Feature: Building Synergies between the Industrial and Water Sectors: The ULTIMATE project

The new action plan of the European Commission – the Green Deal – aims to increase the sustainability of the European economy. One pillar of the green Deal is the consequent promotion of circular economy related processes.

In this context, ULTIMATE (indUstry water-utiLiTy symbIosis for a sMarter wATEr society) will foster the synergetic cooperation between the industry and the water sector for an intelligent and efficient operation of water-related processes. This will be done via the establishment of “Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis” (WSIS) between different industries and service providers. The aim is to use and reuse jointly water, wastewater and all used recyclable resources. Industries such as agro, food, beverage, (petro-)chemical and biotech industries participate in ULTIMATE.

A key project activity, which is managed by the KWB, is the identification of synergetic and intelligent joint operation options for all water and material cycles in the sectors involved, and their subsequent investigation and optimisation. In addition, new concepts for material recycling are being developed. All results are fed into an interactive technology database. Furthermore, KWB will be the scientific partner for the Danish case study in Kalundborg (Denmark). On this site, the joint operation of a wastewater treatment plant for the treatment of industrial wastewater with the neighbouring municipal wastewater treatment plant will be modelled with the aim of its implementation in the real operational mode at a later stage in the project.

As is now common practice in all major EU consortiums, so-called “Communities of Practice” will monitor the simultaneously developed technologies and, if necessary, take into account their requirements for the ongoing studies.

ULTIMATE is funded by the European Union in the programme Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement ID: 869318) for 48 months with 16.6 million euros. The KWR Water Research Institute from the Netherlands coordinates the consortium of 26 partners from research institutes, utilities and SMEs).