RWTH Institute to Coordinate International Project on Industrial Water Management


European Union to fund AquaSPICE project with eleven million euros.


The international project “AquaSPICE - Advancing Sustainability of Process Industries through Digital and Circular Water Use Innovations,” coordinated by Professor Thomas Wintgens of the RWTH Institute of Environmental Engineering, will be launched on December 1, 2020. The European Union is funding research into industrial water management over the next 3.5 years, with eleven million euros under the H2020 research and innovation program. Twenty-nine partners from twelve countries are involved.

Industry is one of the major water users in Europe. The demands on water quality and quantity vary, depending on which production processes are used. In order to secure Europe’s water supply, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways to reuse water. This is particularly true for locations that already have to manage with limited regional resources due to climate change. The project aims to help close water cycles by combining treatment methods, sensor technologies, and digital processes. Medium-sized and large industrial companies from the food production, chemical, petroleum processing, and waste recycling sectors as well as research institutions and software providers are also involved.

In six case studies, water flows for production processes are examined using approaches from recycling management and put through various treatment methods on a pilot scale in order to meet the requirements of downstream processes. Both biological and physical-chemical processes are used, including membrane processes. The RWTH Institute of Environmental Engineering will provide scientific support for the case studies, evaluating treatment processes and ensuring compliance with quality criteria thanks to comprehensive analyses. The condition of various water resources and treatment processes is to be recorded in real time using sensor systems. With the help of a digital platform, processes can then be optimized and water quality improved. The case studies are to be carried out at chemical industry sites in the Dutch province of Zeeland, in the port of Antwerp, in central Germany, and in Italy.

Source: Press and Communications