New ozonation technology sustainably purifies water

Through sewage treatment plants (WWTPs), new chemicals enter our aquatic environment. These include residues of medicines, synthetic or natural hormones, personal care products and industrial chemicals. The increasing focus on removing these micro-pollutants from surface water, along with the growing need for robust water systems for reusing water and closing loops, are reflected in the stricter regulations for WWTPs. They need to take additional treatment steps.

More treatment leads to higher CO2 emissions

However, removing these micro-pollutants from wastewater is complex, and it requires more and more energy, leading to rising CO2 emissions. Existing techniques lead to a 55% increase in CO2 emissions.

This contradiction inspired us, along with the Flemish AM-TEAM, to develop a more sustainable solution. The result is a new ozonation technology, combined with biological purification, which PureBlue Water renamed  'HydrOzone' technology. The AM-TEAM will build a 'digital twin' from this - a smart digital copy that can predict parameters that cannot be measured in reality.

Sustainable water purification

Kevin van de Merlen, PureBlue Water states, "In this project, we will develop a sustainable water purification system that is suitable for treating wastewater at a WWTP. We will combine a new type of ozonation reactor with a biological-purification system. Thanks to the better use of the ozone and the biological processes, we will achieve minimal energy consumption and a relevantly lower CO2 emission than the best existing techniques."

"Based on a feasibility study conducted earlier, our technology will emit 3 to 7 times less CO2 than the other best-available technologies. In the Netherlands alone, we will then save 110,160 tons of CO2 annually compared to current ozone technology with a sand filter. This reference is based on a WWTP with 100,000 population equivalents."

Specializations complement each other

PureBlue Water specializes in wastewater technology for both industrial and communal markets. In this project, the company will focus on the development of advanced oxidation technology and biological treatment. AM-TEAM is a spin-off of Ghent University and helps the water industry worldwide with advanced process simulations for optimization, design, scaling-up and operation of treatment and purification processes. They use their expertise to develop the kinetic and dynamic models in a reactor where the ozone is mixed. This allows 'what-if' tests to be performed that are not possible in practice and to predict parameters (e.g. drug residues) that are difficult to measure in practice.

CO2 Savings

An annual saving of 4,200 tons of CO2 per 100,000 inhabitants.

This project receives financial support from the European Union.