CirTec gives toilet paper a second life

With official inauguration of the first production facility of sewage-based cellulose, The Purmerend company CirTec (until recently BWA B.V.) has a world-class premiere. The Cellvation installation will recover structurally about 400 kg of cellulose a day from sewage. Cellulose is the main ingredient of toilet paper. Cellvation ™ is a development of CirTec BV and KNN Cellulose BV, both members of the Water Alliance.

The Cellvation plant is located at the STP Geestmerambacht in Warmenhuizen (Noord-Holland, The Netherlands). The project is part of the Horizon2020 project SMART-Plant. CirTec has already demonstrated with a number of partners that it is technically possible to produce pure, sellable cellulose with Cellvation ™ technology. The raw material produced thereby was incorporated into the VANA project (Van Zeefgoed Naar Asfalt), in which a cycle path was constructed. However, the cellulose can also be used for production and development of other products as well. A, part of the cellulose production of Geestmerambacht is exported to England, where it is used as a raw material for bio composite.

In addition to the cellulose production that can be marketed, Cellvation ™ offers even more benefits for sewage treatment. The removal of COD increases the biological capacity. In addition, the removal of suspended matter results in a lower energy consumption while less sludge is produced, reducing the costs for sludge dewatering and disposal. In addition, there are also savings in terms of maintenance costs and technical life of equipment.

Official opening of first production facility

On Thursday June 29, about 70 invited guests gathered at the STP Geestmerambacht. Prior to the official inauguration of the installation, speakers were given the opportunity to express their views on the usefulness and need for recovery of raw materials and sustainable reuse. One of the speakers was Erik Pentimalli of EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), emphasizing the European importance of the project. Em. Professor Willy Verstraete expressed his opinion on reuse of raw materials in his own enthusiastic way.
By “flushing” a toilet the installation was officially taken in operation, where after the attendees could have themselves informed by, Coos Wessels, the enthusiastic director of CirTec, about the operation of the Cellvation ™.

Wall of Support

During the meeting, the Water Alliance was present with the Water Alliance Wall of Support. Attendees could present their innovation, question, idea or problem at the “Wall” to the other attendees who could respond by leaving their contact details. After the meeting, the questions and comments were collected and digitally shared with the participants.

Water Alliance: Published July 11, 2017

Official inauguration of the world’s first cellulose production facility on representative demo scale

Under major international interest, opened the official inauguration of the first production facility of sewage sludge on the demonstration scale took place last Thursday, June 29. This installation extracts toilet paper from wastewater and converts it into a high quality raw material: cellulose. The installation is part of the Horizon2020 project SMART-Plant.

Ruud Maarschall, board member of Waterboard Hollands Noorderkwartier, welcomed the attendants. Alex Berhitu of Water Alliance, co-organizer of the event, stressed the importance of collaboration in the water chain and introduced the Wall of Support. Erik Pentimalli, European Commission project advisor, emphasized how the EU stimulates transition to a sustainable economy. Professor Willy Verstraete held an animated plea about Resource Recovery contributing to two major world problems: the sustainable production of edible proteins and the need to bind carbon. Willem Elsinga discussed the recycling of diapers, a waste stream that has remarkable similarities with sewage. Special guest David Pappie, Director Top Sectors and Industrial Policy
at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, spoke about the importance of innovations such as CirTec for the leading position of the Netherlands in the field of water.

By pressing the flushing knob of a toilet chair, David Pappie  Director Top Sectors and Industrial Policy
at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Coos Wessels, Technical Director CirTec, symbolically flushed the first toilet paper to the plant. Hereby the installation was officially opened and the participants received a tour through the Cellvation installation. Then the attendees spoke while enjoying a bite and a drink.

We look back on a very successful afternoon.

David Pappie and Coos Wessels, pressing the flushing knob

Chinese ambassador visits Purmerend

Chinese ambassador H.E. Mr. Wu Ken and his wife visited Purmerend on Wednesday, June 28th. Together with a Chinese delegation, they became acquainted with the city of Purmerend and companies and entrepreneurs. The visit signposted cooperation in the field of economics and healthcare. The Chinese ambassador and his wife were welcomed by mayor Don Bijl and his wife and city council member Harry Rotgans.

The delegation from China got acquainted with high-quality solutions in Purmerend for social issues such as energy and sustainability. A bus tour led the trade mission along the Koemarkt, Melkwegbrug, Kop West, Baanstee Noord and the golf course. The bio-thermal power plant was also visited. “City heating Purmerend” is the most sustainable heat company in the Netherlands. The bio-thermal power plant fires on wood chips from the State Forestry. There was also spoken about the Metropolitan region of Amsterdam and attention was paid to the cooperation between ICT companies and education. The visit was concluded with a meeting in Villa Clementine.

Trade Mission

Dutch and Chinese business people are finding each other better and better. For example, in recent years, many cooperative relationships and investments have been made in the field of environment, water and urban development. Purmerend entrepreneurs – together with the municipality of Purmerend – want to organize a trade mission to the Guangdong region. They are looking for Chinese partners, in the field of innovation, sustainability and IT. The municipality supports such initiatives of businesses. City council member Harry Rotgans: “There is a growing interest from China for the economic opportunities in our region, the way we organized our healthcare and how we managed our energy supply in a sustainable and green way. Furthermore Purmerend entrepreneurs want to orient themselves to the Chinese market and the opportunities that can offer cooperation with Chinese entrepreneurs.”

Municipality of Purmerend: Published on 28 June 2017

Click here for the article (in Dutch)

Chinese ambassador H.E. Mr. Wu Ken having conversation with Coos Wessels, technical director CirTec – (photographer Marcel Rob)