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Major project seeks sustainable solutions for managing industrial water

Published on 24.6.2021
Tampere University
Käsitelty kuva teollisuuslaitoksesta.
Stockphoto: Shutterstock.
The drive to improve water management and move towards a circular economy places mounting pressure on water-intensive industries. The CEIWA project funded by Business Finland brings academic and industry partners together to develop sustainable, safe and resource-efficient industrial water cycles.

The project titled Circular Economy of Water in Industrial Processes (CEIWA) explores and develops new digital solutions, technologies, water governance and legal issues associated with a circular economy approach to industrial water. 

By improving industrial water cycle management and creating new circular economy solutions, the project partners are looking to accelerate the shift to a sustainable future underpinned by carbon neutrality and resource efficiency.

The project involves a broad network of partners and is set to deliver a major impact. The CEIWA consortium is made up of six research institutions and eight companies. The overall project budget is more than €6.3 million. The pre-launch preparations resulted in the CLIC Innovation.

Optimising the industrial water cycle through computational modelling and biological treatment

A multidisciplinary team made up of researchers from all the three units in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University will participate in the CEIWA project. The Process Automation, Bio and Circular Economy and Computational Physics research groups will be responsible for the management of closed industrial water cycles and the development of sustainable solutions for treating industrial effluents.

“Among other things, we will collect data about pulp and paper manufacturing processes in order to optimise water management with the help of data analysis and computational modelling,” says Matti Vilkko, professor of process control at Tampere University. He will coordinate the academic research activities in the course of the project.

“We will be using the latest computational data analysis tools to efficiently and accurately characterise the changes in and interdependencies between specific chemical and physical variables,” points out Esa Räsänen, professor of physics.

The project will provide insights into the types of industrial wastewater that are suitable for anaerobic biological treatment, help industrial companies create value from treated effluents, and shed light on the amount of microplastics found in the wastewater and effluents from pulp and paper mills.   

“One of the topics we will investigate is the utilisation of industrial sludge in a thermochemical process. In addition, we will develop a method for analysing the amount of microplastics in effluents and determine how different treatment processes affect the amount of microplastics,” says Marika Kokko, associate professor (tenure track) in bio and circular economy.

The results will eventually benefit water-intensive industries, technology suppliers and service providers. The proposed solutions hold promise for a wide range of industrial applications.

The collaborative three-year project will launch in June 2021. Each of the academic partners will carry out a specific portion of the shared research plan to focus on questions that fall into their respective areas of expertise. The academic partners include Tampere University, the universities of Helsinki, Oulu and Eastern Finland, LUT University and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The industry partners are Andritz, Kemira, Teollisuuden Vesi, UPM, Valmet, Fortum, Gasum and Platform of Trust.


Matti Vilkko
tel. +358 40 833 2830
matti.vilkko [at]

Marika Kokko
tel. +358 50 447 8751
marika.kokko [at]