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ZERO BRINE recovers valuable resources from saline wastewater in the Polish mining industry

Start/End date: 
06/2017 to 05/2021
Ongoing: 
Yes
Description: 

Saline wastewater is a concern for many industries. The coal mining industry is particularly affected: every year Poland discharges around 4 million tonnes of sodium chloride into rivers, coming mainly from coalmines and causing significant environmental damage.

ZERO BRINE is taking up this issue by recovering valuable resources from this wastewater, such as water, salts, and minerals, so that they can be reused in other industries. It currently has a pilot plant at the Bolesław Śmiały coalmine in the Polish town of Łaziska Górne and the plant is operated and overseen by the Silesian University of Technology.

ZERO BRINE is a 4-year Innovation Action (IA) financed by the European Commission aimed at developing circular economy solutions for industrial wastewater treatment. It has 22 partners and pilot projects in the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and Turkey.

Main activity field:

Main results: 
  • compared with existing wastewater treatment technologies, it provides higher salt and magnesium recovery
  • the pilot plant is capable of treating 400 litres of raw coalmine water per hour
  • it aims to decrease energy consumption by 50% compared to the current best practice  - reverse osmosis-vapor compression
  • the technology is replicable and scalable to other industries
  • it also provides an innovative solution for sea water desalination