ULTIMATE will act as a catalyst for 'water smart industrial symbiosis' (WSIS), a concept that fosters unique partnerships between industrial actors to support the circular economy.
  • Dates1 June 2020–31 May 2024
  • SponsorHorizon 2020
  • Funded€13,527,116 across all partners
  • PartnersAquabio Ltd plus around 25 international collaborators

The ULTIMATE project is focused around nine large-scale demonstration sites across Europe and the SE Mediterranean. The sites are drawn from the agro-food processing, beverage, heavy chemical/petrochemical and biotech industries. Research is exploring ways to recover, refine and reuse wastewater (industrial and municipal) but also extract and exploit energy (combined water-energy management, treatment processes as energy producers, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery), and materials (nutrient mining and reuse, extraction and reuse of high-added-value exploitable compounds) contained in industrial wastewater. Other aspects of the research examine smart tools to optimise and control sites, assess costs and benefits, explore stakeholder engagement and emerging business opportunities.

Cranfield has partnered with Aquabio Ltd, a pioneer in industrial water recycling and wastewater-to-energy, to undertake work at their anaerobic MBR plant (AnMBR) on the site of the world-famous Glenmorangie distillery in Scotland. The main purpose of this work is to recover ammonia for use as fertiliser, recover heat for use in the distillery and also recover water for reuse. Cranfield is also leading efforts to explore societal expectations and impacts from such industrial partnerships.

Further information

Find out more about the project on the ULTIMATE website or LinkedIn page.