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22 June 2020 - 26 June 2020


Demonstration of an innovative recycling scheme to increase the water efficiency in the petrochemical industry.


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Carlos Ramos

Researcher | UT Water, Air and Soil

Freshwater resources are increasingly under stress conditions and there exists a huge mismatch between available water resources and rising water demand in many parts of the world. In Europe, water scarcity affects at least 11% of the population and 17% of the territory. Regions with low rainfall and high population densities are prone to water stress same as areas with intense agricultural, industrial or tourism activities. Therefore, protection of water resources is one of the main milestones of environmental protection in Europe.

The industrial sector is the second largest consumer of water after agriculture, using 22% of the freshwater volume drawn in the world. Within the industrial sector, the petrochemical industry is a major water user, mainly for cooling and steam production, and generates considerable volumes of wastewater. At European level, this sector alone is responsible for 1,750 million cubic metres of wastewater a year. To face this challenge, the REWATCH project aims to validate the economic, environmental and technical feasibility of an innovative treatment system for water reuse in the petrochemical industry. 

proposes an on-site reuse scheme including five different technologies to constitute a completely new treatment scheme in the petrochemical industry: physicochemical pretreatment, moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), ultrafiltration (UF), reverse osmosis (RO) and water deionization using ion exchange resins (IER). This treatment scheme is highly versatile because it is designed in such a way that the wastewater may enter at any point of the treatment train depending on its initial composition and reclaimed water may also exit after each treatment step depending on the obtained water quality.

  • Treatment step
  • Treatment principle
  • Target water constituents removal



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