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Sustainable Processes and Optimized Technologies for Industrially Efficient Water Usage

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SPOTVIEW (Sustainable Processes and Optimized Technologies for Industrially Efficient Water Usage)

Reporting period: 2019-10-03 to 2020-04-02

The volume of freshwater used by process industries represents 25 billion m3 per year in Europe and accounts for 10% of total water consumption. Steel, Paper and Dairy sectors contribute to 36% of industrial water uptake, and 18% of eqCO2 emissions.

The objective of the SpotView project was to develop and demonstrate innovative, sustainable and efficient processes aiming to:
•Recover and recycle valuable substances and energy (heat, biogas) from process water;
•Reuse treated water to reduce discharges;
•Substitute freshwater with alternative water sources.

During the project, 14 technologies for process water separation and treatment were assessed, including ultrafiltration, deionization, disinfection and heat recovery. Water management strategies integrating new technology chains were demonstrated in real industrial environments for the three sectors. The environmental impacts and benefits generated reached the project target. Commercial exploitation is considered a (potential) possibility for most results.

In the dairy industry, 23% of fresh water can be replaced by effluent after aerobic/anaerobic treatment, while producing biogas and reducing waste water. High value proteins and fats can be recovered from cleaning effluent. In the packaging and sanitary paper industry, 20 to 50% of fresh water can be saved by recycling process water and effluent, while recovering heat losses, thus minimizing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. In steel production, reuse of indirect circuit blowdown reduces freshwater make-up by 25% and desalination technologies reduce the fresh water quantity by 40%.
During the Project, the consortium developed and assessed new water management and treatment solutions in the three sectors. Technical tasks were devoted to:
1. Water circuit characterization campaigns at industrial sites;
2. Technology component testing at pilot scale in realistic environment.
3. Alternative water management scenarios assessment by simulation based on digital models with industrial water circuit rearrangement and technology integration.
4. Demonstration trials in industrial environment to validate the exploitability of results:
• Steel industry: solid and salt removal techniques for water reuse.
• Salts concentration by membrane technology and electrolysis for in-situ biocides production at tissue paper and steel sites.
• Paper industry: organic matter extraction technology for valuable substance recovery.
• Cleaning water and effluent treatment in dairy industry: Ultrafiltration for selective separation of proteins and fats from CIP water streams and water reuse; Anaerobic/aerobic MBR for wastewater treatment and reuse.

Technical and environmental performances reached by technology components were used for assessment and comparison with baseline situation. The technologies studied showed high potential for reducing fresh water intake (23% for dairy, 22% and 58% for pulp & paper and up to 68% for steel). Reduction of at least 30% in waste water production has been demonstrated for all sectors: dairy 29%, pulp & paper 29%/58% and steel up to 75%. The energy reduction target was achieved by waste water reuse in pulp & paper (OCC and tissue). In dairy the target was almost achieved with 13% energy saving through biogas production. For steel the possible energy savings were limited to 2%.

Exploitable results were used to develop realistic business scenarios for each of the 5 Key Exploitable Results and other project outreach developments, including new water/energy management services and simulation tools. Project results were presented during 3 Workshops organized with other SPIRE and H2020 projects. Details of the public results are available on the SpotView website.
The SpotView project resulted in 5 Key Exploitable Results: Valmet CR Ultrafiltration T; QPinch Chemical Heat Pump for low temperature (<60°C); XerChem Biocontrol concept; Capacitive Deionization (CDI) assessed by BFI; Anaerobic/aerobic membrane Bioreactor (aaMBR) developed by CERTH.

Among the new technologies assessed during pilot scale trials in industrial environments, the following achievements can be highlighted:

For application in dairy industry:
• Submerged Ultrafiltration (sUF) treatment results in milk concentrate with approx. 1.5% fat and 2.5 % proteins, that can be reused on dairy production lines. The sUF system tested produces clean water stream that could be re-used, also contributing to the SpotView target of 30% reduction in wastewater treatment.
• Anaerobic/aerobic MBR pilot plant showed high performance for the treatment of effluents: organic matter removal efficiency is exceptionally high (99.4%); effluent characteristics permit its reuse/recycling for water conservation; the superior-quality biogas produced, with approx. 70% in CH4, can be utilized as an energy source in the dairy plant.

For application in Paper Industry:
• Valmet Ultrafiltration CR1010/30T prototype installed in tissue mill showed effective process water purification and fresh water saving by 1-2 m3/ton.
• BioControl concept requires preliminary concentration of chlorides to be applied in tissue mill. Trial runs at Finnish steel mill with high flow rates and higher chloride content provided more exploitable results at lower cost.
• Modelling of effluent recycling scenario with heat recovery integration showed potential reduction of fresh water uptake from 20 to 50% with efficient control on process water COD, temperature and conductivity.
• Starch extraction yield obtained during pilot trials with mixed industrial recovered paper and board was not sufficient to improve process water quality. The exploitability of the technique can be improved in other industrial sites with different process conditions.

For application in Steel Industry:
• Flotation combined with microfiltration showed water recovery up to 89%, with energy demand of 0.3 kWh/m3 and effluent quality suitable for further deionization.
• Reverse Osmosis shown good long-term behaviour without fouling detection and a demineralized water quality with conductivity of 11 μS/cm and chlorides below 3 mg/L. The water recovery achieved was up to 85%, with an energy demand of 1.1 kWh/m3 (feed water).
• Combining hybrid flotation with 5 µm and AC filter before CDI produced reusable water with stable and higher quality than requirements regarding water composition): conductivity <200 μS/cm; Cl- content <50 mg/L; Energy demand from 0.95 to 1.1 kWh/m3

For Heat recovery from effluent, the novel chemical heat pump from Qpinch can deliver significant temperature lifts to recover waste heat:
• Above 75°C the use of a type A installation provides temperature lifts from 40 to 100°C
• For waste heats from 60 to 75°C a hybrid configuration (add a compressor to a type A) is needed to reach 40°C temperature lifts.
• Below 60°C, type C installations provide temperatures lifts of 60°C

The benefits of SpotView in terms of market opportunities, expected gains and direct job creation was estimated: 900 to 3105 equipment will be sold in Europe at respectively short and medium terms beyond the end of project. 2280 to 9465 new jobs are estimated in Europe resulting from these new activities, at respectively short (3 years) and medium (7 years) terms.
SpotView Project overview