2022 wastewater trends

As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect and wrap up 2021 while looking into the year that lays ahead of us. At the international water conference Aquatech Amsterdam, which took place at the beginning of November, I was confirmed that the three most dominating wastewater trends of 2022 will be resource recovery, leachate treatment, and low energy water treatment. Here, I outline the three trends and how Aquaporin is working to address them and develop solutions to meet the everchanging needs of our time.

By Søren Robenhagen, Commercial Director, Industrial Water, Aquaporin

Circular thinking is the way forward

I predict a future where nothing goes to waste, not even the raw or digested and degassed slurry from dairy and pig farms. A future where all resources are recovered and used to create value elsewhere than where they previously would go to waste. At Aquatech, I noticed that many are aware there are valuable nutrients in slurry and digestate and therefore looking for solutions to recover them. Solutions are also sought out for, as regulations are increasing, especially in the EU, where the new "Farm to Fork", a key element of the European Green Deal, includes reducing nutrient losses by at least 50 % by 2030. To get a head start and be able to empower future partners to meet the new legislations once they take effect, we are on a continuous journey to further develop our forward osmosis (FO) technology and find partners who are interested in doing this together with us. Therefore, we are already now looking to run digestate treatment pilots on different locations, and at Aquatech we talked to several prospect partners who we see great potential in conducting pilots with.

Global focus on optimizing leachate treatment

The leachate treatment market is gaining more and more traction, as landfills around the world are faced with tightening discharge standards. Leachate is one of the most complex and difficult wastewaters to treat, meaning there are high requirements to the technologies and solutions that are developed for this purpose. At Aquaporin, we have developed a containerized FO system that can enable landfills to live up to national policies on environmental protection by meeting water discharge regulations, and we are currently involved in pilot projects in both China and Europe with the purpose of testing the technology to gain insights that will enable the development of a final solution for the global leachate treatment market. At Aquatech, we received many inquiries from potential partners regarding our containerized FO system, as it serves as an efficient, sustainable and economically feasible solution to treatment of leachate and can reduce the leachate volume further than what is possible with the current technologies and methods on the market. In parallel, clean water will be generated for discharge or reuse, contributing to a more sustainable future in wastewater treatment.

Demand for low energy water treatment continues to rise

Our fellow Aquatech participants were the first to see our biomimetic CLEAR product series live. Being a low energy-high flow brackish water RO membrane, CLEAR truly addresses some of the most pressing needs of our time, in particular to implement more sustainable production patterns. This combined with the product series’ versatility is probably why we’ve experienced so much curiosity about the product from every corner of the world, Spain to Saudi Arabia, ever since the launch. In fact, the CLEAR membranes can be used in everything from drinking water to industrial and wastewater treatment applications. Since Aquatech, we have engaged in exciting and promising dialogues with both end-customers and distributors, and a system integrator has requested to test the CLEAR membranes with the purpose of developing a new application in the low energy water treatment segment. We have a strong belief in the outcome of this test, as the CLEAR membranes are made to facilitate super-efficient and selective water treatment, delivering high-quality permeate while keeping energy consumption low and thereby reducing carbon footprint.

Published on December 2021 in