water purification

Innovative water treatment for circular water

Sustainable water purification, handling water scarcity and using alternative water sources without affecting the water quality. These are important challenges for sectors such as the food industry, agriculture and horticulture. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps companies to close water cycles thanks to smart solutions for water treatment and desalination.

The need for companies to use water more sustainably is growing strongly. The food industry wants to produce more sustainably and at the same time save costs, among other things by using less energy, water and raw materials. One of the consequences of climate change is that water scarcity can occur and companies want to be prepared for that. This applies strongly to agriculture and horticulture, which is already suffering from water scarcity and therefore wants to use alternative water sources and close cycles. Because this causes problems with water quality, companies are looking for efficient solutions for water treatment and water treatment, such as desalination, disinfection and removal of plant protection products. 

Closing cycles

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps companies to close nutrient cycles and water cycles. We develop physico-chemical water treatment technology that solves problems with water shortage and water quality. We focus specifically on removal of plant protection products and salts, disinfection of pathogens and the addition of oxygen to water. Thanks to our cooperation with Wageningen University, we have conceptual and academic knowledge, which we then translate into innovative practical solutions. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is a world leader in areas such as membrane technology, chromatography, electro-membrane separations, crystallization and drying.

Demonstration projects food industry

  • In the Memstill project, we demonstrated together with the food industry that energy consumption can be reduced considerably by using residual heat for the production of process water or for concentrating products with membrane distillation.
  • In the TKI project Save and Safe water we are working on sustainable and safe irrigation and washing and cutting of fresh vegetable crops. We do this by disinfecting irrigation water and washing water with ozone, UV and membrane filtration.

Demonstration projects agriculture and horticulture

  • Research into innovative techniques such as the application of electrodialysis in horticulture has shown that the water cycle can be closed, nutrients are retained and emissions of crop protection agents to the environment are prevented. Examples are the EU RESFOOD project and the TKI project Nooit Meer Spuiten (No More Spraying).


Are you employed with a food company or a chemical company? And are you responsible for sustainable business, environmental permits, water and product quality and energy performance? Please feel free to contact us for an exploratory meeting.

Agriculture and horticulture

Are you an entrepreneur in agriculture and horticulture and do you want to make your company less dependent on the current water supply? Then we would like to get in touch with you.