Increased Water Consumption

The food and drink industry is the EU’s biggest manufacturing. However, this industry is one of the most water and energy intensive industries worldwide while the companies belong to that sector produce a lot of waste. Specifically, the food and beverage industry consumes 56% of the available water for industrial and urban use. Additionally, food processing embeds 28% of the total energy used for production, while the total direct energy consumed by the European food industry amounted to 28.4 Mt oil equivalent, while 30.6 Mt of food waste are produced in this industry. Although, huge steps have been made in increasing the water use efficiency through the use of modern technologies and methods, there is limited effort from the food and beverages industry to minimize freshwater use during the raw material processing.

Wastewater Treatment

In addition, high water consumption in industrial areas lead to increased production costs due to the fact that the tariffs for public wastewater treatment can be very high in European cities as well as the industrial electricity prices can also be very high. Currently, solutions for wastewater treatment in industries include the use of clarification, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, process water polishing, disinfection with water treatment chemicals and UV, and biological treatment technologies. However, the use of these technologies under a water-waste-energy nexus is very limited.

Fact Sheet

Project Title Accelerating Water Circularity in Food and Beverage Industrial Areas around Europe
Acronym AccelWater
Grant Agreement ID 958266
Start Date November 1st 2020
Duration 54 months
Overall Budget 9,429,670.00€
EU Contribution 8,115,787.38€
Project Coordinator AGENSO