Industry accounts for a significant proportion of the total global water consumption and due to scarcity water prices increase and water becomes more and more an important economic factor. Water reuse can make a valuable contribution to decrease the use of water in industries and in combination with the reuse of energy and raw materials it is often also interesting from an economic point of view.
TNO was and is involved in different projects on sustainable water use in the industry, answering a number of important questions:
In the EU project AquaFit4Use TNO developed under several technologies to prevent or decrease biofouling and scaling, technologies to treat saline streams and waste water with dyes. Also tools for water quality definition, management and monitoring for different sectors of industry (Paper, textiles chemistry Food) were developed. In the recently started project RESFOOD the focus is at the reuse of warm and cold water in food industries and in horticulture. Selective removal of components (salts, proteins, micro-pollutants like polyphenols) and desinfection are important research issues, besides the fast detection and monitoring of micro-organism.
In the project E4Water there is a strong focus at developing and demonstrating testing innovative combinations of technologies in the chemical industry. Synergy and industrial symbiosis are important topics here TNO can offer solutions in a broad area to make water reuse feasible both from a technological and economical point of view.