Energy transition

Water Technology for Energy Transition

Industrial and agri-food sectors are looking for new ways to reduce their energy and water footprints. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research contributes to these efforts by developing new and innovative water technologies. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we work together with industrial partners on processes for energy and water saving as well as recovery.

Need for integrated water-energy solutions

For many processes in industry and the agri-food sector, the use of water of good quality and in sufficient quantity is essential. Water processing however, is often energy intensive. Rising energy prices can even threaten water availability and thus the continuity of production. Attention to cost-effective energy use in water processing is therefore crucial. This is also important because of climate agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By developing solutions from a multidisciplinary approach, significant savings are possible in terms of both energy and water.

From fundamental research towards practical solutions

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research translates the conceptual knowledge and fundamental research of Wageningen University (and others) into practical solutions that enable companies to save energy effectively. In this area, we are frontrunners. We focus on three domains:

  • Recovery and reuse of energy from water processing
  • Energy-saving water technologies
  • Transition to sustainable energy sources

For this purpose, we develop technologies up to technological demonstration scale (TRL 7), comprising heat or electrically driven technologies such as membrane
distillation, osmotic distillation, forward osmosis, pertraction, electrochemical
separations, etc.

Proof of work and saved energy

In recent years, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has contributed to several projects focusing on the energy-efficient use and treatment of water.

In the MEMSTILL 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.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has contributed to the EU E4water project, which focused on economically and ecologically efficient water management in the European chemical industry. Our research focused on the reuse of blowdown water from cooling towers. Membrane distillation and electrodialysis technology were part of this evaluation.

The Sea2H2 project shows that the costs of offshore green hydrogen production via electrolysis can be reduced significantly by making Ultra-Pure Water (UPW) on site by means of membrane distillation.

Looking for partners

Are you looking for safe, sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for water treatment, water reuse and energy savings? Together, we will review possible solutions for your company and develop innovative technologies for saving and recovering energy and water.