How to create a new life for the by-products of water treatment processes? Thanks to research, innovation and years of practical experience, these by-products or residuals can be upgraded into valuable materials for industrial and agricultural purposes. This ‘upcycling’ is the focus of a new Allied Waters Collab.
Drinking water treatment typically produces by-products such as iron- or alum-based sludges and lime pellets. In the Dutch drinking water sector the volumes of these residuals amount to 200 thousand tons per annum, while e.g. the figure for the German sector is about 800 thousand tons. Residuals have been upcycled in the Netherlands for numerous applications for many years, an activity that received international recognition in 2015, when the Dutch-based Reststoffenunie and its partners were granted the prestigious IWA Award on Best Practices in Resource Recovery.
The specific focus of the new Allied Waters Collab is the development of upcycling in the European water sector. The key collaboration partners involved are local water supply companies, AquaMinerals and KWR. In addition to the by-products of drinking water treatment, the upcycling of other residuals – especially from wastewater treatment processes – will be studied during the course of the collaboration, in which continuous research and innovation form an integral part. Further news is expected over the next two months.