Water boards use significant amounts of synthetic polyelectrolytes as a flocculant in sewage treatment plants. The water boards would like to see whether it is possible to use greener biobased alternatives for this. In this case a biobased flocculant based on potato residual flows.

Project manager
September 2020 to August 2021

In this collaborative project it is investigated whether and how bioflocculants can be made from potato waste and how they work in comparison with the regularly used (acrylamide) polyelectrolytes. Flocculation is used in water purification to remove substances from water. This process is used in the purification of ground and surface water to form drinking water as well as in the purification of sewage water

Win win

A possible alternative is the production of flocculants from starchy (residual) flows from the potato processing / starch processing industry, such as Novidon, for example. These residual flows can now cause a considerable burden for water purification systems. Using the residual flows for the production of a biobased alternative to synthetic polyelectrolytes can therefore result in a win-win situation. The starch waste flow is partly converted into a valuable product, while at the same time the burden (and therefore costs) for water purification would decrease.

What is Flocculation?

Flocculation or flocculation is an essential step in water purification. It is a process in which particles adhere to each other in a loose structure. A well-known example is the formation of snowflakes by joining snow crystals.
The structure of flakes is “airy” and also quite easy to break because the bond between the molecules and groups of molecules is not that strong.


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