Israel’s Applied CleanTech has found a way to turn sewers into gold mines, and now the company has signed an agreement with a Dutch wastewater treatment facility (WWTP) and paper mill to test its revolutionary Sewage Recycling System (SRS).
SRS involves mining sewers for cellulose fibers (toilet paper) that are then converted into pellets or pulp that can be used in a variety of industries.
Custom-packaged per the specifications of each industry, the Recyllose pellets, which look like rabbit food, can be used as an alternative to ethanol, for heat or electricity, or they can be used as an additive for pulp or paper and bioplastics.
When burned, the pellets do not emit harmful gases, according to the company, but they also boast a higher caloric value than wood.
“Using Recyllose as feedstock for manufacturing plastic will lower production costs considerably,” according to the company literature, “thereby enhancing the cost effectiveness of the entire bio-plastics industry, while increasing the use of recycled sources as an alternative to fossil fuels.”
By mining sewers, Applied CleanTech claims that it can prevent half of the sludge from being formed, thereby cutting up to 30 percent of WWTP operational costs.
The SRS will be installed for a test period in early 2014 at Aa en Maas Water Board municipal WWTP at Aarle-Rixtel; Smurfit Kappa Roermond Papier, a leading paper producer, will also trial the resulting product.
If all goes well, Applied CleanTech will be invited to distribute their system throughout the Netherlands.
“We are delighted to start our first project in the Netherlands and we hope that after a successful trial period, our sewage mining technology will be installed across the Netherlands ensuring a greener, power efficient future for generations to come,” said Applied CleanTech Chief Executive Officer Dr. Refael Aharon in a recent press statement.
The Dutch are excited as well.
“The Dutch water industry is a worldwide leader water treatment and water management,” said Job Rosenhart, Energy Advisor for Dutch Industry at Agentschap NL.
He added that the agreement between Applied CleanTech, AA enMaas water board, Stowa and Smurfit Kappa Roermond Papier is about more than just mining sewers.
“In a broader sense, this agreement is strategic as it launches a new era of cooperation between Israel and the Netherlands in water and energy. We view this cooperation as strategic due to the cultural compatibility and complimentary needs and abilities of both peoples, and hope it would be the one of many such successful ventures between our two nations.”
The comparison is not without merit. The Dutch are renowned for innovations aimed at reducing their environmental impact, Israel’s clean tech savvy has made significant gains as well.
Looks like a match made in sewers.