An innovative wastewater recycling process for hotels has been presented today at the Malta Council for Science and Technology. The aim of this project was to develop an innovative water recycling process for application in hotels in Malta and in the Mediterranean region. Developed by Ing. Marco Cremona, the system is based on the innovative Membrane BioReactor (MBR) wastewater treatment process used in combination with the well-proven reverse osmosis (RO) process.

Speaking at the presentation this morning, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Dr Stefan Buontempo, said that research projects addressing national priorities such as water re-use and water conservation, should not only be promoted but implemented for the benefit of society. He encouraged academia to work in close collaboration with the industry to research ways in making better use of our resources, such as construction waste, which is an equally important issue due to the limited area we have on these islands. Dr Buontempo stated that research funds both national and European ones, should be utilised to address the challenges our country faces. Considering that an average of 400 litres of water per guest per bed night, compared to an average of 25 litres per employee per day, it clearly demonstrates that research in water conservation in the hotel industry is an important investment, continued the Parliamentary Secretary.

Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando Executive Chairman at MCST, said that the Council has been focusing very heavily on R&I in an attempt to improve the overall development and commercialisation potential of locally developed products and technologies. A set of programmes, intended for both researchers and enterprises of any size, have been identified in order to increase research, technological development and innovation activities. Dr Pullicino Orlando stated that the project presented, Development of an Innovative Wastewater Recycling Process for Hotels and/or Large Commercial Buildings (HOTER), is a perfect example of a successful R&I initiative funded by MCST.

The wastewater treatment process will make it possible to recover as much as 70-80% of the water bought in by the hotel. The process will provide first class water to EU Drinking Water standards for the guest rooms of the hotel, while also meeting all second class water requirements.

A HOTER test prototype (with a treatment capability of 15,000 litres day) was installed in a leading hotel since summer 2008.The tests were successful and the project has also received international acclaim. Apart from featuring on Al Jazeera and France 5 TV, it was a finalist in the prestigious CNBC/Allianz Good Entrepreneur 2009 Competition for the Best Green Business in Europe, which propelled its inventor Ing. Marco Cremona to be shortlisted for the Stockholm Water Prize 2012. HOTER won the Chamber of Engineers – Excellence in Industry Award in 2012.