Process Development

In cooperation with industrial partners, new concepts and technologies for the sustainable treatment and purification of process water for a very wide range of applications are being developed and optimized at the Fraunhofer IGB up to industrial scale. Water treatment and the circulation of process water can thus be carried out economically and sustainably.

Our research and development for the purification of industrial process and wastewater focuses on innovative technologies and integrated system solutions. The aims of these are to avoid or reduce emissions into the environment and to increase the resource-efficiency of the water treatment processes. An ever more important criterion – not least as part of the turnaround in energy policy – is the energy efficiency of the methods used. We therefore develop process-technological energy-optimized methods, work on solutions for the use of renewable energies or waste heat and, when implementing them, take into account that plants can be controlled on the basis of power grid utilization. These factors also result directly in an improved cost efficiency of the processes, so that both ecological and economic requirements can be met in equal measure with our approach.

A comprehensive analysis of the production steps in which water is used always comes first. If water can be saved or the mixing of process wastewater streams that are better treated separately can be prevented, then this is frequently more economical than universal treatment of the process wastewater. In addition, production-integrated water recycling permits greater independence from natural water resources and thus enables production at water-scarce locations – through to complete independence from natural water resources by means of zero liquid discharge.

Reference projects

Life extension of metalworking fluids through reduction of the microbial impact

In this project we investigated whether the efficient reduction of microbial contamination in cooling lubricant emulsions can be achieved by means of ultrasound or ultrasound in combination with specific AOP processes. Depending on the type and concentration of the microbial contamination we were able to achieve a sustained reduction, without impairing the quality of the cooling lubricant.

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demEAUmed – Demonstrating integrated innovative technologies for an optimal and safe closed water cycle in Mediterranean tourist facilities

Project duration: January 2014 – June 2017

The aim of demEAUmed project is promoting innovative technologies, for an optimal and safe closed water cycle in Euro-Mediterranean tourist facilities, leading to their eventual market uptake.

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OxFloc – Integrated water treatment in a one-stage oxidative-adsorptive process to degrade and remove harmful substances

Project duration: September 2013 – August 2015

The OxFloc project is concerned with water treatment, aiming to degrade and remove hazardous substances in an integrated approach using a one-step oxidation-adsorptive process.

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Nanofloc – Electro-agglomeration and separation of Engineered NanoParticles from process and waste water in the coating industry to minimise health and environmental risks

Project duration: January 2013 – December 2014

In the EU project "Nanofloc" we develop a new technology for electro-agglomeration and separation of Engineered NanoParticles from process and waste water in the coating industry to minimise health and environmental risks.

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RAZone – Development of sustainable and cost effective water quality management technology for the aquaculture industry

Project duration: December 2012 – November 2014

In the RAZone project the consortium will enhance the productivity of the aquaculture sector and minimize risks associated with application of ozone for water quality management in hatchery and ongrow farms that use recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) technology.

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OilEClear – Development of a safe, compact, highly efficient, economic and fully automatic electrolytic treatment system for separation of emulsified oil from wastewater of ships (bilge) and oil rigs (slop)

Project duration: November 2012 – November 2014

This EU-funded project aims to develop a treatment system for oily wastewater at ships and oil rigs, enabling these to meet current and future bilge and slop water regulations with regard to oil hydrocarbons (THC), dissolved organics and toxic metals.

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NAWADES – Nanotechnological Application in WAter DESalination

Project duration: October 2012 – September 2016

The objective of the EU-funded NAWADES project is to study, design, produce, and test a new membrane system for the desalination of seawater.

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ECOWAMA – ECO-efficient management of WAter in the MAnufacturing industry

Project duration: October 2012 – September 2016

The effluents from the metal and plastic surface processing industry, particularly from galvanization, are rich in organic loading, salts, and heavy but valuable metals like nickel, copper and zinc. Led by the Fraunhofer IGB, the ECOWAMA project (“ECO-efficient management of WAter in the MAnufacturing industry”) seeks to develop an efficient and cost-effective method for electrochemical treatment of the effluents of the project partners from France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany.

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Light4CleanWater – A novel system to breakdown hazardous substances in wastewater streams into harmless biofriendly compounds using multi-chromatic UV light

Project duration: September 2012 – August 2014

The technological concept of Light4CleanWater is to develop an industrial wastewater treatment system for the removal of complex organic pollutants by advanced oxidation without chemical additives using polychromatic UV light.

REWAGEN – Electrochemical WAter treatment system in the dairy industry with hydroGEN REcovery and electricity production

Project duration: June 2012 – May 2016

In the REWAGEN project a European project consortium consisting of partners from research and industry and led by the Fraunhofer IGB is developing a multistage process for the efficient electrochemical treatment of effluents from the dairy industry.

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ConductMem – Development of a conductive membrane that generates oxidising surface to prevent biofilm formation and fouling

Project duration: November 2011 – October 2013

This EU-funded project aims to develop an advanced system that can permanently prevent biofilm formation and surface fouling by the electrolytic production of biocidal oxidising agents on the membrane surface itself.

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Cleanleachate – Electrochemical treatment of landfill leachate

Project duration: December 2010 – November 2012

Waste disposed in landfill sites degrades over time and produces a liquid waste stream called landfill leachate, which cannot be directly discharged to water courses as it contains many hazardous pollutants. The consortium will develop an automated, modular, mobile leachate treatment system.

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ADOXPOL – Industrial wastewater treatment with ozone

Project duration: September 2005 – March 2008

Fraunhofer IGB is developing a new technology for efficient and cost-effective treatment of industrial wastewater. This is done within the framework of an EU funded project and in cooperation with European partners from industry and research. By combining flotation and oxidation in a single-step process, the advantages of both technologies are used and additional benefits are reaped from the synergy of the two.

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