New technologies to slash water consumption and to recover 30% of water and heat in industry


The European Parliament has set a new climate target for 2030 – to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels, up 40% on previous targets. Some industry groups criticise the new targets as being overambitious and too expensive while across Europe scientists and engineers have already joined forces ready to take on the new challenge. A key aspect is to develop new technologies to reduce the need of resources in the energy intensive industries.

 The new EU-funded water recovery project – iWAYS – was given the go-ahead with a budget of €10,596,775. Coordinated by the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, and with 18 other partners on board, the project focuses on increasing water efficiency through three main solutions: exhaust condensation, water treatment and waste valorisation.

The project will develop a set of technologies to recover water and energy from exhaust gases in industrial processes, to meet water quality requirements and to reduce primary energy consumption. It is also expected to reduce freshwater consumption by 30% to 64%; and to recover water and heat from humid gases by 30%. Additional materials from flue gas such as valuable acids or particulates will be recovered, thus improving the raw material efficiency in production and reducing emissions detrimental to the environment. Such projects have taken on greater importance in the light of the EU’s biggest green stimulus package in history: the European Green Deal. It’s a package that puts the fight against climate change at the epicentre of the economic recovery needed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Green Deal relies on transforming industry in order to help it cut exhaust gases and recover water and energy as much as possible.


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