Nanofiltration allows waste streams to be reused for the production of drinking water

Together with De Watergroep, VITO is studying the production of drinking water in Flanders. A pilot installation in Kluizen, which purifies water through innovative ion exchange, shows that our drinking water can be made even purer. Moreover, VITO is researching whether the waste stream released during this process can be reused afterwards.

In the drinking water production centre in Kluizen (East-Flanders), surface water is being treated experimentally with an ion exchanger. The installation is filled with synthetic resin, which De Watergroep uses to remove unwanted organic substances from the water by exchanging them with the more harmless ions. This allows it to save on chemicals and produce less sewage sludge in later treatment steps. The ion exchanger has to be regenerated regularly with a saline solution, which removes organic matter from the synthetic resin. Through the Belgian-Dutch project OperAqua, VITO is studying optimal ways to recover the waste stream (regenerate) of the regeneration process, which is rich in salt and organic substances.

Research in Kluizen proves that the regenerate should be treated through nanofiltration and electrodialysis, to separate and distil salts and organic residue. The salt can be reused for regeneration and the organic residue can potentially be used as a soil improver.

 

VITO's role

In the next few years VITO will also perform pilot tests in the West-Flemish water catchment area De Blankaart (between Oostvleteren and Diksmuide). Nanofiltration and electrodialysis will be studied and optimised there.

OperAqua: facts & figures
  • Duration: juni 2013 - december 2015
Research in Kluizen proves that the regenerate should be treated through nanofiltration and electrodialysis, to separate and distil salts and organic residue.