During the period from February to June 2016, Edwin de Jong, a civil engineering student at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, carried out research into the application possibilities of the humic and fulvic acids produced at the Martien van Blanken water production site in Andijk.
The regeneration of ion exchangers using salt water produces a residual stream known as ‘brine’. The brine at the Andijk site contains water, salt, sulphate, nitrate, humic and fulvic acids, and other trace elements. Technically speaking, these substances can be separated from each other and therefore be (re)used. But this is costly and not always effective from an environmental perspective.
For this reason, Edwin’s research focused on the application possibilities in the case that the brine is submitted to only a limited number of separation and dewatering steps. The humic and fulvic acids residual produced in this way are therefore less concentrated and still contain trace elements.
The research shows that feed and agro should be considered the most viable applications. Feed ‘scores’ better financially, while agro does better in terms of sustainability. The lower degree of dewatering does not decrease the application possibilities and thereby returns, but does make for more challenges and costs in the supply chain.
Edwin graduated in August.