INSPIREWATER – More efficient water management in the process industry

< Back

During the second meeting in Basel, all technology providers and demonstration site companies came together to discuss last adaptations how to implement the new technologies before bringing the pilot plants into practice.

The EU project INSPIREWATER aims to reduce water, raw material and energy consumption in the process industry. Special focus will be on the steel and chemical industries, with the long-term goal of applying innovative technologies across further process industry sectors for maximum impact. The new solutions will be tested at three demonstration sites in Europe.

In many regions worldwide water availability is becoming more and more critical. Even in countries that generally have a good supply of water, the competition for available resources is increasing. “A competitive European industry needs to rely on efficient water management and that is what INSPIREWATER will contribute to”, says Uwe Fortkamp, project coordinator at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The goal is to reduce fresh water consumption in the steel and chemical industry cases by 40 to 80 percent and energy consumption by at least 20 percent along with the reduction of chemicals and waste. Combining reliable existing treatment processes and new technologies is the strategy to achieve this. Examples are: the combination of forward osmosis and membrane distillation for zero liquid discharge, a chemical free and energy saving strong field magnetic separator for particle segregation, as well as a new anti-fouling catalyst to reduce chemicals and energy consumption for membrane processes.

Altogether eleven partners from six countries are involved in INSPIREWATER. New project solutions will be tested in Spain at steel producer Arcelor-Mittal and the CLARIANT chemical company. In Sweden tests will be carried out at SANDVIK's steel production facilities. Once the framework for industrial water management and individual technologies having been proven and integrated, it is crucial to the success of the project that INSPIREWATER’s work is widely disseminated and exploited by industry to guarantee maximum uptake and impact. Dissemination, communication and exploitation will be accomplished by DECHEMA and IMCG.

István Ritz, project officer at the European Commission, stated: “INSPIREWATER has a great talent, especially by integrating big industrial players, and by integrating various technologies in a completely novel fashion which was not apparent in the last 40 years in the water management sector”. He is confident the project will deliver great results. Thus, enabling Europe as a leader in green production and the industrial water treatment market, and it will create new highly skilled jobs in Europe.

INSPIREWATER, Innovative Solutions in the Process Industry for Next Generation Resource Efficient Water Management, has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723702. The project will run until 2020. For further information please visit our website: