Netherlands-based Royal HaskoningDHV, developer of a technology that helps recover humic acid from drinking water, has signed a partnership agreement with Dutch water company Vitens. Humic acid is usually discharged by water treatment firms as waste during the blanching process, but with the new technology, it can be reclaimed sustainably in its pure form, providing an organic fertilizer.
The drinking water production company Spannenburg, in the Dutch province of Friesland, provided the platform for Vitens to apply its combination of technologies – ion exchange and various existing membrane technologies – to blanch drinking water. This process creates a residual stream of water and salt as well as humic acid, a highly valuable organic substance from peaty soil which gives water a yellowish hue. Water and salt are completely reused during the production process while the humic acid, once regarded as a waste product, can now be utilized as a soil improver in the agricultural sector.
The technology won the international Aquatech Innovation Award 2013. Royal HaskoningDHV will begin marketing the technology on a global scale.