Producing chemicals and plastics requires a lot of fresh water to cool down industrial processes, and this water is not always readily available. Euronews reporter Denis Loctier visited a Dow Benelux plastics plant on the southern coast of the Netherlands. This seaside plant cannot pump water from the ground: it must buy it from a supplier located dozens of kilometres away, uses it once and then pours it out into the sea.
Salty or dirty water can damage installations, and for now it is cheaper for companies to buy fresh water than to recycle it. But a European research project - "E4Water (Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry)" - wants to change all that.
With the chemical industry providing the highest potential to demonstrate increased eco-efficiency in industrial water management, the FP7 project ‘Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry’ (E4Water) addresses a range of crucial process needs to overcome bottlenecks and barriers to a fully integrated and energy efficient water management system.
The project’s main objective is to develop and test integrated approaches, methodologies and process technologies. There are six industrial case study sites at the core of E4Water that are expected to achieve a reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in waste water production, 15-40% in energy use and up to 60% in direct economic benefits. In addition to the chemical industry, the project is actively seeking opportunities for cross-fertilisation with other industrial sectors.
The project consortium brings together large chemical companies, leading European water sector companies and innovative research and technology development centres and universities. The partners are also involved in the Water supply and sanitation Platform (WssTP) and SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, and actively collaborate with water authorities in different European countries.
For more information about SusChem involvement with water issues, please contact Antonia Morales-Perez at Cefic, or visit the water priority page on the SusChem website.
Latest EIP Water newsletter out
May 2015 edition of the EIP Water newsletter is out. The e-publication reports on the World Water Forum 7 in South Korea during which new analyses and perspectives on global water challenges and markets were published. In Europe, the Horizon 2020 water call closed on 21 April having received 915 applications showing increasing interest in innovation in the water sector.
Within the partnerships, EIP Water has been appointed to the Water JPI Stakeholder’s Advisory Group (SAG) and the Water JPI is currently holding a consultation on its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, which will provide valuable input for the SAG’s next meeting in early June. If you want to participate in the consultation the deadline for input is 24 May.
Finally the next EIP Water Conference will be held in February 2016 and five hosting proposals have been received from across Europe. A decision on the venue will be made by mid-June at the latest.