For some time, Attero and a number of Water boards have been studying their joint ambition “to recover high-grade raw materials from low-grade residual flows”. Currently there are two government-subsidised projects that are both focused on raw-material production.
There are many synergies between Attero and the Water boards, as both process organic flows by means of an energy-intensive process. By working together, you create a win-win situation. For example, Attero and some Water boards are using the Cellucycle project to study whether raw material can be produced from the screenings. Each year, the Water boards in the Netherlands remove some 200,000 tonnes of toilet paper in their wastewater treatment processes, which consumes energy and money. The Cellucycle project removes toilet-paper fibres with so-called fine screens at the start of water treatment. Attero then uses those to produce various reusable raw materials.
The cellulose fibres of toilet paper are of a high quality and are a raw material with plenty of potential for producing sugars, lactic acid and PLA. Other cellulose waste flows are also suitable as input for this process, including nappies, organic waste flows and paper from residual waste.
PLA is a biodegradable biopolymer that is currently applied in packaging film. As with PHA, the application is limited because of its relatively high cost price. PLA is also produced from corn, grain or sugar cane; raw materials that can also be used as food. By using cellulose fibres from wastewater, the cost price is lower, the origin sustainable and the demand for PLA will be boosted.
Attero is also considering other applications for screenings in the CADoS project. In this project Attero uses the cellulose fibre to remove more water from the sludge flows. The sludge that is produced by the Water boards has enormous potential as a source of raw materials.
Currently Attero is working actively on developing this technology together with Water boards, knowledge institutes and other stakeholders. In return these projects have been rewarded with financial support from the government through the TKI-BBE scheme for example.
In een infographic vertellen we u graag meer over dit project.