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Re-designing the value and supply chain of water and minerals: a circular economy approach for the recovery of resources from saline impaired effluent (brine) generated by process industries

Project description

Innovative concepts of resource recovery from brine

The process industries generate significant amounts of saline-impaired effluent, commonly known as brine. Under the circular economy concept, it is essential to treat this brine through wastewater treatment processes to reclaim valuable resources. The EU-funded ZERO BRINE project aims to develop the necessary concepts, technological solutions and business models that will revolutionise the value and supply chains of minerals (including magnesium) and water, while also recovering valuable organic compounds from the brine. To achieve these objectives, the project will integrate various existing and innovative technologies, allowing for the recovery of high-quality end-products with sufficient purity and considerable market value from brine wastewater treatment. A demonstration will take place in the Energy Port and Petrochemical cluster of Rotterdam Port.


This project aims to facilitate the implementation of the Circular Economy package and the SPIRE Roadmap in various process industries by developing the necessary concepts, technological solutions and business models to re-design the value and supply chains of minerals (including magnesium) and water, while dealing with present organic compounds in a way that allows their subsequent recovery.

This is achieved by demonstrating new configurations to recover these resources from saline impaired effluents (brines) generated by process industry, while eliminating wastewater discharge and minimising environmental impact of industrial operations through brines (ZERO BRINE). The project will bring together and integrate several existing and innovative technologies aiming to recover end-products of high quality and sufficient purity with good market value. It will be carried out by large Process Industries, SMEs with disruptive technologies and a Brine Consortium of technology suppliers across EU, while world-class research centres ensure strong scientific capacity and inter-disciplinary coordination to account for social, economic and environmental considerations, including LCA.

A large scale demonstration will be developed in the Energy Port and Petrochemical cluster of Rotterdam Port, involving local large industries. Two demo plants will be able to treat part of the brine effluents generated by one process industry (EVIDES), while the waste heat will be sourced by neighbouring factories. The quality of the recovered end-products will be aimed to meet local market specifications. The involvement of representatives covering the whole supply chain will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase Circular Economy in Rotterdam Port, at large scale. Finally, three large-scale pilot plants will be developed in other process industries, providing the potential for immediate replication and uptake of the project results after its successful completion.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 2 651 651,36
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Delft en Westland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (23)