OOWV practical partner in nationwide research project
Extracting salts from water - and enriching groundwater
Langeoog/In Nord west. Falling groundwater levels and increasing salinization of groundwater are challenges of the present and consequences of climate change. Solutions are the focus of a nationwide research project with the participation of the Oldenburg-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV) under the leadership of the Technical University of Dresden.
Therefore, a pilot plant will be installed in the Langeoog waterwork for eight months from the end of 2022. In particular, it will remove sodium and chloride from the groundwater near the coast in order to subsequently infiltrate it again for the purpose of groundwater recharge. The aim is to develop special membranes for this process, through which the water can be purified accordingly. "It won't be of drinking water quality afterwards," reports Yannick Tiemann, project manager on the OOWV side, "but it can be fed into the groundwater body afterwards." It is also conceivable that the treated water could be used for industrial purposes, thus conserving drinking water resources.
There is still a long way to go before the first concrete results are available - the research project entitled "innovatION" is at its beginning. Initial results are expected in 2024. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. "During the eight-month pilot phase at the Langeoog waterwork, we will be responsible for supervising the plant and taking samples of different waters - meaning groundwater, process water and water from the pilot plant. We share the samples and the results obtained from them with the project partners for laboratory tests," describes Yannick Tiemann.
"Due to the globally increasing demand for water and the decreasing availability of freshwater resources, there is a worldwide interest in efficient desalination processes," states the "innovatION" project description of the TU Dresden. "We are pleased to be one of the two practical partners, along with the Kreisverband für Wasserwirtschaft Nienburg," says the OOWV project manager.
He has also already been involved in "MULTI-ReUse," a water reuse process in which treated wastewater is further processed to make it available to local industry. Here, the plans for a large-scale plant with its own supply network in Nordenham are concrete. The plant will save around one million cubic meters of drinking water per year. After all, not every industrial process requires the valuable water in drinking water quality.