What is the ultimate development

Development of synergies between the industrial and water sectors (ULTIMATE)

A new action plan from the European Commission - the European Green Deal - aims to make the European economy more sustainable. An important component is the consistent promotion of circular economy processes.

The ULTIMATE (indUstry water-utiL.iTy symbI.osis for a sM.arter wATEr society) will contribute in this context to making the area of ​​industrial water use even more intelligent and efficient. This is to be achieved by creating synergies between different branches of industry (“Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis” - WSIS). The aim is to use water, wastewater and all reusable resources used here jointly and, if possible, to circulate them. Companies from the agro, food, beverage, chemical and biotech industries are involved.

In ULTIMATE, 36 technologies in 9 case studies are developed, tested and evaluated on a technical scale together with such companies as well as water suppliers and research institutions. In addition, new business models with a focus on "WSIS" are to be developed through to market readiness.

In the project consortium, the KWB is in charge of a work package focused on technologies. All selected technologies are examined here, checked for interfaces and intelligent linking options and then optimized. In addition, new concepts for material recycling are being developed and an interactive technology database is being set up. The KWB is also the scientific partner of a case study planned in Kalundborg (Denmark). Here, the operation of an industrial wastewater treatment plant in synergy with a neighboring municipal wastewater treatment plant is initially to be modeled and then brought into real operation.

In addition, the KWB will evaluate the technologies used here for further selected case studies with life cycle assessments and risk analyzes. In so-called “Communities of Practice”, various interest groups are brought together in order to discuss progress across disciplines, optimize it and adapt it to existing needs in parallel with ongoing technological developments.

ULTIMATE is funded by the European Union in the Horizon 2020 program (Grant agreement ID: 869318) for four years. The KWR Water Research Institute from the Netherlands is in charge of it. 26 partners from research institutes, water companies and SMEs are working closely together in the project.