Circular Water

Circular water

Sustainable water treatment, preventing water scarcity and using alternative water sources while maintaining water quality. These are the most important challenges for sectors such as the food industry, agriculture and horticulture. Optimal water use is also an essential part of good business operations in industrial water processing and cooling. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps industries to close water cycles by developing smart solutions for water treatment and desalination.

Preventing water scarcity through reuse

One of the consequences of climate change is scarcity of freshwater. Agriculture and horticulture are already struggling with this. Companies in these sectors have a strong need for alternative water sources and want to close water cycles. Industrial sectors also notice that less freshwater is available. That is why the industry focuses strongly on the reuse of water. This offers opportunities to save costs, but also poses risks related to water quality and process continuation. There is a strong need for efficient water treatment and water purification technology, such as desalination, disinfection and removal of unfavorable substances.

Closing water cycles safely, sustainably and efficiently

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps companies to close their water cycles and nutrient cycles. In this way, companies become less dependent on the availability of freshwater, but a good water quality has to be guaranteed. We develop physical-chemical water treatment technology with which companies can prevent water scarcity and problems with water quality. Our technology focuses on:

  • removal and recovery of salts and organic substances;
  • disinfection to combat pathogens;
  • energy efficient addition or removal of gasses (like oxygen) to/from water.

We work closely with our Wageningen University colleagues. This enables us to translate conceptual knowledge and new insights of water treatment into effective, sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for companies. We are world leaders in areas such as membrane technology, chromatography and electro-membrane separations.

Successful results

In the MEMSTIL project, we demonstrated together with the food industry that energy consumption can be considerably reduced by using residual heat for the production of process water or by concentrating water flows with membrane distillation.

By disinfecting irrigation water and washing water with ozone, UV and membrane filtration, fresh vegetable crops can be sustainably and safely irrigated, washed and cut. This is done in the Safe and save water project.

We have demonstrated in various projects that horticultural companies can close the water cycle by, for example, applying electrodialysis and membrane distillation. Examples are the EU RESFOOD and the Dutch project Nooit meer spuien (No more discharge).

We have contributed to the EU E4water project Economically and ecologically efficient water management in the European chemical industry, with research on the reuse of cooling tower blow down water. Membrane distillation and electrodialysis technology were part of this evaluation.

More information

Are you looking for safe, sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for water treatment and water reuse? Together with you we are happy to map out possible solutions for your company on circular water.