IWE paper industry starts demonstration plant for water reuse

Industriewater Eerbeek (IWE) — a subsidiary of three Dutch paper mills focusing on wastewater treatment — has started a demonstration plant for the reuse of its wastewater based on technology from NX Filtration, the global provider of direct nanofiltration (dNF) technology for pure and affordable water. The NX filtration technology is a part of a zero liquid discharge pilot test, organised and operated by Nijhuis Saur Industries (NSI), Pure Water group and REDstack.

To achieve a circular process, IWE seeks to use NX Filtration dNF membranes for the wastewater stream upgrade to enable reuse as process water at the paper mills. 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.

The new demonstration plant has a capacity to treat 10,000L/hr of wastewater and follows a smaller pilot project that was conducted in 2021. That pilot project showed the stability, minimal fouling, reduced energy and chemical consumption of its dNF technology. The full-scale operation reportedly aims for zero liquid discharge, the system is said to employ to treat the primary stream during the test. The same NXNF80 modules are also utilised to treat the concentrate, resulting in 95% recovery rate for reuse by the paper factories. This leaves 5% concentrate that requires additional treatment.

The demonstration plant will be used to establish the optimal process parameters for a larger full-scale project, which development is led by water treatment specialist NSI and expected to be realised in the coming years.

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