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Knowledge category: Projects

Accelerating Water Circularity in Food and Beverage Industrial Areas around Europe

Updated on 09.12.2022

AccelWater’s main objective is to optimise freshwater water consumption in the food and beverage industry under a water-waste-energy nexus. It does so by introducing beyond state-of-the-art water reclaim, reuse and artificial intelligence-enabled monitoring and control technologies that enable the use of reclaimed water in the manufacturing processes of food and beverages. AccelWater’s main objective is to optimise freshwater water consumption in the food and beverage industry under a water-waste-energy nexus. It does so by introducing beyond state-of-the-art water reclaim, reuse and artificial intelligence-enabled monitoring and control technologies that enable the use of reclaimed water in the manufacturing processes of food and beverages.

Acronym: AccelWater
Countries: Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Spain
Project website: https://www.accelwater.eu/
Start and end date: 01.11.2020 - 31.10.2024
Budget: 9 429 670 EUR
Funding source: Horizon 2020

More information

Despite significant progress in improving water use efficiency, the food and beverage sector needs to do more to minimise the use of freshwater during the processing of raw materials. This sector 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 minimise freshwater use during the raw material processing. In addition, high water consumption in industrial areas leads to increased production costs since the tariffs for public wastewater treatment can be very high in European cities. 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 ultraviolet, and biological treatment technologies. However, the use of these technologies under a water-waste-energy nexus is very limited.


This is where AccelWater comes in, focusing on demonstration projects in four European cities: Akureyri (IS), Castel San Giorgio (IT), Patras (EL), and Sant Joan de Vilatorrada (ES).

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

This project considers waste, water and energy in the manufacturing processes of food and beverages in several sectors that have high water use and produce widely used products, including breweries, dairy, tomatoes, pig meat processing, and fish industries across Europe. These industries represent some of the most active sectors of the food and beverage industry, while being some of the biggest consumers of freshwater in industrial areas.


Specific results that can be potentially useful include:
 

  • water reclaiming and reuse technologies; waste valorisation technologies;
  • energy recovery and valorisation technologies;
  • information and communication technology solutions for optimising food and beverage production with the focus on water and environmental sustainability; and
  • training materials for the next generation of employees in the water-waste-energy nexus.


While these results primarily target industrial stakeholders, the project can be of interest to local and regional authorities who are co-developing Circular Systemic Solutions together with local agri-food stakeholders, and are looking for best practices in circular manufacturing processes of food and beverages for further replication and experimentation.

Horizon programme(s) and/or topic(s)

Programme:
 

  • H2020-EU.2.1.5. - INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP - Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - Advanced manufacturing and processing

Topic:
 

  • CE-SPIRE-07-2020 - Preserving fresh water: recycling industrial waters industry

Budget

€ 9 429 670 (EU contribution: € 8 115 787.38)

Responsible organisation and contact details

Agricultural & Environmental Solutions

Contact the project.

Project consortium partners

  • Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion
  • Institute of Communication and Computer Systems
  • Athinaiiki Zythopiia Anonymos Etairia
  • Rezos Brands Anonymi Emporiki Eteria Idon Diatrofis
  • Dignity Idiotiki Kefalaiouxiki Etaireia
  • ProdAl Scarl
  • CALISPA SpA
  • Associazione Nazionale Industriali Conserve Alimentari Vegetali
  • Fundacio Universitaria Balmes
  • Innovacc Clúster Català de la Carn i la Proteïna Alternativa
  • Matadero Frigorifico del Cardoner SA
  • Axia Innovation UG
  • Haskoli Islands
  • Matis OHF
  • Frieslandcampina ellas ae Anonymos Emporiki kai Biomixaniki Etaireia Galaktos Galaktomikon Proionton kai Paidikon Trofon
  • Utgerdarfelag Akureyringa EHF
  • Samherji Fiskeldi EHF
Sectors

Food (chain/systems)

CEAP2 key product value chain

Water

CEAP2 key product value chain

Nutrients

CEAP2 key product value chain

Industry

e.g. chemicals, cosmetics, bio-based industries

Bioeconomy

including bio-based economy

Project type

Innovation action (IA)

Territories involved

Cities

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

Intra-territorial areas

Industrial zones

Districts

e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial