The Dow Chemical Company

Type

Type 1: Commercial partnership

Sector of the company/organisation

Chemicals & Materials

Name of activity/project (or solution offered)

Wastewater Recycling

Relevant urban sustainability topic

climate (mitigation, adaptation,…)
energy
resource-efficiency (waste, water, materials, circular economy,…)

Start year

1990

Brief project summary

Dow Terneuzen in the Netherlands is the city’s largest employer, and the heaviest industrial water user. Through an innovative recycling program, Dow Terneuzen accepts wastewater each day from the city, has it purified by Evides, and uses it to generate steam and feed its manufacturing plants.

Short activity description

Through the wastewater recycling program, Dow reuses 30,000 cubic meters of wastewater each day from the city. In addition to lowering its reliance on scarce freshwater in the region and decreasing the need to remotely source freshwater, Dow Terneuzen has reduced its energy use by 95% when compared to the energy cost needed for conventional desalination of seawater. The energy reduction at Dow Terneuzen by reusing wastewater from the city is the equivalent of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60,000 tons each year.

Achieved impact

The model is now covering around 65% of Dow Terneuzen’s fresh water intake. It also produces 2 million cubic metres of demi-water a year. 

Is this project a best practice? Why?

Dow has won several international industrial awards for their initiative.

They wish to fully eliminate their fresh water intake in 2020 and therefore have started certain new initiatives. New partnerships and technology development programs that will provide them with alternative water sources, so that they can fully close their water chain as of 2020.

Furthermore, they are planning on developing the next level technology for industrial water reuse, to be exported to other industries around the world. That would be a second real breakthrough (after the introduction of their reuse of municipal waste water mid-2000).