At the end of November, Isabel attended the first Industrial Water conference in Frankfurt, Germany. All topics concerning the industrial water management found their slot on the programme at this conference, from cooling and process water management, to water efficiency measures, waste water treatment or digitalisation in water management. Case studies and applications presented covered a range of industrial sectors e.g. the chemicals, steel, food and drink.
Organised by DECHEMA e.V., the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, the conference offered a platform for companies to show-case their innovative solutions for industrial water management to industry representatives, their potential customers and academia and research professionals.
The tenor amongst participants was clear: driven by water scarcity experienced by industry during an extraordinarily hot summer in Europe, industrial water management (including water reuse and zero liquid discharge strategies) have gained more and urgent attention.
Isabel presented her research about the environmental footprint of an in-line heat exchanger from copper at the poster sessions. She also linked up with two other European projects, having similar goals to Dwr Uisce: WaterWatt and InspireWater. InspireWater targets the water cycles of three production plants in the chemical and steel industry and applies Life Cycle Assessment Technology to evaluate the environmental impacts of process alternatives. WaterWatt specifically looks at the energy efficiency in industrial water circuits. The team has developed an internet based tool for companies to determine energy savings from the water cycle and to advise on technical solutions and funding opportunities. The tool can be found at the E3 platform.
Reflecting on her experience, Isabel noted: “It was positive to see representatives from some of the biggest European companies from the chemical and steel sector emphasizing the importance of efficient water management. Awareness of the risks of water scarcity and inter-linkages between water and energy use is still low. This conference was an essential step in bringing together the different stakeholders and getting the ball rolling.”