Mobile Kaumera unit moves to Portugal

In June of this year, the first mobile Kaumera Extraction Installation (KEI) was brought in operation in Utrecht, the Netherlands* The mobile KEI was developed as part of the WATER-MINING project. The goal is that this new mobile installation makes it possible to conduct international trials on the extraction of Kaumera under local conditions. After three months of succesful operation, the KEI has now been dismantled and transported to its new location, Faro-Olhão in Portugal.

Smooth performance in Utrecht

The commissioning and operation in Utrecht went very well - mirroring the great work of all involved companies/partners.

During the first months of operation, we collected valuable data that is required for future considerations to bring Kaumera extraction to full scale in Utrecht. The Kaumera yield was in the range of the existing installations in the Netherlands: About 25-30% of the organic matter initially present in the granular sludge was extracted in the form of the valuable polymer Kaumera. The presentation of the results and further discussions will take place during a Kaumera symposium which is planned for November with Delft University of Technology, Royal HaskoningDHV, Wetsus and Water Authority  Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden.

Operations in Faro-Olhão

Disassembly and assembly went very well.  How the equipment withstood the transport can only be assessed in detail during water testing when all electrical and mechanical parts will be operated.

The Portuguese water authority Águas do Algarve, is providing excellent support in Faro-Olhão and prepared everything well for the pilot arrival. Amongst others, a dedicated concrete slab, main power supply cable, chemicals and utilities were organized (water / sludge). Delft University of Technology and Águas do Algarve will operate the pilot hand in hand in the coming months.

Objectives for the KEI in Faro-Olhão

The partners involved will utilize the mobile plant to optimize the extraction process for Faro-Olhão sludge. Tests will include different wastewater characteristics and conditions e.g. saltwater, climate etc.

Kaumera from Portugal will be collected and its composition and properties will be compared to the Kaumera from Dutch extraction installations. It will also be evaluated if Kaumera obtained from Portugal and the Netherlands can be used for the same applications. Can new applications be developed?

Student groups from the University of Algarve will try to identify which applications of Kaumera in the Algarve region are of special interest. For instance the water absorption capacity of Kaumera could be of special interest for the local farmers.

Furthermore, we hope that we have the opportunity to welcome many visitors to the KEI and that research in the KEI will pave the way for a full scale Kaumera extraction installation in Faro-Olhão.


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.

Project partners for all Kaumera-related activities in the WATER-MINING project are Delft University of Technology, ACCIONA, Águas do Algarve, Lenntech, RHDHV and Wetsus.


*Press release Juni 2022: Mobile Kaumera installation - Kaumera (English)

More about WATER-MINING can be found at and Kaumera extraction in a mobile demo unit - watermining