Water technology

Clean water is nothing less than a primary necessity for life. Advanced technology is required to meet that need. TNO has that technology at its disposal and develops innovative solutions for industry, greenhouse horticulture and cities. The focus is on methods for water purification and reuse that are cost-effective and can be deployed decentrally throughout the water chain.

Nutrient recovery and more efficient water use

TNO's work in the field of water-treatment focuses on systems for urban and industrial environments and for greenhouse horticulture. This mainly involves the development and implementation of technologies for water preparation, water purification and water-cycle closure. The systems make it possible to use water and energy more efficiently, reduce emissions of toxins and substances that are alien to the environment, and recover valuable substances such as nutrients and minerals.

Technologies for separating the water cycle

TNO technologies for water-cycle closure and for nutrient reuse can be found in the following areas, among others:

  • Greenhouse horticulture: preparing good-quality irrigation water for bioproduction and water-cycle closure through the use of membrane distillation, nutrient recovery and removal of pesticides.
  • Industrial water: reuse of water using membrane systems, processing of toxic substances, brine processing.
  • Agricultural drainage water: phosphate removal using electrocoagulation.
  • Built environment: development of a water-autarchic hotel that uses rainwater, and sustainable water in hospitals (legionella and drug residues removed from waste water).

New technologies to be developed are: electricity production from waste heat generated by membrane distillation (MemPower ®), prevention of scaling (Prevscale) and bioalarm.

Modern research facilities, membrane distillation

TNO has modern research facilities for developing new technologies. Those facilities range from laboratory set-ups and pilot studies to demos on location. TNO has also built up extensive knowledge of membrane distillation, pertraction and physical separation processes such as extraction, adsorption, crystallisation, advanced oxidation and electrochemical and biochemical treatment.


TNO Project wins EIT Innovation Award 2016

26 April 2016
On 25th of april, Climate-KIC-project 'Water & Energy for Climate Change - WE4CC', coordinated by TNO, has been awarded the Innovators Award from the European Institute of Technology (EIT). The Innovators... Read more

TNO Project "Water & Energy for Climate Change" nominated for EIT Award 2016 by Climate-KIC

20 April 2016
In 2016, the Climate-KIC project Water & Energy for Climate Change, coordinated by TNO, has been nominated for the Innovators Award from the European Institute of Technology (EIT). Every year, each of... Read more

Environment & Sustainability

Be inspired by TNOTIME about Circular Economy

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