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CellCap, simple and energy-efficient recovery of cellulose from sewage

Innovation makes it easier and cheaper to recover raw materials from sewage.

AFTER AN EXTENSIVE TEST PERIOD ON A LARGE SCALE, THE DUTCH COMPANY CIRTEC IS LAUNCHING CELLCAP, A NEW OPTIMISED TECHNOLOGY WITH WHICH CELLULOSE, SEPARATED FROM THE RESIDUE, CAN BE EXTRACTED DIRECTLY FROM SEWAGE, WITHOUT THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL PUMPING STEPS (I.E. WITH LIMITED HYDRAULIC FALL). AN IMPORTANT AND INTENDED EFFECT OF CELLCAP IS THAT THE REMOVAL OF CELLULOSE FROM SEWAGE WATER LEADS TO A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION OF CO2 EMISSIONS.

The Purmerend company CirTec B.V. has been a frontrunner for many years in the development of innovative sieving technology and the recovery of raw materials from sewage. The knowledge gained from a large number of long-term research projects and experiences from realisation of installations and their maintenance have been translated into an optimised technology with which cellulose, separated from other undissolved components such as fats, hairs and seeds can be extracted from sewage without additional pumping. The new CellCap technology is a major step forward in cellulose recovery from sewage.

For more than 10 years, CirTec conducted research into the application of rotating belt fine sieves on sewage treatment plants (STP’s) and the extraction of cellulose from sieved material. On small and medium-sized treatment plants (up to a scale of 300, 0000 PE) the impact of rotating belt finesieves on downstream processes was monitored long-term. Next to the impact on the STP, extensive research was carried out, in collaboration with Cellvation BV and Recell Group, into upgrading and use of recovered cellulose (Recell®) as a high-quality raw material.

Sieved material from rotating belt fine sieves contains a significant proportion of cellulose, but must be post-processed to allow high-quality marketing. The separation of undesirable components is best done at the STP itself, partly because this stream can be digested in site for biogas production and no waste is released during the further processing of cellulose.

In 2017 CirTec realized a proof-of-concept for in-line separation of cellulose at the STP Geestmerambacht of the Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK). This proof-of-concept has been the basis of the new CellCap installation that is officially launched this week and that can extract cellulose and residuals separately from influent. CellCap has been tested long term and have proven to extract cellulose that is pure enough to be used as a high-quality raw material after hygienisation and post-treatment.

The product, Recell®, is a product that is used as a green raw material for, eg. In asphalt, construction materials, street furniture, and green chemistry. It is therefore an excellent alternative to cellulose sources for which trees are felled. Previous projects have shown that the demand for recovered cellulose (from the point of view of circularity and sustainable use of raw materials) is already there.

In addition to the sustainability aspects and the creation of sales value by valorizing cellulose, the CellCap concept has significant added value for the sewage 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 STP must be expanded, the space required for a CellCap plant (part of the Cellvation process) is smaller than most alternatives.

About CellCap

The removal of cellulose in the biological process at the STP’s requires a lot of energy due to the energy-intensive steps required. In particular for aerating, thickening, dewatering, drying and transporting the sludge are the biggest energy consumers. In addition, based on the current sewage treatment process, the cellulose is lost because it is either bio-degraded or burned in the process.
The cellulose that is present in the sewage can be made suitable for reuse in for example construction materials, as an additive in asphalt or raw material for biocomposite. It is therefore an excellent alternative to recycled paper or virgin cellulose for which trees are felled.

Previous studies and projects have shown that the demand for recovered cellulose from sewage (from the point of view of circularity and sustainable use of raw materials) is already there. The challenge, however, is to recover high-quality and reusable cellulose from sewage on a large scale. The new energy-efficient CellCap technology is an important step in large-scale cellulose recovery.

CellCap is developed with an EFRO contribution from the program “Kansen voor West II” program and with co-financing from the Province of North-Holland.


For more information, please contact:
Coos Wessels, Managing Director CirTec BV
c.wessels@CirTec.nl
Telephone +31 (0)299 – 79 20 80
www.CirTec.nl

CellCap, simple and energy-efficient recovery of cellulose from sewage2021-06-04T08:46:26+00:00

Demonstration cellulose recovery from sewage in Italy

Gruppo CAP and CirTec B.V. signed an agreement for the rental of a Cellvation installation at demo-scale for a period of 5 months. Gruppo CAP is the first Italian water authority to recover cellulose from sewage. The installation will be installed at STP Truccazzano starting November 2020. All Recell® (cellulose recovered by Cellvation) will be supplied to the local industry and used as a raw material. For CirTec B.V. and Cellvation B.V. an important step outside the Netherlands for the international marketing of the technology.

Cellvation installatio ready for transport

Demonstration cellulose recovery from sewage in Italy2021-06-03T22:03:36+00:00

10 years anniversary of CirTec

10 years anniversary of CirTec

A special day today, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. On July 8, 2010, CirTec, at that time BWA, was founded. I look back with pride on the history of our company. What started as a company with two people has grown into a reliable market player with more than 100 references. A great opportunity to thank all employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders who made this possible, for their enthusiasm, support and dedication.

CirTec got off to a flying start with a first assignment for finesceens at a tannery and other assignments from the industry for other separation techniques such as polishing filtration and tilted plate settling. In the municipal market, the first years mainly consisted of research, in which we collaborated with almost all stakeholder involved in the sector. Initiated from a project of the joint water authorities under the name “De Energiefabriek”, fine sieves were used to relieve the downstream biological treatment (physical removal of load) with the aim of limiting energy consumption. With the realization of fine sieve installations on eg. Ulrum (CADoS), Beemster (Cellu2PLA) and Aarle-Rixtel (ScreenCap) a lot of experience was gained in the design and realization of fine sieve projects. An area where CirTec is an absolute frontrunner.

However, with the research into the application of the sieving technology, a new stream was released on the STP, which appears to consist mainly of cellulose that comes from the toilet paper that we flush. By utilizing cellulose from sewage water as a high-quality raw material, the CO2 footprint of a treatment plant is reduced with > 2 tons of CO2-eq / ton of cellulose. After the installation we have built within the SMART-Plant project on the WWTP Geestmerambacht, we are now also working on the recovery of cellulose outside our national borders.

In addition to a wide range of sieving techniques, the CirTec portfolio also includes equipment for sludge thickening, dewatering and drying from Giotto Water, as well as evaporators and strippers. In every step from water purification process, pre-treatment, main purification, post-treatment, we can support customers and select the suitable technology.

We are happy that our customers rely on our expertise to help them solve their (waste) water issues. Their demands, challenges and feedback have prompted us to continue and improve. In addition to our customers, partners and suppliers have been equally important. All of them have made an important contribution to knowledge development and have enabled us to put a reliable product on the market.

Looking back in ten years’ time, I hope that the useful reuse of raw materials from wastewater has become the norm across Europe. With partners in the WOW! and CellCap, we are working hard on this, as are other parties in the water sector. It has been ten exciting years and we have a great time!

Technical Director

Coos Wessels

10 years anniversary of CirTec

A special day today, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. On July 8, 2010, CirTec, at that time BWA, was founded. I look back with pride on the history of our company. What started as a company with two people has grown into a reliable market player with more than 100 references. A great opportunity to thank all employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders who made this possible, for their enthusiasm, support and dedication.

CirTec got off to a flying start with a first assignment for finesceens at a tannery and other assignments from the industry for other separation techniques such as polishing filtration and tilted plate settling. In the municipal market, the first years mainly consisted of research, in which we collaborated with almost all stakeholder involved in the sector. Initiated from a project of the joint water authorities under the name “De Energiefabriek”, fine sieves were used to relieve the downstream biological treatment (physical removal of load) with the aim of limiting energy consumption. With the realization of fine sieve installations on eg. Ulrum (CADoS), Beemster (Cellu2PLA) and Aarle-Rixtel (ScreenCap) a lot of experience was gained in the design and realization of fine sieve projects. An area where CirTec is an absolute frontrunner.

However, with the research into the application of the sieving technology, a new stream was released on the STP, which appears to consist mainly of cellulose that comes from the toilet paper that we flush. By utilizing cellulose from sewage water as a high-quality raw material, the CO2 footprint of a treatment plant is reduced with > 2 tons of CO2-eq / ton of cellulose. After the installation we have built within the SMART-Plant project on the WWTP Geestmerambacht, we are now also working on the recovery of cellulose outside our national borders.

In addition to a wide range of sieving techniques, the CirTec portfolio also includes equipment for sludge thickening, dewatering and drying from Giotto Water, as well as evaporators and strippers. In every step from water purification process, pre-treatment, main purification, post-treatment, we can support customers and select the suitable technology.

We are happy that our customers rely on our expertise to help them solve their (waste) water issues. Their demands, challenges and feedback have prompted us to continue and improve. In addition to our customers, partners and suppliers have been equally important. All of them have made an important contribution to knowledge development and have enabled us to put a reliable product on the market.

Looking back in ten years’ time, I hope that the useful reuse of raw materials from wastewater has become the norm across Europe. With partners in the WOW! and CellCap, we are working hard on this, as are other parties in the water sector. It has been ten exciting years and we have a great time!

Technical Director

Coos Wessels

10 years anniversary of CirTec2020-07-08T11:19:41+00:00