New bio-composite material from recovered water resources
Utility – industry symbiosis
Waternet is a major utility responsible for the water and wastewater management in Amsterdam and its surroundings. Waternet and the industry SME partner, NPSP, have succeeded in producing the prototype of a new biocomposite material made from resources recovered from the whole water cycle but several issues remain to be addressed before this material can be offered to the markets.
This unique case study will explore the production and applications e.g. construction materials in park benches and river/canal bank protection solutions, of a new biocomposite material made by recovering resources from drinking water treatment (calcite), wastewater treatment (cellulose fibres) and surface water management (water plants), all glued together using a biobased resin.
Key stakeholders and partners
Water utilities providing source material (WATERNET), biocomposite material technology developers (NPSP), manufacturing companies (that will produce end products from new material), supply and distribution chain, end users (companies in construction and traffic industries and general public), TU Delft.
Amsterdam case – innovative actions
NPSP and WATNL are interested in the production of a new bio-composite material for several reasons including a contribution to circular economy, its own finances and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting in increased climate change resilience. These two partners have already succeeded in producing the prototype bio-composite material, but several challenges remain before it can be offered to the market. These include optimizing the proportions of key ingredients, dealing with potential health risks due to reuse of wastewater fibres, understanding better the resource efficiency and related costs and benefits of a new material by performing life cycle and metabolism type analysis, collecting the evidence that new material can compete with traditional materials and exploring market opportunities and new business models. All this will be done in collaboration with TU Delft and other project partners. The new material will be demonstrated on a range of prototype products.
The key outcome will be an optimized, functional, safe and sustainable new bio-composite material ready for mass production.