Mobile Kaumera Installation for International Research

News - 09 June 2022 - Communication Pro2Tech

On June 8, the first mobile Kaumera Extraction Installation (KEI) was officially opened. The new mobile installation now makes it possible to conduct international trials on the extraction of Kaumera under local conditions.

Kaumera is a versatile biobased raw material extracted from wastewater. It can be used in many applications as an excellent substitute for petrochemicals. Since its launch in 2019, there has been considerable international interest in Kaumera. There are now two production sites, in Zutphen and in Epe, the Netherlands. Kaumera is being developed in a partnership between Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe, Waterschap Rijn en IJssel, the Stichting Toegepast Onderzoek Waterbeheer (STOWA), engineering firm RoyalHaskoningDHV, biotechnology company Chaincraft and Delft University of Technology.

Testing for scaling up

The mobile installation consists of four containers and two tanks. It is therefore easy to transport. Working with the mobile KEI gives interested parties valuable information about the reliability of the technology and the quality of the locally produced Kaumera. One can tailor the extraction entirely to local conditions such as sludge composition and environmental factors. By analyzing the results, one gets a solid basis for scaling up to an own Kaumera plant.

First successes

Kaumera extraction in the mobile plant takes place in essentially the same way as in the regular plants. The Kaumera is produced in batches and the initial results in Utrecht are very positive.

We were able within a few batches to produce Kaumera from Utrecht sludge. The process worked very well and it shows that our pilot is indeed able to adapt quickly to new sludge and WWTPs. This is a result of the good cooperation between the partners and all the knowledge gained from the earlier start-ups.

Because things are going so well in Utrecht, we can soon move on to the next location. The stay in Utrecht was primarily intended to start up the installation. However, it appears that we can already make enough Kaumera there to perform good analyses.

The mobile KEI on the road

Around end of July, beginning of August, we will start preparing the installation for transport and move the pilot plant to a sewage treatment plant in Faro-Olhão, Portugal. We hope that everything will go just as smoothly as in Utrecht and expect to be able to produce Kaumera soon after the move.


The mobile KEI was developed as part of the WATER-MINING project. This is an EU-funded multidisciplinary research project focused on innovative, circular solutions for water management. It is led by Delft University of Technology. WATER-MINING operates pilot sites in Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands, together with international partners within government, industry and science. Through these activities it develops innovative business models for, among other things, recovery of raw materials from industrial and domestic wastewater.




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