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Worldwide unique, resource-conserving and energy-efficient treatment of industrial wastewater polluted by oils and heavy metals for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in a company

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CPB 4.0 (Worldwide unique, resource-conserving and energy-efficient treatment of industrial wastewater polluted by oils and heavy metals for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in a company)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30

With the development of industrial production, the worldwide demand for water increases and thus does the amount of industrial waste water. The growing need for water can only be covered by reuse after treatment. Treatment of industrial waste waters, however, is a problem not only in Europe. Far too often, they are not sufficiently treated or not treated at all, thus causing severe damage for man and environment.

Industrial waste waters are contaminated by many different types of pollutants. Mineral oils and heavy metals are the most important of these. They enter the water during the production process. These and other substances have to be removed prior to discharge into the sewerage or into water bodies. In Germany alone, approx. 2.1 billion m³ of effluents are annually treated in waste water treatment plants, many of which are still equipped with obsolete technology and urgently need modernisation. In some other European countries, the infrastructure for treating industrial waste waters is still being established.

The European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC requires water bodies to attain a good status by December 22, 2021. In order to achieve this goal and to improve environmental protection on a sustainable basis, OKO-tech has developed and implemented a process for treating industrial effluents that is unique worldwide – OKO-CPB 4.0.

It is characterized by a wide range of treatment options and boasts a demand for energy and emissions of CO2 that are reduced by 90 % compared to conventional methods such as ultra-filtration and evaporation. The waste water treated can be reused or discharged into the sewerage or into a water body. At the same time, OKO-CPB 4.0 meets the requirements of Industry 4.0 due to its high degree of automation and its networking capability.

This holistic and sustainable concept for treating industrial waste waters can make a decisive contribution to achieving the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive and to significantly improving climate protection due to its low demand for energy and low CO2-emissions. In addition, reuse protects the precious resource ‘water’ in a sustainable manner.

Our market analysis showed that OKO-CPB 4.0 meets the customer requirements regarding energy efficiency and economic efficiency and that it can play a key role in achieving the goals for protecting the climate and the environment in Europe.
As part of phase 1 of the project, the feasibility and a market entry strategy were worked out by means of an intensive market analysis and a resulting business plan so that the results can be used for calculating in a transparent way the funding needs for the market entry measures required in phase 2.

For this purpose, we conducted an internet research to identify the key European market players in the field of industrial waste water treatment. Their products were then divided into three categories according to the treatment method (physico-chemical, thermal, filtration). In addition, we determined the geographic sales region and economic data such as turnover and number of employees. It became clear that the market for industrial waste water treatment in Europe is characterized by small and medium-sized enterprises. No individual company has a dominant market position. The main turnover is national. It can be seen that the export share increases when the turnover increases. Usually, the neighbouring countries are served.

For the strengths and weaknesses analysis, evaluation criteria were set up for the competitive products. These criteria are geared to the needs and requirements of the customers. They include investment costs, energy efficiency, automation etc. In an evaluation matrix, evaporation (thermal method), ultra-filtration (filtration method) and OKO-CPB 4.0 (physico-chemical method) were comparatively evaluated under consideration of the criteria set up. Particularly in the area of networking capability and energy efficiency, there was a clear advantage for OKO-CPB 4.0 – it is thus one of the most economical and innovative process technologies currently available on the market.

In order to derive a customer-oriented market entry strategy, potential target groups were identified and afterwards evaluated on the basis of key criteria, e.g. the amount of waste water per year.
Since the product OKO-CPB 4.0 is very complex, we intend to market it in direct sales, supported by a pool of selected sales agents in Germany and other European countries. The company website is continuously optimised by SEO measures. Furthermore, we plan to participate in relevant trade fairs in Germany and other European countries. Setting up a reference plant / a demonstrator near our location is particularly important in order to be able to demonstrate the functionality of OKO-CPB 4.0 and to carry out tests and R & D measures. Reference plants in other European countries and for different industries are also desirable. In order to implement these measures, it is necessary to restructure the existing company organisation and to increase the number of staff.
Protection of the climate and the environment now has a very high priority in Europe in order to preserve the basis of live for future generations. Careful use of resources is a prerequisite. For the resource ‘water’, the EU has introduced the Water Framework Directive (WDF) which aims at making water policy and thus the use of water more sustainable and environmentally compatible. By 2015, all surface waters and groundwater should have been put in a good condition – an aim that was not achieved in any member state. The new deadline is now December 22, 2021.

Changing existing treatment plants for industrial waste water to the technology of the physico-chemical treatment method OKO-CPB 4.0 and the construction of new plants equipped with this technology are important measures for achieving the aims of the European WDF.

In Germany alone, most of the existing treatment plants for industrial waste waters are in need of modernisation, since they were built about 30 year ago and no longer correspond to the current state of the art. Many plants still use ultra-filtration and evaporation, technologies that are extremely energy-intensive and require much cleaning. The technique of breaking emulsions by salts and acids is also outdated, but still in use in many treatment facilities.

In contrast, the technology of the treatment plant OKO-CPB 4.0 is characterized by

- a high degree of automation
- a very low demand for energy
- very low CO2-emissions
- networking capability in the meaning of Industry 4.0
- the use of organic demulsifiers

Sensors monitor and control the plant automatically and adjust the treatment parameters to the respective waste water – a degree of automation that goes far beyond current standards.

The use of OKO-CPB 4.0 can save up to 90 % of energy; CO2-emissions would also be reduced by up to 90 %. Moreover, the treated waste water can be reused – important milestones on the way to achieve the aims of the WDF and to protect the climate and the environment.
OKO-CPB 4.0 waste water treatment plant for industrial effluents