Interview Souha GAMRI-R&D manager at Helio Pur Technologies


5 Questions to ask a Biosol Water Recycling partner

Souha GAMRI-R&D manager at Helio Pur Technologies LIFE project is a valuable instrument to help dealing with water challenges and making business opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU and beyond

  1. Can you introduce yourself?

During my studies (agricultural engineering then a post-master degree in water management and environmental sciences and policies), I developed a particular interest for wastewater reuse and especially the multidisciplinary dimensions of this practice (technical, social and economic). I took the opportunity of a PhD program (Aix Marseille University, France) to focus on specific technical issues related to drip irrigation systems when reusing wastewater. I have been able to work on projects within various contexts, ranging from agricultural engineering, soil and water engineering to socio-economic issues. Recently, I have joined Helio Pur Technologies as R&D manager to develop the Bio Solar Purification process. This interesting position is an attractive challenge and I look forward to carrying out promising projects!

  1. How do you assess the current water resources availability worldwide?

Worldwide freshwater scarcity raises serious concerns and is anticipated to increase at an alarming rate in the upcoming years. Irrigated food production is considered as one of the major causes of water scarcity, using around 70% of total freshwater worldwide. In addition, water quality has become a critical issue as ground and surface water are affected by human activities, including the use of pesticides and the production of industrial toxins. These issues raised by many stakeholders should be overcome in order to offer a sustainable future for generations to come.

  1. Are there any solution to face water challenges?

Urban population growth increases both stress on freshwater resources and wastewater volumes. Thus, wastewater treatment and reuse can be considered as a valuable option to supply some uses. For instance, wastewater reuse for irrigation is widespread in many countries suffering from freshwater stress. The nutrients remaining in wastewater (phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, etc.) have the potential to increase crop yield and help reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers.

  1. Helio Pur Technologies coordinate Biosol Water Recycling project, which aim to optimize technically and economically the Bio Solar Purification process, since July 2014. Based on your experience, how easy or difficult is it to implement this innovative solution?

The preliminary results obtained showed that French and Spanish regulation thresholds can be easily reached. Several improvements have been made on Bio Solar Purification tubular reactor to enhance its technical development, but some problems are still encountered. For instance, fouling observed in the reactor tubes, reduces the reactor performance. Currently, several solutions regarding tubes cleaning are compared and will be implemented very soon. Since the beginning of the project, we have been faced with many challenges, but we remain optimistic about finding the appropriate solutions!

  1. LIFE Programme has just celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year (2017). Can you describe your experience in Biosol Water Recycling management in the frame of LIFE programme?

Behind each project there’s an entire team. BioSol Water Recycling project bring together partners from France and Spain to optimize wastewater treatment and reuse solutions. I am pleased to note that we are making progress in the project, which is an interesting opportunity to exchange knowledge and lesson learned from other experiences. I really think that LIFE project is a valuable instrument to help dealing with water challenges and making business opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU and beyond.