Allied Waters and Corvers launched the Alu Circles initiative that aims to increase the recovery of aluminium from residuals from drinking water production. The initiative builds on the promotion by the European Union of pre-commercial procurement (PCP) as a tool for the public sector to create business cases for recovery of valuable materials. By stimulating innovation procurement water utilities can offer sludge to the recovery market at lower costs compared to the disposal to the traditional sludge treatment market.

Water cycle game-changer company Allied Waters and Corvers Procurement Services announced their Alu Circles initiative on 13 December.

dws-allied-waters-dry-sludge-oasen-350px  Drinking water treatment sludge can be turned into valuable materials as here seen by Dutch water supply company Oasen (Photo: Oasen).

Involvement whole chain
Allied Waters and Corvers want to achieve this by involving technology providers, water suppliers and researchers in a multi-stage process.

The tool of pre-commercial procurement (PCP) is very useful as it provides water utilities, as public procurers, the possibility to include specifications in their sludge disposal contracts, that aim for the upcycling.

Cost reduction
The Alu Circle initiative wants to develop a new value chain for the upcycling of aluminium sludge and achieving a cost reduction for the water utilities of more than 30 percent.

Drinking water plants generally use aluminium based flocculants for the treatment of surface water. This produces sludge that is typically sent to a disposal site as it has few beneficial uses.

According to Allied Waters and Corvers these disposal costs often exceeds 100 euro per ton sludge.

For a water plant producing 100 million m3 drinking water per year, this represents a cost of around 100.000 euro annually.

The challenge is to convert this one-off use of material into a sustainable solution, such as upcycling or recycling, at lower cost. This is the principal goal of Alu Circles.
Scheme of how a pre-commercial procurement can help to turn costly waste disposal into recovery of valuable products.

Open for participation
The initiative is open for water utilities, that can join as a member of the core team and be involved in the project strategy and related activities. Two organisations that have already stepped in on that level, are AquaMinerals (NL) and De Watergroep (BE). It is also possible to join the initiative as a participant to receive project results and gain infomation on new value chains developed.

The initiative has planned a webinar to inform interested parties how to become involved in the recovery of aluminium from drinking water sludge.

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 23 January 2019, 12.00 h (CET).

This news item was originally published on the website of Allied Waters and Corvers.

(Top photo: KWR)

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More information
Allied Waters
Nieuwegein, the Netherlands
+3130 606 96 00

Corvers Procurement Services
’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
+31 73 612 65 66