During the waste water cleaning process , a new waste stream is created, i.e. waste sludge. Nowadays companies usually have to pay to get rid of this sludge. During the PWO projects VaSA and DemoVaSA methods to valorize this waste stream have been investigated. An extraction procedure was developed to extract EPS out of the sludge. The main components of the extracted EPS are polysaccharides and proteins. Polysaccharides and proteins can be used in several applications.
In this project, the extracted EPS will be validated in two applications. One application is the use of the extracted EPS in a curing compound for concrete. The curing compound with the extracted EPS will have several advantages over currently available commercial products. The main advantage is the fact that the curing compound with EPS is water based and thus not based on an organic solvent. Some of the curing compounds on the market are also water based, but they also contain products derived from crude oils (e.g. paraffine). Besides the use of EPS in a curing compound, they can also be added to adhesives or glues. Extracted EPS can consist up to 70 % of proteins. At the moment proteins are sometimes already added to glues. However, these proteins are mostly derived from plants (e.g. soy or camelina), this can give a conflict because said crops are also used in food and feed. The EPS can easily be extracted from a waste stream, hereby limiting the cost to produce them.
On one end companies with a wastewater treatment plant want to get rid of their sludge because they often have to pay for its removal. On the other end there are companies who are looking for innovations in terms of concrete and adhesives or glues. In terms of valorization of the extracted EPS we look at these two market needs: on one end, service will be provided on the extraction of EPS from waste sludge, on the other end, the applications in concrete and adhesives developed in this project will be patented.