Industrial water and salt re-use

The construction of the pilot plant for the European ZERO BRINE project, at Plant One in Rotterdam Botlek, is in full swing. The first tests to produce salt, suitable for reuse, from process wastewater will start at the end of March. The installation components come from different European countries, including Greece, Italy and the Netherlands. Evides Industriewater is one of the partners in this European research project. TU Delft is responsible for the coordination of this project.

Salt wastewater
The central question in the ZERO BRINE project is how to ensure that industrial saltwater waste streams do not end up in the environment by reclaiming and reusing salt and clean water. The project that started in 2017 with 22 partners (research institutes, SMEs, construction companies and end users) from ten countries will research possible solutions for a period of four years.

Because companies are reusing their water more often, the saline wastewater flows (brine) are increasing. This brine can be discharged into the sea but contains useful substances such as magnesium and sodium chloride (kitchen salt). Also there are locations where this brine cannot be discharged because of the ecological conditions.

Pilot installation
The first pilot installation for the ZERO BRINE project is currently being built at Plant One Rotterdam (POR) in Rotterdam Botlek (Port of Rotterdam), where companies and research institutes can test and validate sustainable process technology. Starting in March 2019 the pilot plant will treat one cubic meter of regeneration water per hour. This salt stream comes from Evides Industriewater’s demin water plant in the Botlek, which produces demineralised water for various (petro) -chemical companies in the Port of Rotterdam. The feed for the demineralised water is surface water from the Brielse Meer, which Evides Industriewater desalinates with a combination of membrane filtration and ion exchange. For the regeneration of the ion exchange process, salt is needed that must be supplied at the moment.

Two nanofiltration installations
The brine released during the regeneration of the ion exchange process will go to Plant One Rotterdam from March 2019. First the brine will go through two nanofiltration installations that have been built by the company Lenntech Water Treatment during the past few months. The clean water (permeate) then passes through an evaporator from the University of Athens. Smart technology makes it possible to recover most of the evaporated water with the help of industrial residual heat, which saves energy and reduces emissions.

The sodium chloride that remains can possibly be used in the future by Evides Industriewater for the regeneration of the ion exchanger. This is still being researched. A concentrate containing magnesium and calcium ions is also released from the nanofiltration units. The University of Palermo has designed a diaphragm crystallisation reactor to convert the magnesium and calcium ions into magnesium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide in solid form. In the future the magnesium might be usable in the food industry.

With the ZERO BRINE project, the reuse of industrial wastewater flows, and residual heat is another step closer. In March 2019 the installation will start operating. The research runs until 2021.

More information
Would you like to know more about this project? Please contact  Jan Willem Mulder via

Demiwaterfabriek Evides Industriewater, bron van het brijn.

Evides Industriewater demin water plant, source of the brine.

Evides Industriewater, inventive.