The chemical company Solvay, which is based in Herten, requires high-quality water for its production processes. For almost fifteen years, this has been supplied by Evilim Industriewater, the joint venture between WML and Evides Industriewater. The contract was recently renewed. Evilim and Solvay are currently working on a solution to make the water even purer. This is to make products of an even higher quality and to improve the durability of existing products.


Solvay in Herten is one of the two Dutch branches of the global multinational with the same name. The company employs around sixty people and produces a catalytic converter that is needed to prepare hydrogen peroxide at other Solvay factories. Hydrogen peroxide is mainly known as a bleaching agent that is used in the paper industry but it is also sold to manufacturers of detergents, personal grooming products, and foodstuffs. In addition to producing the catalytic converter, the company in Herten also processes hydrogen peroxide into disinfectants for items such as packaging. These products are bottled in Herten and supplied to clients in ready-to-use quantities.


Water specialist


For almost fifteen years, Solvay has been availing itself of Evilim's services. Evilim produces demineralized water for Solvay. This was initially carried out using water from Solvay's own groundwater wells. Since 2008, the demineralized water has been produced using drinking water from WML, says the site manager Peter Otten. 'Solvay started making products of a higher quality. In addition, our deferrization system was at the end of its operating life. So it was a good time to switch over to the supply of reliable drinking water by WML. Although we are not water specialists, we require extremely high-quality water. Evilim has the specialist expertise needed to provide us with that water.’


Striking the ideal balance


Evilim uses an RO system* to supply the demineralized water. In recent years Solvay has come to need even purer water. The company wants to continually improve its products. It is working on new uses for its products, for example in the pharmaceutical industry. 'The demands placed on the composition of our products are even greater,' explains Otten. 'We also want to improve the durability of existing products. In our laboratory we identified the requirements the water must meet in order to accomplish this. In a subsequent pilot project, Evilim used an additional mobile RO system to test whether water of this quality could be supplied on an industrial scale. We aimed to strike the ideal balance between the quantity of water required, the quality of that water and the costs associated with the treatment process. The results of the pilot project were positive.'


Creating added value

 Sometimes, when you are looking for the ideal balance, a different solution makes more sense, concludes Evilim employee Monique Willems-Los. 'The increased purity provided by expanding the RO system is sufficient for most of Solvay's products. However, to produce very small quantities of even purer water, we advised Solvay to procure a mixed bed for additional purity. Making recommendations like this is in line with our commitment to creating added value for our clients and providing them with the best possible service.’


* an RO system is a system that uses reverse osmosis. During this process, water is forced through a membrane, leaving dissolved substances and microorganisms behind in a concentrated solution. The water that is produced contains only a very small quantity of dissolved substances.




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