Water reuse for thirsty sectors: feasible, desirable and economically interesting
Production companies in food, agriculture, bioenergy and petrochemicals use water. A lot of water. But the circle can be closed: wastewater is treated on site and reused. Blue Foot, a scale-up from Limburg, has developed a groundbreaking membrane technology that enables companies to realise these ambitions.
CEO Stephan van Hoof: “It’s simple really: wastewater enters the treatment plant, clean water leaves. In between is a membrane that stops waste particles. Such a membrane is often vulnerable, and therefore for many companies a (too) big risk. Blue Foot has developed an unbreakable membrane that is reliable and so performant that the operational costs become interesting.”
On-site wastewater treatment means a substantial investment cost in the first place. On the other hand, the costs of water intake and discharge are constantly increasing, regulations are becoming stricter and there is the problem of the limited availability of water. These factors tip the balance in favour of reuse. Blue Foot and its partners have already realised over ten concrete purification plants in Belgium and abroad, whereby water is reused on an industrial scale.
CTO Peter Aerts: “The past three years we have shown that industrial customers can close their water loops reliably and at reasonable cost. The Blue Foot® technology has a few characteristics that make it unique in its kind. Compared to other membranes, we can double the capacity and halve the ground surface and energy consumption. Showing ambition in circular water is no longer naive.”