Water Authority Rijn en IJssel has announced the commissioning of the world’s first (industrial) Nereda extraction factory for alginate-like polymers in Zutphen. In addition to the energy/chemical saving and phosphate recovery, the Nereda technology opens up the opportunity to recover a valuable biopolymer. The Nereda process excess sludge is rich in Alginate-Like Exopolysaccharides, a biopolymer mix produced by the bacteria purifying the waterwater. This ALE can easily be harvested and has the potential to unlock economic interesting applications.
Following the decision on 8 November 2016, Water Authority Rijn en IJssel has committed to investing € 11 million in the construction of a ALE factory using the residual water of the Friesland Campina dairy production plants in Lochem and Borculo. In addition to producing the new, sustainable raw material, the factory will purify the residual water resulting in a quarter less sludge than is produced during the current process. Construction is expected to start in spring 2017. The factory will be operational early 2018.
Image: Artist impression of the Nereda in Zutphen
Chair of the Water Authority Rijn en IJssel, Hein Pieper said: "The treatment of wastewater demands a substantial annual investment from Dutch water authorities. Additionally we often lose precious energy and resources with this wastewater. That is why we team up with universities, research institutions and companies to create the wastewater treatment of the future: energy neutral Energy and Raw Materials Factories that produce no waste at all. We continuously work towards a fully sustainable and circular economy."