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Solving water issues for industry

In 2019 KWR clearly demonstrated that water availability is high on the agenda of industry. Our research helps to close internal water loops, in which a central role is increasingly attributed to treatment at the source.

We also help companies with the energy transition and with the role played in it by water. For industry, this is relevant primarily with regard to the transition to hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier.

Producing optimally and responsibly

Companies and water are inextricably connected. Smooth operational processes demand the availability of enough water, of the right quality and at the right time.

Companies also face more and more stringent requirements when it comes to the discharge of their wastewater. They can turn to KWR to help them deal with all these issues, which we clearly demonstrated in 2019 during our participation at the international Aquatec trade exhibition. The event’s visitors were struck by how quickly our researchers, with their extensive experience, were able to recognise the nature of the problems faced by people in practice.

Concerns about water availability

That KWR has such a clear perception of the key water issues facing industry, is partly thanks to the meetings of the Industry Water Network Group, which we organise three times a year. The meetings are extremely effective as a venue for sharing knowledge about comparable problem areas.

In 2019, KWR ran a small survey to find out what the participants perceive as the future challenges facing their companies and industry. The results show that their greatest concern was water availability. ‘Closing the internal water loop is high up on the agenda,’ says researcher Frank Oesterholt. ‘To achieve an efficient water treatment, one should preferably conduct it at the source, while paying due attention to safe reuse. Last year, for example, we helped a food product company take steps in this direction.’

Facilitating the energy transition

The energy transition is another issue industry is actively working on. Enhancing sustainability requires a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The storage of wind and solar electricity in the form of hydrogen is highly important for industry in this context.

In 2019, KWR launched a partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) – the innovation platform of the process industry – to facilitate this transition with regard to the requisite water supply.

The project’s objective is the realisation of a ‘1-Gigawatt Electrolysis Factory’ to supply industry with green hydrogen. Frank Oesterholt: ‘KWR has the in-house expertise to help make this important advance into the future.’