Cooling water in process

WEISS – Efficient operation of cooling water circuits by integrated desalination at the example of the steel industry

Initial situation

  • Use of 2.3 billion m3 / a of water across industries for cooling purposes in Germany
  • Salting due to evaporation / circulation in cooling circuits requires up to 200 m³ / h of blowdown to prevent corrosion
  • No need-based dosing of cooling water treatment chemicals -> Increased operational costs
  • Complex cooling water composition: biocides, anticorrosion agents, hardness stabilizers, flocculants, hardeners, turbidity / coloring as well as solids input (production-related), oil / grease from leaks
  • Complex water cycles, especially in mature plants

Project objectives

  • Halving of blow down water by removing salts and solids in the make-up water and appropriate chemical dosing (ATP measurement, solid state sensor)
  • Water savings potential in an average steel plant up to 800,000 m³ / a

Innovative process approaches

  • Desalination and softening by means of capacitive deionization (CDI)
  • Development of anti-fouling coatings for reverse osmosis membranes
  • High pressure reverse osmosis and evaporation for further narrowing of the concentrate (EVAP®) with patented polymer heat exchangers
  • Modeling of cooling water circuits and mass flows to determine suitable process combinations / dosing quantities as well an economic-technical assessment by means of life cycle assessment

Current results (as of 11/2017)

  • Solids separation before desalination process by means of magnetic separation or sand filter to fulfill the requirements possible
  • Production of pure water fulfilling water quality requirements according company specifications by means of CDI (maximum separation grades achieved: chloride: 98%, sulfate: 72%, hardness: 84%, energy requirement: 0.8 – 1.3 kWh / m³) or by evaporation
  • So far no disturbances of cooling water treatment chemicals on CDI, evaporation or reverse osmosis


  • Minimization of energy demand or increase in water yield of desalination
  • Operational demonstration starting in I / 2018 at the production site of Deutsche Edelstahlwerk in Hagen
  • Simulations and LCA based on data from the demonstration

Hubrich, M., Kozariszczuk, M.:„Effiziente Kreislaufführung von Kühlwasser durch integrierte Entsalzung am Beispiel der Stahlindustrie. „IndustrieTage Wassertechnik, Dortmund, November 2017

Laghmari, S.; Ulbricht, M.Development and evaluation of an antifouling coating for reverse osmosis membranes which can be applied Jahrestreffen der ProcessNet-Fachgruppen für Fluidverfahrenstechnik, , Membrantechnik und Mischvorgänge, München27-28.02.18

Fitzke, B, Vu, D.: What´s up in Membrane Technology in Germany – Science and Innovation, DGMT IFAT 2018 Workshop 16.05.2018

29.-30.1020184. project meeting WEISS, TU Berlin
27.-29.11.2018Industrial Water 2018, Frankfurt a. M.
April 20195. project meeting WEISS, ifak Magdeburg
12.-20.06.2019IWA Water Reuse 2019
03.-04.12.2019WAVE final meeting, Berlin

Zukunftsfähige Technologien und Konzepte zur Erhöhung der Wasserverfügbarkeit durch Wasserwiederverwendung und Entsalzung (WavE)
Nachhaltiges Wassermanagement (NaWaM)
Projektträger Karlsruhe – PKTA – Bereich Wassertechnologie

VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH (Koordinator)
Martin Hubrich
Sohnstr. 65, 40237 Düsseldorf
Tel:. +49-211-6707-34
SMS group GmbH
Dr. Angela Ante
Eduard-Schlömann-Str. 4,
40088 Düsseldorf
Tel:. +49 2733- 29 3009
Mobil:+49 151-17141982
Technische Universität Berlin (TUB)
Institut für Technischen Umweltschutz, FG Umweltverfahrenstechnik
Prof. Sven Geißen
Sekr. KF2, Straße des 17. Juni 135,
10623 Berlin
Tel:. +49-30-314-22905
Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
Lehrstuhl für Technische Chemie II
Prof. Matthias Ulbricht
Universitätsstr. 7, 45141 Essen
Tel:. +49-0201-183-3151
Deutsche Edelstahlwerke Specialty Steel GmbH & Co. KG
Ingo Robin
Auestr. 4, 58452 Witten
E-mail: Ingo.Robin@DEW-STAHL.COM
Tel:. +49-22331-398-5216
WEHRLE Umwelt GmbH
Dr. Bernd Fitzke
Bismarckstr. 1-11, 79312 Emmendingen
Tel:. +49-7641-585-355
Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e.V
Dr. Jens Alex
Werner-Heisenberg-Str. 1; 39106 Magdeburg
Tel:. +49-391-990-1469
Fontaine Engineering und Maschinen GmbH
Martin Sjöström
Industriestr. 28, 40764 Langenfeld
Tel:. +49 2173 270041
Mobil:+49 151 16773893



Quality4.0 – Transparent product quality supervision in the age of Industry 4.0

Situation: Progressive digitalization is changing the game of many industrial sectors. One of the main aspects of todays’ Industry 4.0 […]

DynaWater4.0 – Dynamic value creation networks through digital collaboration between industrial water management and production

Initial situation Automation, networking and digital technologies are transformation drivers of process water treatment Coordination of production processes and process […]

ReduWearGuid – Reduction of wear on guiding components in hot rolling finishing and coiling line for improved service life time and product surface quality

Situation: The main requirements of wear components in hot strip mills are high resistance against: abrasive wear to increase lifetime, […]


OptProKomp – Optimized process chain for the generation of demand-oriented material properties for extremely loaded machine and plant components Situation: […]