Used toilet paper finds its way to the market!

New technology transforms flushed toilet paper into high quality raw material

THE OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF THE WORLD’S FIRST CELLULOSE PRODUCTION FACILITY ON REPRESENTATIVE DEMO SCALE MEANS A WORLD SCOOP FOR DUTCH COMPANY CIRTEC AND A BREAKTHROUGH IN RECOVERY AND REUSE OF RECYCLED CELLULOSE FROM SEWAGE. FOR THE FIRST TIME A LARGE AMOUNT OF CELLULOSE (MAIN INGREDIENT OF TOILET PAPER), ABOUT 400 KG A DAY, IS RECOVERED FROM SEWAGE, CLEANED, HYGIENISED AND READY FOR USE IN HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTS.

The Purmerend company CirTec B.V. has previously demonstrated, together with a number of partners, that by using Cellvation™ it is technically possible to extract clean, marketable cellulose from sewage and make it available as a valuable raw material. Examples are the VAZENA project (Dutch acronym for From Cellulosic Screening to Asphalt), a demonstration project in which a bicycle path is made of asphalt in which recycled cellulose has been processed, and ZEEFGOUD (Screened gold), a project in which cellulose is produced as a raw material for other products.

In order to boost large-scale recovery and re-use of cellulose and develop a structural market, CirTec has established an installation on the WwTP Geestmerambacht, which produces about 400 kg of pure cellulose a day. Part of this cellulose is exported to England where it is used as a raw material to produce bio-composite. The remaining cellulose is used for the production and development of other products. Extraordinarily, all recovered cellulose is given a second life in a high-quality product. That too is revolutionary!

The official inauguration of the Cellvation™ installation at Geestmerambacht is scheduled for June 29th, 2017. Attended by interested parties from all over Europe, the installation will be officially taken in operation. Internationally respected speakers will address the need for recycling of raw materials and sustainable reuse.

Cellvation is a development of CirTec BV and KNN Cellulose BV, both active in the water sector and in the circular commodity market. As successful, complementary entrepreneurs, they bring Cellvation™ jointly to the (international) market. The project at WwTP Geestmerambacht is an initiative of CirTec BV and part of the Horizon2020 action SMART-Plant.

In addition to the sustainability aspects and the creation of sales value by valorizing cellulose, the Cellvation concept has significant added value for the wastewater treatment facilities. The main advantages are:

  1. Increase in biological capacity; Due to the removal of COD, additional space is created to increase the biological capacity. Since cellulose is only partially degraded in the aeration tank (AT) and inert material is removed, the proportion of active biomass in the AT increases.
  2. Lower operational costs; By removing carbon and nutrients from influent based on particle size, the energy consumption for the downstream aeration is significantly reduced. As a result, sludge production is reduced, resulting in lower energy costs for sludge dewatering, lower use of chemicals (polyelectrolyte) and a reduction in costs for the discharge of dewatered sludge. Finally, hair and fibers are almost completely removed, so maintenance costs on process equipment will go down, while extending the technical life span.
  3. Limited space requirements; If the biological capacity of a WwTP must be expanded, the space required for a CellCap finescreen plant (part of the Cellvation process) is smaller than most alternatives.

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