Successful removal and reuse of methane from drinking water

Posted: Monday 21st April 2014

Dutch water supply company Vitens first in the world to deploy Royal HaskoningDHV’s methane filtering technology.

International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has developed a method that filters methane from water in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.

Water supply company Vitens was the first in the world to install this vacuum degassing system in its drinking water production plant in Spannenburg, a neighbourhood in northern Netherlands. Once extracted, the gas is easy to use as a clean source of energy.

Wastewater and drinking water often contain high concentrations of greenhouse methane gas, especially in peat lands like the Spannenburg area. Until recently this groundwater was responsible for 30% of Vitens’s total CO2 footprint. The new degassing plant therefore significantly reduces Vitens’ CO2 footprint in a single stroke. Mr Oege Hoekstra, project manager at Vitens: ‘Our calculations show that we will save almost € 500,000 per year with this plant due to the “free” energy it produces. These earnings are primarily due to the use of this gas as an energy source.’ Vitens has decided to burn the gas to produce electricity. However it also possible to refine the gas into a natural gas grade or liquid gas for use in cars.
Royal HaskoningDHV developed the business case for Vitens, as well as the plant’s design and supported the water company in constructing the plant.

Mr Rob Schotsman, senior consultant and Royal HaskoningDHV’s project director said ‘At the present time we are investigating the possibility of having this innovation used by other clients whose production processes frequently make use of methane-containing water. This new technology delivers a two-fold benefit: it is profitable and it significantly lowers CO2 emissions.’

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