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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

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ZERO BRINE (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)

Période du rapport: 2020-06-01 au 2021-11-30

ZERO BRINE 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 and water, while dealing with present organic compounds in a way that allows the subsequent recovery of the targeted minerals (a.o. Mg, Ca and NaCl). This has been achieved by pilots demonstrating new technology configurations to recover these resources from saline impaired effluents (brines) generated in different industrial sectors (textile, coal mining, silica, demin water) while eliminating wastewater discharge and minimizing environmental impacts of industrial operations through brines, providing the potential for immediate replication and uptake of the project results. Five Brine Excellence Centres (Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands) have been established to build upon, as well as an Online Brine Platform for matchmaking. Policy recommendations have been formulated to foster transformation of waste into products and enhance circular economy.
For the industrial water brines in Rotterdam Port two demo sites have been developed at PlantOne Rotterdam, a test facility where waste heat could be made available. Brine from Evides Industry Water was transported by truck to PlantOne. In Site I, IEX brine was treated by a technology train of NF, MFPFR and MED. Re-gaining of high purity MgOH2, CaSO4, NaCl and water has been demonstrated at a brine feed level of 1 m3/hr. Site II RO-brine was treated, using a technology train including NF, RO, Nyex, EFC and a waste-heat fed MED. In the “ Bolesław Śmiały” coal mine at Gliwice in Poland, the technology train consisted of pretreatment/ultrafiltration/decarbonisation, an integrated two-pass nanofiltration/reverse osmosis/electrodialysis system, magnesium recovery by CrIEM and by precipitation and salt recovery by EFC. The Turkish pilot at the Zorlu textile factory included ozone oxidation/NF pretreatment, reverse osmosis concentration and IEX softening. In the silica mining industry at IQE in Spain, regenerated NF membranes were tested successfully in sequence with the EFC. The results of the pilot open perspectives for a substantial reduction of wastewater, allowing for further growth of the plant within the existing permits. Digital tools have been developed to foster the promotion and use of the ZERO BRINE technologies: (1) RCE which simulates integrated technology trains for the extrapolation of pilot results to full-scale (2) An Online Brine Platform for match-making between brine producers and salt users. A first step in the practical implementation of the OBP has been made for the case of the Netherlands, where over 200 brine producers and salt users from the 5 large industrial clusters have been registered. The ZERO BRINE systems sustainability performance was analysed using LCA and LCC assessment. For the replicability of case studies three business plans have been developed. A policy review aiming at investigating the regulatory obstacles for the introduction of ZERO BRINE solutions to the market has been completed. Suggestions for the update of the relevant BREFs have been proposed to the responsible committees of the European Commission. The environmental impacts, associated with brine discharge, have been assessed through field measurements and surveys, combined with existing data. The website contains all public deliverables, videos on the demo pilot plants, scientific and other publications, training session and stakeholder meeting reports, events and press statements.
Impacts of ZERO BRINE can be described in different fields. In the technology development field, the perspectives for operational use of the different combinations of technologies in several industrial sectors had been demonstrated and technology levels have been raised accordingly. At the Botlek Site the following products have been recovered from brine: (i) high purity Mg (OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 crystals (80-90% of total feed) and Na2SO4, to be sold to market, (ii) Clean Water (60-70%v of MED feed) and NaCl Solution (30-40%v of MED feed) for regeneration of IEX membranes of the demineralized water producer. Economic Benefits at full scale implementation include: (i) positive impact on annual revenues (3000-8000 K€/year), (ii) avoiding environmental penalties due to brine discharge (4000 €/year), (iii) Internal valorisation of NaCl solution. Environmental Benefits include: (i) Eliminating brine discharge (100-150 m3/day), (ii) Demineralized water recovery (60-100 m3/day), increasing production capacity of DWP with the same water withdrawal rate, (iii) 14% of CO2 reduction; NaCl solution recovery contributes to a decrease of the carbon footprint of Rotterdam Port, as currently 2000-3000 ton salt/year is brought in from sources 300 km away. In the Polish pilot: the following results and impacts can be reported: (i) reduction in energy consumption – 11.2 kWh/m3 for treated brine whilst 16.7 kWh/m3 for reference technology, (ii) Salt recovery – 92.8%, (iii) Magnesium hydroxide recovery – 94.9%, and (iv) demineralized water recovery – 90.6%. In the Spanish pilot the following results and impacts have been obtained (i) 90% water recovery, (ii) 60% reduction of Na2SO4 in wastewater providing 20,000 tons/yr to sell, (iii) energy reduction of 72% by EFC and waste heat recovery,(iv) CO2 reduction 6000 tons/yr, (v) economic benefits through re-use of membranes and (vi) 100% plant production growth potential through effective reduction in waste water volume. In the Turkish pilot NaCl recovery up to 60% and clean water recovery up to 95 % can be reported. Five Brine Excellence Centres have been established, promoting the sharing of technologies and fostering replication projects and further technology development. For the replicability of case studies three business plans have been developed. Two replication case studies have been selected: in the Netherlands and in Italy. Two replication case studies have been selected: in the Netherlands and in Italy. Four follow-up projects have been granted: SEA4VALUE, BRINE-MINING, WATER-MINING, and SEArcularMINE. For further promotion, development and implementation of ZERO BRINE technologies, a Framework agreement has been signed in April 2020 between the following partners: ARVIA, EURECAT, LENNTECH, SUT, TITANSALT. TUDELFT, TYPSA, UNIPA, SEALEAU and ResourSEAs. This group of technology suppliers forms the Brine Consortium Task Force (BCTF). Throughout the project duration, ZERO BRINE saw representation at over 96 different conferences and event gatherings, reaching all stakeholders. ZERO BRINE had media coverage in over 139 press articles tracked by Meltwater analytics, estimating an outreach of the project to over 45 million readers spanning 15 countries and 11 languages, including industry experts and policy-makers. ZERO BRINE matchmaking workshops brought together over 91 industry experts and potential end-users, initiating a solid basis for activities within WP10 to engage additional industry stakeholders and help ensure the uptake of project tools and results to over 750 stakeholders at capacity building events.