AZIONE 2012 2013 2014 2015
A.  Preparatory Actions
A.1 Site definition of the end user   X X X X X                  
B. Implementation Actions
B.1 Design and construction of the pre-industrial scale bioreactor and of different types of support media for biofilm growth       X X                    
B.2 Preliminary tests to compare different type of support media and cleaning strategies           X X X              
B.3 Characterization of the process and development of tools for ecosystem and biomass control             X X X X X X      
B.4 Design, modification and set up of the final configuration of the prototype and of the automated monitoring and control system                 X X          
B.5 Validation of the plant performance and optimization of the monitoring and control system in two different scenarios                   X X X X X X

C. Monitoring of the impact of the project actions

C.1 Technical, financial and environmental assessment of the impact of the project                 X X   X X X X
C.2 Socio-economic impact of the project on the local economy and population                       X X X X
D. Communication and dissemination actions
D.1 Information to general public and stakeholders     X X X X X X X X X X X X X
D.2 Networking     X X X X X X X X X X X X X
D.3 After LIFE Communication Plan                             X
E. Project management and monitoring of the project progress
E.1 Project management   X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
E.2 Project monitoring   X X X X X X X X X X X X X X



Action A.1. (Site definition of the end-user)

A.1.1. Sulphur contaminated streams data collection

Existing data will be acquired on streams and processes monitoring and sampling procedures. A specific sampling and monitoring program will be designed to enable the understanding of processes involving sulphur compounds.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

A. 1.2. Sulphur mass balance and processes modeling

The processes originating gaseous streams containing sulphide will be analysed together with the present physical-chemical treatment plant for sulphide removal. The data collected on sulphur related compounds in gaseous and liquid streams will enable the understanding of the interrelations between the operating conditions in the WWTP and the hydrogen sulphide produced.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

A.1.3. Quality and removal target ranges identification

The targets in terms of quality of the effluents and removal of hydrogen sulphide load will be identified.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur


  • Identification of the most relevant polluted air streams and pollutants concentrations in the WWTP.
  • Sulphur mass balance around the different sections of the WWTP.
  • The results of monitoring will be used as input for the mass balance and for the calibration and validation of mathematical models.


Action B.1. (Design and construction of the pre-industrial scale bioreactor and of different types of  support media for biofilm growth)


B 1.1 Design of the prototype on pre industrial scale and of the interchangeable biodiscs to be tested.

The design of the prototype in this phase will be aimed at manufacturing a reactor that will be used during Action B 2 for the first phase of testing.

Responsible: Italpro


  •   Design and construction of the pre-industrial scale Prototype.


Action B.2. (Preliminary tests to compare different type of support media and cleaning strategies)

B 2.1 Work programme for prototype preliminary testing

A detailed work programme for the test at Cuoiodepur’s WWTP will be defined and written

Responsible: Unifi

B 2.2 Start up of the prototype

The prototype will be already onsite ready to be tested.

Responsible: Unifi

B 2.3 Preliminary tests

According to the program defined within the sub action B.2.1, a set of different experiments with   the prototype will be carried out, not only to evaluate the performance in terms of elimination capacity and removal efficiency, but also  to compare the effect of bed cleaning/recovery

Responsible: Unifi

B 2.4 Assessment of the preliminary test

The results obtained during the test will be evaluated with the aim of optimizing the technology; the following information will be used: results of monitoring hydrogen sulphide (and other reduced sulphur compounds) in the inlet and outlet of the prototype; results of biomass analyses; results of effluent and influent make up water samples analysis; results of respirometric and genetic tests analysis. Evaluation of the performance of the sulphide and reduced sulphur compounds removal in the plant in different operating conditions. Evaluation of the different removal performances in different temperature conditions, such as warm and cold seasons. Evaluation of the performance of the cleaning/recovery bed for the plant in different operating conditions. Assessment of the results versus the quality targets of the end user defined in Action A 1.  Comparison of the results obtained (process performance and cleaning/recovery bed) to treat high sulphur load, as well as with the results achieved at Cuoiodepur WWTP, using chemical scrubber. Preliminary cost evaluation, including comparison with the costs of the novel biological technology versus alternative approaches. 

Responsible: Unifi

B 2.5 Process Modelling and optimization

A model to simulate the performance of the biological process will be defined, on the basis of the results obtained, and relatively to former research.

Responsible: Unifi

B 2.6 Process definition for optimized pre-industrial scale tests

On the basis of the results obtained with the preliminary test and of the comparison of different solutions for biomass support and removal, the optimal bioreactor configuration will be defined

Responsible: Unifi


  • It is expected that the prototype will remove a high load of hydrogen sulphide: at least 150 mgH2S/m3/h  
  •  Identification of the of the optimal strategy for the biomass removal and control.

 Preliminary assessment of the new approach from a technical and economical point of wiev in comparison to chemical scrubber currently present at the Cuoiodepur WWTP.


Action B.3. (Characterization of the process and development of tools for ecosystem and biomass control)

B 3.1 Biomass characterization and development of analitycal tools for bio-moniotring

Biomass will be characterized through both respirometry and molecular analysis. Samples will be regularly taken from the prototype. They will be then immediately processed and stored for DNA extraction, FISH experiments and culture attempts. In order to ensure the characterization of each biomass component, samples will be stored following different protocols, suitable for different bacterial components, possibly present in the reactors.

Responsible: Unipi

B 3.2 Definition of the control strategies for the ecosystem optimization.

Collected bio-monitoring data (sub-action 3.1) will be analyzed and used for defining a convenient protocol for routinely monitoring of the biomass reactor activity, deciding frequency of sampling and evaluating the most suitable monitoring tool.

Responsible: Unipi


  • The characterization of biomass that will include: description of sampling and samples storing from each running phase of the prototype; quantitative estimation of microbial community composition; identification of the bacterial component(s) potentially responsible for the sulphur-oxidizing and, eventually, heterotrophic processes.
  • A report on bacteria isolation and culturing, including: kinetic and stoichiometric parameter of the SOB as a function of the operating conditions; isolation and maintenance of strain(s) of bacteria involved in the process.

The biomonitoring tools, that will include the definition of the most suitable way of monitoring and managing the sulphur-oxidizing biomass operating in the reactor.


Action B.4. (Design, modification and set up of the final configuration of the prototype and of the automated monitoring and control system)

B 4.1 Design and construction of prototype on pre industrial scale.

From the results obtained during the preliminary tests, Italprogetti will optimize the pre industrial scale prototype design in collaboration with Unifi: new (optimized) biodiscs and an automated monitoring and control system will be designed and installed

Responsible: Italpro

B 4.2 Design and set up of an automated monitoring/control system.

The final design and set up of the monitoring control system will be developed from the results obtained in the previous actions (action B.2 and B.3). The final version of the pre-industrial scale plant will be fully automated and directly connected to the control-monitoring supervision system of the industrial WWTP.

Responsible: Italpro


  • Prototype final design: realization of the optimized prototype on preindustrial scale with implemented monitoring and control systems and new optimized biodiscs.
  • Manual of the optimized prototype: Technical manual with the P&I of the optimized prototype, the description of the operation and of the strategy for biomass control and of the algorithms for plant operation control.


Action B.5. (Validation of the plant performance and optimization of the monitoring and control system in two different scenarios)

B 5.1 Preparation and start up tests of pre industrial scale prototype

A detailed work programme for the tests and related monitoring programme for sulphide and other compounds and analyses of exhaust water parameters will be written. Operation of start up tests with clean and foul air streams, i.e. mechanical, hydraulic and pressure tests, as well as on-off tests on controls and alarms, under the leadership of Italprogetti, in collaboration with Cuoiodepur. Biomass will be inoculated with samples collected from the reactor during action B.2. During start up the plant will operate at low H2S load. A tests of the functionality of the new automated control system will be carried out.

Responsible: Unifi

B 5.2 Pre industrial scale tests in real application

Two long term tests with polluted gas streams will be realised at the end user’s site to validate the performance of the technology and the relative optimal biodiscs configuration and the monitoring and control system. Unifi will lead the tests on the pre industrial configuration according to Cuoiodepur indication. The plant manufacturer Italprogetti will also collaborate in the tests.

Responsible: Italpro

B 5.3 Validation and optimization of the process configuration

Cuoiodepur and Unifi will check the results of the experimental activity on the pre industrial plant, and elaborate a rational comparison of the process performances, from a technical point of view, in terms of efficiency, efficacy and reliability. Performances will be compared with those of the present chemicals scrubbers. The targets quality ranges, just defined in the Action A.1, and the related lower costs expected from the novel process, will be the referred aims. Therefore, some indicators will be defined in order to evaluate the confidence of the novel process configuration to get optimal results.

Responsible: Unifi

B 5.4 Validation of the control system on pre industrial scale

Cuoiodepur and Unifi will verify that the monitoring and control system implemented to the prototype will respect the targets and the purpose to the optimization of the process management.

With regard to the monitoring system, the gas chromatography will be set for the best analytical performance in the operational condition and a series of programmed calibrations and control procedure will be defined. A checklist for the control of the sampling and monitoring systems will be prepared.

Responsible: Unifi


  • Expected performance for the prototype for the first tested scenario (high specific load): elimination capacity > 150 g H2S/m3 h (volume of reactor) for the first scenario in correspondence with a (long term sustainable) pressure head loss lower than < 80 mm H2O. Expected performance for the prototype for the second tested scenario (high quality of the effluent): removal of hydrogen sulphide higher than 96% and average concentration in the effluent lower that 1 ppm.

Demonstration the validity of the novel BTF configuration and its implementation to treat high load sulphide air foul streams, at a cost competitive, not only to chemical processes, but also to other biological technologies (current biofilters and or biotrickling filter).


Action C.1. (Technical , financial and environmental assessment of the impact of the project)

C 1.1 Final technical and economic assessment

The combination of biological sulfide oxidation and moving bed filter technology will be assessed by technical and economic point of view. The optimal set-up and operating conditions correspondent to the best technical and economic compromise on the basis of the results of actions B.1 to B.5 will be defined.

Responsible: Unifi

C 1.2 Final environmental assessment

The partners will assess the environmental impact of the implementation of the proposed approach by either tannery industries or at centralized wastewater treatment plants in areas with a high concentration of tannery companies.

The environmental impact will be evaluated with different approach. The carbon and ecological footprint will be evaluated. The assessment will take in to consideration the direct and indirect reduction of energy and chemical consumption, the reduction of reagent transport and the embedded energy both in the reactors and in the reagents.

Responsible: Unifi

C 1.3 Data collection and elaboration for full-scale implementation of the technologies

All the partners will collaborate in the collection and elaboration of engineering data for the design and construction of industrial-scale units for the system. The design criteria will be identified and described as a function of the characteristics of the influent, of the required quality of the effluent and of the environmental conditions.

Responsible: Unifi

C 1.4 Definition of long-term environmental Performance Targets

In line with the objective “Performance Targets” of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan of the EU, elaboration of the conclusions of the technical, economic and environmental assessment of the proposed approach and its comparison to current technologies to set Performance Targets for gaseous streams treatment in areas with an intensive tannery production.

Responsible: Unifi


  • Definition of design criteria for the reactor and the monitoring and control system.
  • Definition of Performance Targets for gas streams purification in areas with an intensive tannery production, based on best environmental performance, while being realistic from an economic viewpoint, in line with the ETAP. At least two tannery districts in the EU will be considered as real case studies to provide concrete input data.
  • Reports on the novel technology from Technical, financial and environmental assessment

It is expected that the new system will enable a long term sustainable application of biological process to concentrated streams (in the range 20 ppmv and 400 ppmv) and that operating cost will decrease compared to chemical scrubbing.


Action  C.2. (Socio-economic impact of the project on the local economy and population)

C 2.1 Data collection to assess the socio-economic impact of the project on the local economy and population

Statistical data will be collected in order to measure the impact of the project in the local tannery district.

A preliminary data set on the potential interest in an industrial district/sector other that the tannery one will be collected. The population will be also interviewed to highlight potential cultural obstacles to the diffusion of hydrogen sulphide biological treatment instead of traditional chemical scrubbing.

Responsible: Unifi

C 2.2 Assess of the socio-economic impact of the project on the local economy and population

Statistics will be elaborated on the data collected through the interviewing process and based on supplementary information source on the industrial district. As a final step it will be possible to assess the effect on the industrial district occupation due to the higher sustainability associated with hydrogen sulphide removal through biological processes and on the potentiality of directly creating occupation.

Responsible: Unifi


  • the dataset collected through the interviewing process (at least 50 stakeholder contacted with a questionnaire composed by 10 questions and at least 10 answers obtained);
  • the technological scenarios elaborated as hypothesis for the socio-economic impact are described in a report;

the effect of the transfer of the technological innovation demostrated with the project in the tannery industrial distric is described in a report.


Action D.1. (Information to general public and stakeholders)

D 1.1 Annual dissemination strategies

Preparation of a detailed annual project communication and dissemination strategy; first released within 6 months since project start; updated during the first quarter of each annual period.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.2 Kick-off meeting

he kick-off meeting will coincide with a project presentation event, to be organized at Cuoio-Depur premises in the first quarter of the project. The event will present the project, expected impact of project implementation and expected results to target audience (tannery industries and public actors).

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.3 Project website

Creation of a dedicated project web site for the dissemination of project activities, progress and results to both the general public and stakeholders. The web site will also include a section on networking with other EU projects and initiatives. The dissemination material and info on the planned dissemination activities will be made available on the site.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.4 Notice boards, project flyer and Layman’s report

Preparation and maintenance of notice boards describing the project at the locations where it is implemented, at strategic places accessible and visible to the public.

Preparation of a project flyer in Italian and in English to present the project main data.

 Preparation of a Layman's report in Italian and in English in paper and electronic versions.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.5 Project newsletter and project workshops

Regular information on project progress and results will be sent to stakeholders (including public actors of the main EU tannery districts, tannery industries and associations, water and air technology associations) through an electronic newsletter, to be released at least on a six-monthly basis.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.6 Pubblications

Publication of articles and scientific papers in national and international magazines addressing the industrial sector, the applied research sector .

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.7 Guide book and didactic work local school

Redaction and distribution to stakeholders (tannery industries; service managers dealing with centralized wastewater treatment plants; other interested actors) of an operative guide for the implementation of the novel approach for gas treatment through the applied technology.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.8 Presentation

At least 2 oral and poster presentations at conferences and workshops at national and European level, like events on the implementation of the EU environmental policy, including ETAP events, per year are forseen. Multisectorial events will also be targeted, to encourage a technology transfer of the proposed approach to other industrial districts, e.g. paper districts such as the one in Lucca, Italy.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 1.9 Final seminar

A final seminar will be organized in San Miniato Pisa (Italy) or Florence in December 2014 for the dissemination of the final project outcomes. The responsible for the organization will be Cuoiodepur. The target audience will be tannery industries and public actors located in other industrial districts where the novel approach could be implemented even at level of centralized mixed wastewater treatment. A guided visit to the end-user will be organized, so to show the large-scale prototype.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur


  • 1 kick-off meeting to be held at CuoioDepur  followed by 1 press conference , 1 public seminar and 1 guided visit to the project site that will close the day;
  • 1 communication plan: includes annual updates of dissemination strategies;
  • 4 notice boards; one per project partner;
  • 1 dedicated project web site updated quarterly with an electronic newsletter ;
  • 1 project presentation brochure (flyer) in Italian and English (600 copies EN + 600 copies IT);
  • 1 project workshop at project mid-term; candidate places are Ponte a Egola or Santa Croce, IT; followed by a guided visit to the project site.
  • >4 publications/presentations in reputed journals and/or conferences including the presence at one ETAP event;
  • 1 project workshop to be scheduled after mid-term in coincidence with networking activities; candidate place is Igualada, ES;
  • 2 didactic visits for bachelors and master students, after prototype start-up;
  • 1 video presentation of the project and its results; about 5 minutes;
  • 1 digital guide book for the full-scale implementation of the proposed Biosur treatment system;
  • 1 final seminar to be held at CuoioDepur ;

1 Layman's report (8 pages) in Italian and English (600 copies EN + 600 copies IT); available at project end.


Action D.2. (Networking)

D 2.1 Information acquisition

This sub-action includes the activities aimed at collecting the information on other relevant projects (especially ongoing or completed LIFE+ through LIFE+ project database) and more in general European projects, dealing with similar/related issues.

Moreover, Unifi is coordinator of a LIFE+ project (Named Showw) that will be offer opportunities of networking with stakeholders and other LIFE+ completed projects. The goal is to individuate the relevant connections with other projects and communities (FP7, Public Health, ETAP, etc.) or platforms will also contribute to involve and establish durable links with the Scientific research and technology development community and reinforce the dissemination and the technology transfer amid relevant communities.

Within this activity the partners will participate to LIFE kick off meeting with EC representative.

The action will exploit existing fora, wherever possible, using existing audiences which may be interested in the project topics.

Responsible: Unifi

D 2.2 Exchange visits and participation to events

The main tasks that will be performed are the participation to events organized by other information platforms related to the project objectives, exchanges and visits.

Specific visit will be dedicated to create a stable network with other ongoing EU project related to the Biosur topics. The partner involved in other LIFE+ project will be invited to visit the demonstrative plant and to exchange information.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

D 2.3 Communication and networking

he main goal is a regular delivery of information aimed at networking with other EU projects and initiatives, in order to establish regular collaboration with existing thematic networks and to favour the participation to initiatives organized by the EC to foster collaboration among projects (e.g Green Week).

This action includes the activities aiming to communicate achievements, solutions and information gained during project implementation directly to other communities or in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency of endeavours at regional, national and European level.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur


  • 2 networking events organized by Biosur (in coincidence with Terrafutura or Ecomondo)
  • 2 permanent collaboration with relevant networks will be established.


Action D.3. (After LIFE Communication plan)

At the end of the project, the Biosur BPartnership will produce an ‘After-LIFE Communication Plan’ to describe how the Partnership plans to continue disseminating the results of the Project. Suggestions about how to enrich this action will be also given by the stakeholders.

The After-LIFE Communication Plan will be divided into two parts: the first section provides an overview of the project’s objectives, methodology and results. The second part deals specifically with communication strategy. The Plan will be presented with four pages of text, plus draft budget and annexes. The Plan will be produced in paper and in electronic format and IT/EN Languages. Among planned goals we can list:

• maintenance of Biosur Project Website

• publication of 2-3 scientific articles on reputed reviews regarding tannery effluents treatment;

• participation in 3-4 national exhibitions and/or technical seminars;

• participation in social web initiatives.

Biosur expects that After LIFE Communication will help accelerate the dissemination of projects results.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur


  • After-LIFE Communication Plan - Produced in paper and electronic format at the end of the project, presented in Italian and in English. It will include relevant national and European events to be addressed, planned publications, participation to conference, seminars, press coverage, etc. and will indicate what external support could be helpful.


Action E.1. (Project managment)

E 1.1 Steering Committee

A Steering Committee (SC), appointed at the beginning of the project and composed of one representative of each beneficiary, plus the project manager  and the financial manager and will be in charge of the project management. In particular, the SC will be responsible for:

a) taking the strategic decisions linked to the Project,

b) monitoring the progress made toward the achievement of the global goals of the Project and providing general strategic orientations,

c) making decisions regarding any other strategic issue including the case of a Party raising exceptional difficulties;

d) Organize dissemination/information activities and material; liaising with key actors and stakeholders;

f) Assigning tasks, launching activities and control/overlook on the terms of the project

h) Support the coordinating beneficiary in complying with administrative, technical and financial provision of the Grant Agreement.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

E 1.2 Management tools

To ensure that management of the project will complying with Life+ and Grant Agreement provisions, a number of tools will be provided by the Coordinating Beneficiary at the beginning of the project such as:

- "Activities report": a form will be distributed to project staff, design in order to record, on a daily base, the time which each employee spends working on the project, the activities carried out, critical issues emerged, the deliverables concerned, the expenditures linked with each activities and any other relevant information relating to the project implementation.

- "Financial report": a form will be distributed among partners, in order to guarantee a common way of cost registering. The form will respect the structure of the project budget and of the LIFE+ reporting templates, providing the data for redaction of all technical and financial documents to be sent to the Commission.  

“Project Management and Financial Guidelines”: ensuring that all beneficiaries are familiar with the management procedures and the terms of reporting and expenditure eligibility as stated by the Grant Agreement and National law, in respect of the internal administrative procedures of each partner.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

E 1.4 Technical Managment

Gualtiero Mori, researcher and process manager of Cuoio-Depur, who has a strong experience in biological and chemical treatment bench scale tests on wastewater and air polluted streams, will also be appointed as Actions Leaders coordinator. He will be responsible for reporting to the SC, making to the SC any appropriate proposals relevant to the strategy collected among Action leaders (ACL), monitor the progress in relation to the performance indicators, organizing the project technical monitoring and reporting system. Mr Mori will also be responsible for collecting data and informations necessary for the redaction of technical documents to be sent to the Commission. Finally, he will be responsible for collecting data and information necessary for the redaction of dissemination material. Each ACL will be responsible for managing the action in coordination with Sub-action leaders, coordinate the Action activities with the other ACL in order to avoid overlapping of work, collect data for measuring performance indicators. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the project that indicates the nature of the tasks to be performed and the estimated budget, all Actions and Sub-actions Leaders and related responsibilities in performing the actions, as well as delegates of each beneficiary organization, will be part of the Consortium Agreement.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

E 1.5 Reporting to EC

Redaction and collection of all technical and financial documents to be sent to the Commission, including the Inception Report, the Progress Reports, the Mid-term Report and the Final Report with payment request, under the responsibility of the Coordinating Beneficiary. The activities will be carried out by Mr. Mori. All project staff will be involved, providing information needed.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur

E 1.6 Final Audit

n independent auditor nominated by Cuoiodepur will verify the financial statements provided to the Commission in the final project report. This audit will not only verify the respect of national legislation and accounting rules but will also certify that all costs incurred respect the LIFE+ Grant Agreement and Common Provisions.

Responsible: Cuoiodepur


  • An efficient management of the project will be achieved thanks to the provision of a continuous communication and involvement of the partners in all phases of the implementation and common tools for registering and monitoring activities. The management structure and tools will guarantee the respect of timing and the coordination of all actors to have an harmonic action.


Action E.2. (Project monitoring)

E 2.1 Monitoring protocol

At the beginning of the project, a monitoring protocol will be established which will define:

• technical monitoring indicators (e.g. timely start of the Actions and Sub-Actions; preparation of due deliverables; expected end date of the Action and Sub-Action, delays in the time plan, technical implementation status in relation to the content of each objectives, etc.);

• financial monitoring indicators (e.g. expected person-month effort per beneficiary per Action; amount of pre-financing still available for each beneficiary etc.);

• related sources of verification (e.g. "Activities report", internal peer review system of project deliverables etc.);

The monitoring protocol will be defined under the responsibility of the Coordinating Beneficiary (G.Mori) who will distribute it to all other beneficiaries..

 Responsible: Cuoiodepur

E 2.2 Reporting on monitoring

At least on a six-month basis, each Sub-Action Leader will present a half page monitoring report containing an overall summary of how each Sub-Action is progressing, focusing on results achieved towards the technical and financial monitoring indicators identified, problems experienced, and ways of making improvements.

The ACL Coordinator  (G.Mori) will collect and consolidate all the monitoring reports from the Sub-Action Leaders, as well as his own assessments of the performance of the Sub Actions and project beneficiaries and develop a summarized six-month monitoring report. This report will show how far the envisaged results of the project activities have been achieved and their contributions to the final project objectives, both in terms of quality and overall progress.

 Responsible: Cuoiodepur