Recovery of Cellulose from Waste Water

End of June this year, the official inauguration of “the world’s first cellulose production facility” – which means a “breakthrough in recovery and reuse of recycled cellulose from sewage” – took place at Geestmerambacht (The Netherlands).

Approximately 70 experts from all over Europe, all active in the value chain, witnessed the inauguration of the Cellvation plant. It is one of six pilot systems hosted by SMART-Plant (Scale-up of low-carbon footprint Material Recovery Techniques in existing wastewater treatment plants). The project “will scale-up in real environment eco-innovative and energy-efficient solutions to renovate existing wastewater treatment plants and close the circular value chain by applying low-carbon techniques to recover materials that are otherwise lost,” the homepage ( says. “7+2 pilot systems will be optimized for more than 2 years in real environment in 5 municipal water treatment plants, including also 2 post-processing facilities.”

As reported, CirTec B.V. (until recently BWA B.V.) and its partners had demonstrated, that, by using Cellvation, it is technically possible to extract clean, marketable cellulose from sewage and make it available as a raw material. “Examples are the ‘Vazena’ project (Dutch acronym for “From Cellulosic Screening to Asphalt”), a demonstration project where a bicycle path is made of asphalt in which recycled cellulose has been processed, and ‘Zeefgoud’ (screened gold), a project in which cellulose is produced as a raw material for other products,” the company points out on its homepage. The Cellvation installation at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WwTP) Geestmerambacht is to produce about 400 kilograms of pure cellulose a day. “Part of this cellulose is exported to England where it is used as a raw material to produce bio-composite,” the Dutch company informed in June. “The remaining cellulose is used for the production and development of other products.”


According to the information, Cellvation is a development of CirTec BV and KNN Cellulose BV, both active in the water sector and in the circular commodity market. As successful, complementary entrepreneurs they bring Cellvation jointly to the (international) market. The project at WwTP Geestmerambacht is an initiative of CirTec BV and part of the Horizon2020 action SMART-Plant.

Photo: CirTec BV

GR 32017