Unlocking wastewater opportunities at Lanaken Mill

Unlocking wastewater opportunities at Lanaken Mill

In June 2019, Sappi Europe completed the re-build of PM8 at Lanaken Mill. The mill can now produce woodfree coated paper in addition to lightweight coated paper. In line with our focus on using our expertise to help create a sustainable future, we made several environmental upgrades during the project.

Lignin in the effluent (wastewater) increases the chemical oxygen demand (COD). To overcome this challenge, the mill developed a series of unique anaerobic and aerobic systems and makes use of advanced oxidation technology in the effluent treatment plant. This has resulted in lower levels of lignin and COD.

COD measures the amount of oxygen required to break down the organic compounds in effluent. Essentially, it provides an index to assess the effect discharged wastewater will have on the receiving environment. The higher the level of COD, the greater the negative impact.

In addition to enhanced water clarity and quality, the improvements at the effluent plant have opened up new circular economy expansion opportunities. These include the production of biogas and the creation of new material streams from alginates recovery.

Resource scarcity and growing concern for natural capital