dws-siww-20o18-texhxchange-cirtec-wessels-770px‘We recover 500 kilogram cellulose daily from toilet paper in sewage water, and sell it to the asphalt industry’, said a proud director Coos Wessels of the Dutch company CirTec, specialized on the recovery of raw materials from sewage.

Wessels was one of the twelve pitchers at this year’s edition of TechXchange that was held during the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) on 8 July.

The TechXchange forum is an integrated part of the SIWW-programme for many years now and gathers the world best water technology innovators, industrial leaders, buyers and investors. The forum provides an opportunity to present innovative technologies and facilitates round-table discussions amongst the world’s top experts.

dws-siww-2018-techxchange-cirtec-forum-350pxIntroducing the first three pitchers, including Coos Wessels of CirtTec.

More than just a technology
The recovery of toilet paper from sewage water is more than using fine screens at the entrance of a sewage treatment plant, Wessels explained in his pitch. ‘It is a concept that is exploited by a joint venture called Cellvation and the product itself is called Recell’.

During the past three years, Cirtec conducted several pilots and learned that their fine screens remove about 55 percent of the incoming solides at the waste water treatment plant (wwtp). As a result the chemical-oxygen-demand drops 25 to 30 percent, reducing the plant’s energy consumption (20% less) and reducing the amount of sludge to be handled (also 20% less).

According to Wessels the screening of the incoming sewage water also benefits the wwtp-plant as a whole, as it holds back sand and hair so it cannot disturb the treatment process anymore.

The Recell product is now mainly sold to the asphalt industry that used it as an additive to improve the handling of asphalt during the construction of pavements.

dws-siww-2018-techxchang-rotec350pxWinner in the category 'Most valuable technology' was Rotec's RO membrane with changable flow direction. Pitcher was CEO Noam Perlmuter (right).

Replacement for activated carbon
Cellvation is looking into the recovery of other materials from the sieve residue, Wessels disclosed: ‘We also recover lactic acid for the production of bioplastics. We are also looking into the production of biochars. If we mix the bioplastics with cellulose, we can produce high quality composites.’

Another the option Cellvation explores is the use production of activated biochare as an alternative for activated carbon in the waste water treatment. Removal of medicine, hormones and pharmaceuticals is our next challenge.

‘This alternative has a very good environmental footprint, as it is made from the solides in sewage water, and not from coal’other resources’, Wessels told.

Not a first place
CirTec was not selected as a winning pitch. The winning Most Valuable Technology was the Israeli firm Rotec for presenting their super-high recovery Reversed Osmosis membrane with an embedded flow reversal system.

Two companies, drone specialist AeroLion (Singapore) and zero liquid discharge technology firm Aquafortus (New Zeland), received the coveted TechXchange 2018 Rising Star Award.

Read also on this website
SIWW 2018: Ban Ki-moon salutes global water industry, 11 July 2018
SIWW 2018: ‘Growth of cities is to stay, get used to it’, 10 July 2018
Road constructor KWS uses recycled toilet paper to improve asphalt pavement in Amsterdam, 5 July 2018
Expertise: Water technology

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