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

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



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