE (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: In addition to optimizing the recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater and demonstrating their agronomic value, a business model will be implemented to promote the circular economy.

“BIOCONTROL IN ACTIVATED MUD PLANTS (Cetaqua Chile)”: Bacteriophage organisms to control the population of filamentous bacteria causing bulking and foaming in high load activated mud plants.

“ DESSIN: MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: Injecting pre-drinking water into the aquifer to increase the sustainability of the groundwater of the Baix Llobregat. The experimental pilot has allowed surplus water from the drinking water treatment process to be stored for subsequent extraction in periods of shortage. A tool developed during this project helps to integrate this technique with other innovative solutions in the integrated management of water resources, evaluating its impact on ecosystems and the services they provide.

“SENSORY AND DETECTION OF ANOMALIES IN DRINKING WATER (Cetaqua Barcelona)”: Early detection of deviations in the quality of drinking water, by means of in situ sensors and advanced data treatment, as well as the evaluation of different devices in Drinking Water Treatment Plants (DWTP). Using spectrometry, electrochemical and analytical data techniques, the potential formation of Trihalomethanes (THM), the presence of coliforms, the formation of biofilm or biofilm in drinking water distribution pipes, among other anomalies, is detected. Cetaqua also verifies new technologies in the field of water with added value for the environment, within the framework of the European Commission’s Environmental Technology Verification programme.


Phone: (+ 34) 981 52 53 23

Email: info@cetaqua.com



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