The ECWRTI project sets a leading industrial example by demonstrating the scale-up of the EColoRO concept. The core of the concept is formed by Electro Coagulation followed by several membrane treatment steps. Electro coagulation is an energy efficient additive-free process to remove the majority of all pollutants, colorants and chemicals from wastewater. The concept is ground breaking because it offers both a technically and an economically viable solution against low investment costs that closes the water cycle in the industry, achieving an unprecedented sustainability performance.
In the project the EColoRO concept will be demonstrated on full industrial scale in the textile sector. The textile sector is selected as the prime sector for full-scale demonstration because it poses some unique challenges. These challenges are due to the fact that the sector is:
- highly water intensive
- generally very conservative, due to its long and often traditional practices and culture
- closely integrated with municipalities
- under tight economic constraints
- labour intensive
- at risk of disappearing in Europe due to increasing constraints on environmental legislation and fierce external competition
- characterized by having wastewater that is difficult to treat
The ECWRTI project will perform a full scale demonstration in Belgium and first replication in a carefully selected Mediterranean textile factory. The demonstration in Belgium will be carried out at the Utexbel site. At Utexbel almost all of the above characteristic features are in place. Furthermore Utexbel is innovative as it produces advanced textiles for special applications, thus offering high-quality labour to the local municipality.