On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the world’s first Kaumera plant was opened.
The Netherlands have the world first plant for the production of the biopolymer Kaumera Nereda® Gum. Kaumera Nereda® Gum is value raw product for the industry. At the same time the innovation reduces sludge waste by 20-35%.
By combining Kaumera Nereda® Gum with another raw material, the character of the substance changes. Kaumera is an amplifier and connector of properties. For example as part of lightweight biocomposites. This ensures that the application possibilities are practically endless.
Kaumera can retain water but also repel it. This makes various applications possible, for example in agriculture, horticulture and the concrete industry. These include reducing the leaching of fertilizers in agriculture. As a result, crops absorb fertilizers better. They are more resilient and grow better. The water-repellent properties also make Kaumera an excellent coating for concrete floors.
Two years ago, the Waterboard Rijn and IJssel started building the plant on the site of the sewage treatment plant in Zutphen. For the building environmental friendly material was used. All materials are sustainable, recycled or reused. Solar panels are installed on the roof. In the first stage the installation can produce 400 t Kaumera per year. The capacity can be doubled in future when the warm-up phase is completed. An overview on the process can be found in the sketch below and in this video.
The second raw materials plant to produce Kaumera will follow in 2020 in Epe, on site of the waterboard Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe.
The recovery of Kaumera from residual and waste water takes place within the National Alginate Development Program (NAOP). In this program, water boards are working closely with the Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), the engineering firm RoyalHaskoningDHV, the biotechnology company Chaincraft and TU Delft.
The realization of the raw materials factory in Zutphen was realized with financial contributions from the European Commission through the LIFE program, the Ministry of Economic Affairs through the DEI program and the Province of Gelderland.
Tour through the installation by Mark Smit (english subtitle): https://youtu.be/btpj73u8qTI
Information by Waterboard Rijn and IJssel