Industriewater Eerbeek (IWE), a subsidiary of three Dutch paper mills focusing on wastewater treatment, has started a demonstration plant for the re-use of its wastewater based on technology from NX Filtration, the global provider of breakthrough direct nanofiltration technology for pure and affordable water. The NX filtration technology is an integral part of a zero liquid discharge pilot test, organized and operated by Nijhuis Saur Industries (NSI), Pure Water Group and REDstack.
IWE has been purifying surplus process water from three paper mills (Folding Boxboard Eerbeek, DS Smith Paper De Hoop Mill and Neenah Coldenhove) in Eerbeek, the Netherlands, since 1960. With a strong focus on achieving a circular process, IWE now seeks to use NX Filtration’s direct nanofiltration (dNF) membranes for upgrading the wastewater stream to enable re-use as process water at the paper mills.
The new demonstration plant has a capacity to treat 10,000 liters of wastewater per hour and follows a smaller pilot project that was conducted in 2021. That pilot project showed the unique strengths of NX Filtration’s dNF technology: great stability, minimal fouling and strongly reduced energy and chemical consumption. The full-scale operation aims for zero liquid discharge, the system is employed to treat the primary stream during the test. The same NXNF80 modules are also utilized to treat the concentrate, resulting in an impressive 95% recovery rate for re-use by the paper factories. This leaves only a 5% concentrate that requires additional treatment.
The demonstration plant will be used to establish the optimal process parameters and conditions for a larger full-scale project, which development is led by water treatment specialist Nijhuis-Saur Industries and expected to be realized in the coming years.
This innovative water re-use project marks a significant step forward for sustainability in the paper industry. By harnessing advanced technology and effective collaboration, the paper factories and IWE are committed to reducing their environmental footprint and ensuring a prosperous and eco-friendly future.