Supporting the battle against global warming with innovative water treatment solutions

Sep 29, 2016 10:00 AM

From 15th to 16th September 2016 GF Piping Systems hosted the annual Water Technology Summit (WTS) for the third time in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Water treatment experts from 10 European countries attended this in the meantime well established technology and networking exchange event. Matching from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference’s goal to restrict global warming to less than 2°C, this year’s WTS main topic was how to support that ambitious goal with new process technologies and innovative treatment equipment.

Water Treatment Summit 2016

The summit was opened by a speech of GF Piping Systems’ new president, Joost Geginat, who pointed out how important the role of developed economies in reducing greenhouse emissions is. Deriving from this responsibility, existing water treatment systems have to be upgraded and new ones build, as they have to reduce energy and chemical consumption as much as possible.

This overall topic was the guiding thread through the following keynote speeches, starting with Carles Crespo from Akvola Technologies, who presented their unique energy-saving micro-bubbler system for the use in dissolved air flotations in hard-to-treat oily wastewater streams. Sylvie Braekevelt from Aquaporin A/S gave some insights into the future of membrane design based on aquaporines for common water treatment and special applications like direct reuse of water from urine in space. The development of artificially produced aquaporines opens a wide range of new possibilities for the use of membranes to concentrate chemicals or clean water with a comparatively low amount of energy. Alexander Heisele from Bluetec B.V. followed with a presentation about forward osmosis technology in industrial waste water treatment. He showed the feasibility of this membrane based process at the example of several pilot units in operation at different production sites across Europe. The first day then was closed by water treatment veteran company Sulzer Chemtech Ltd.’s Marcel Suhner, talking about reducing consumption of water treatment chemicals with smart mixing technologies. Although this topic might be considered of being water under the bridge the large number of questions from the audience showed that it is still a pressing issue with a decent potential of saving chemicals and thus reducing costs.


Day two started with a presentation of Lutz Bungeroth from ItN Nanovation AG with a presentation about the simplification of pre-treatment steps in desalination plants by using ceramic flat sheet membranes. Pascal Ackermann from Kopf Syngas GmbH talked about sewage sludge gasification for the reuse of both energy and phosphorous out of sludge from municipal waste water treatment plants. This speech illustrated clearly – with the example of the nutrient recovery – that new process technologies not only need to be sustainable but economical as well.


The event closed with a detailed presentation from Dr. Achim Ried from Xylem Services GmbH showing which factors decide what kind of disinfection technology has to be selected for an application. The conclusion of this key note speech was that there is no simple and generally valid way to choose either ozonisation, UV-light or advanced oxidation process but each plant has to be evaluated closely in order to find the appropriate treatment system.

Joost Geginat and Roland Gröbli at the Water Treatment Summit 2016

The presentations have been well received by the participants strengthening GF’s customer relationship as the host of the overall event. Like the years before the total sum of 10.000 CHF of participation fees from our guests will be handed over to the GF Clean Water foundation in order to support drinking water projects in remote areas worldwide.



Attila Albert

Attila Albert
Public Relations & Communication
Georg Fischer Piping Systems Ltd.
Ebnatstrasse 111
8201 Schaffhausen

attila dot albert #at# georgfischer dot com