AquaSPICE - a collaboration for making water use more sustainable

The AquaSPICE project looks at solutions for digital and circular innovations in the field of water use. In addition, the project will also try to raise awareness about the importance of efficient use of natural resources. 

As part of a broad European consortium, €10.9 million in EU grants were awarded for the implementation of the AquaSPICE project - the project has a total budget of €12.8 million. This project is aligned with the EU Green Deal and focuses on water scarcity, water security and all related aspects. The collaboration consists of 28 partners from industry, academia, water technology and IT companies. 

Boehlen and Terneuzen

The Boehlen and Terneuzen sites are among Dow's most important water-loaded sites. Therefore, sustainable solutions are being sought at these two sites for long-term responsible use of water resources. Dow's direct partners are the Technical University Aachen (Germany), the University of Ghent (Belgium), the HZ University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Evides Industriewater (Netherlands) and ENGIE Laborelec (Belgium).

The goals and outcomes

The main goals of AquaSPICE are to reduce water demand, reduce or restore water loss, pre-process and recycle water and utilize alternative water sources. For Dow, the main concrete product of this project is a roadmap with the potential to reduce fresh water intake by another 20% at both sites. The plan will include all the technical and financial details needed for:

The optimal selection of freshwater supply sources for producing extra water for cooling towers, allowing them to operate with significantly higher thickening rates.

The internal reuse of cooling tower blowdown streams.

The treatment and direct reuse of slightly contaminated process water and internal blowdown streams of contaminated condensate.

The water reuse concepts obtained will be modeled and incorporated as scenarios into the existing control system to achieve smart digitalization of water distribution. The project includes a 6-month pilot period at each of the sites, using the mobile treatment facilities developed in the IMPROVED project - another Dow project that was already researching the most efficient way to treat local water streams from October 2018 to April 2019. The entire AquaSPICE project started in December 2020 and will take a total of 3.5 years to complete.

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Listen to the Podcast with Anton van Beek

Listen to the Podcast via the link below, in which Maikel Harte talks to Anton van Beek about the sustainable ambition of Dow Terneuzen.