TKI Water Technology’s CoRe Water project has begun with the installation of a first pilot at the Rijn and IJssel Water Authority’s Wehl wastewater treatment plant. CoRe Water is a collaboration project of the Rijn and Ijssel and Vallei and Veluwe water authorities, the Limburg Water Authority Company, Royal Haskoning DHV, BLUE-tec, KWR and Allied Waters, and represents a new, ‘reverse’ approach to wastewater treatment.
New generation of wastewater treatment
The CoRe Water concept heralds the transition to an entirely new generation of wastewater treatment. CoRe stands for ‘Concentrate, Recover and Reuse’. Forward osmosis (FO) is at the centre of the new process – in fact we have built the treatment process around this technology. We first produce clean water that approaches demiwater quality by using a strong saline (draw) solution to extract water from the wastewater. The waste products remain behind in a concentrated stream, the volume of which is 20-30 times smaller, from which raw materials can be extracted and energy produced very effectively and efficiently.
Research focussed on scaling-up
The CoRe research partners are working on three subprojects, supported by pilot and laboratory research. This involves studying the extraction of water, energy and resources at different scales. First and foremost, the FO technology itself is the target of research, alongside anaerobic treatment, nutrient extraction and micropollutant removal from the concentrate. The first pilot installation at the Rijn and IJssel Water Authority’s Wehl site has a capacity of 0.2 m3/hour and will be used, among other things, to explore how the technique can best be scaled up. The research at this site also focuses on the extraction of nitrogen. In 2019, this pilot will be transferred to the Vallei and Veluwe Water Authority to be used in an urban context where the emphasis is on water reuse. Later in 2019 another new pilot installation, which has yet to be built, will be tested at the Limburg Water Authority Company at a scaled-up capacity of 2 m3/hour.