Mocopée 3, “the InnEAUvation Project”

Launched in 2014, Mocopée, a pro­gramme involv­ing more than twen­ty research teams and indus­tri­al part­ners, has thus far passed two phas­es. The third phase, run­ning from 2023 to 2027, which is part of the InnEAU­va­tion¹ project, has just begun.

The Mocopée pro­gramme, which stands for “Mod­el­ling, Con­trol and Opti­mi­sa­tion of Water Purifi­ca­tion Process­es”, was cre­at­ed in 2014 as a result of the joint efforts of Siaap, UTC and Irstea. What is the Programme’s aim? To cre­ate a per­ma­nent space for work and exchange between sci­en­tists — more than twen­ty teams are involved (uni­ver­si­ty sci­en­tif­ic bod­ies, nation­al research cen­tres) — oper­a­tional play­ers in the water sec­tor and indus­tri­al part­ners involved in urban water treatment.

What has changed since phase one was launched? “The num­ber of play­ers has increased, the bud­get has increased — around two mil­lion euros a year in con­sol­i­dat­ed bud­get — and today we have around 80 researchers,” explains André Pauss. This makes it the largest pub­lic water treat­ment pro­gramme in Europe.

What’s spe­cial about Mocopée 3? “This phase is under­go­ing a sig­nif­i­cant change, as Mocopée 3 is part of a wider pro­gramme known as “innEAU­va­tion”. Where­as Mocopée 1 and 2 were essen­tial­ly research and devel­op­ment pro­grammes, innEAU­va­tion is based, in addi­tion to Mocopée 3, on oth­er pre-exist­ing pro­grammes and is intend­ed to be more oper­a­tional. It is a glob­al approach, with the aim of mov­ing towards indus­tri­al deploy­ment. The results of some of the research car­ried out at the UTC are begin­ning to be test­ed on the Siaap water treat­ment site at Achères,” he explains. Today, Siaap is clear­ly posi­tion­ing itself in favour of resource recov­ery. “As a water treat­ment oper­a­tor, Siaap has changed its par­a­digm. We’re no longer just in the busi­ness of puri­fy­ing water. Ques­tions are emerg­ing: what do we do with the water as a by-prod­uct of the plant? Should it be dis­charged into the riv­er, used for irri­ga­tion, rein­ject­ed into the net­work or into the water table? How do we recov­er the nutri­ents — nitro­gen, phos­pho­rus and potas­si­um — con­tained in the water dis­charged from the cleans­ing plants? In short, water is a col­lec­tion of by-prod­ucts that need to be recycled.

Waste­water treat­ment plants also pro­duce ener­gy, in par­tic­u­lar bio­gas. The Achères plant is one of the biggest bio­gas pro­duc­ers in France. We’re mov­ing away from the log­ic of treat­ing water to com­ply­ing with stan­dards to the imple­men­ta­tion of poli­cies that, while respect­ing this objec­tive, go fur­ther in the recov­ery of byprod­ucts”, he stresses.

Le magazine

Novembre 2023 - N°61

Activité physique, nutrition & santé

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