19 November 2016Waternet's 'The Calcite Factory' settles in Prodock
Roelof Kruize, CEO of Waternet, received the key to The Calcite Factory on Tuesday 1 November. From the beginning of 2017, Waternet, Advanced Minerals and AquaMinerals will research at this factory whether they can process calcite pellets, which originate from softened water, into high-quality products for customers in the food, feed, industrial and chemical fields. The end product should be a sustainable alternative to quarry chalk.
Softening drinking water
Waternet softens drinking water to prevent lime scale forming on heating elements in appliances such as washing machines. The softening of drinking water involves the use of a seed material. This seed material attaches itself to chalk particles in the water and creates a flake. After removal of the flake, the water is soft. Using a seed material based on calcite instead of quarry chalk represents an important step towards the processing of residual materials into a new seed material and the sale of this product: a circular process.
The Calcite Factory
Waternet is collaborating with Advanced Minerals (formerly known as the Reststoffenunie) on The Calcite Factory. This pilot factory will produce seed material for drinking water production. In addition to the seed material, the pilot factory will also produce high-quality niche products for ceramics, paint, soil improvers and the carpet and tile industry. AquaMinerals will be responsible for sales. Roelof Kruize: "We have decided to begin with a pilot study. Over three years, this should demonstrate whether the concept is viable. With a professional partner such as Advanced Minerals, which is a specialist in calcite pellets, Waternet has found a good balance between doing things itself and letting the market take over."
Impact on the drinking water sector
It is certainly the intention that other drinking water companies should get involved at a later stage. It will be possible to deliver on a demand-driven basis from the moment that the factory moves into operation. This will have a positive effect on our finances, our image and our environmental impact. The sector can also produce its own seed material and thus complete the chain. Once the pilot factory is ready, each individual drinking water company can bring (sand-free) calcite pellets and obtain seed material.
The Calcite Factory fits with Waternet’s participation in Clean Capital, the joint venture between Port of Amsterdam, AEB and Waternet. Clean Capital focuses on the development of innovative and sustainable projects in the fields of the circular economy, energy transition and biobased materials. The three partners are located in the Amsterdam region and reinforce each other in the translation of innovative ideas into economically viable projects. Koen Overtoom, interim CEO of Port of Amsterdam: ‘The arrival of Advanced Minerals, an initiative of Waternet, shows that PRODOCK is a suitable location and provides a valuable platform for innovation. This location is also part of the circular ambitions of Port of Amsterdam and its joint venture partners in Clean Capital. We are therefore delighted to welcome The Calcite Factory to our port.