Accelerating the transformation of intelligent water management in coastal Europe
In 2018, 74% of Europeans lived in urban areas and this figure is set to rise over the coming decades, which presents a big challenge for water management (UN, World Urbanization Prospects 2018). The concept of a smart city, coupled with intelligent water management through innovative concepts and technologies can make an important contribution here.
In 2014, the European framework programme “Horizon 2020” was launched under the slogan “Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” and is providing funding for the B-WaterSmart research project. B-WaterSmart brings together six European coastal cities and regions with high ambitions to address their water-related challenges and opportunities. This is taking place within the framework of the project by applying a large-scale systemic approach to select, connect and demonstrate innovative technology and management solutions for key sectors with high water and resource turnover. The project starts in September 2020, will run for four years and be carried out by 36 European partners from industry and research.
EnviroChemie is part of the project consortium and is working on the use of technologies for the treatment and reuse of water in dairies. The food industry is typically characterized by high water consumption with strict quality requirements for process water. Vapour condensates, which are produced by drying or evaporation during milk processing, for example, must be treated appropriately. The aqueous condensates contain organic impurities and low concentrations of salt. The volume of vapour condensates can reach several hundred cubic metres a day depending on the amount of dry goods produced and is therefore ideal for reuse. The aim of vapour condensate treatment is the recovery of hygienically safe water which can be reused as process water for various purposes. Envirochemie will be developing, building and operating a modular pilot plant to treat vapour condensate with this objective. Different technologies such as membrane processes, as well as biological and mechanical stages, will be integrated into the whole process chain and observed. By interconnecting the plant stages, different qualities of water can be produced that can be reused for various purposes.