The LANXESS caprolactam production site in Lillo consumes over 3,000,000m³ of tap water a year. This is mainly used as process and boiler feed water, and leaves the site either as wastewater discharged into the river Scheldt or as water vapour that evaporates from the cooling towers.
Today, an intermediate waste water stream is being treated with reverse osmosis. Extensive plant trials have indicated that the permeate of this reverse osmosis installation can replace some of the process water, reducing both tap water consumption and the amount of wastewater generated.
This project was already partly implemented in 2016, leading to a 90,000m³ (2.8%) reduction in tap water consumption and 4.8% decrease in the wastewater discharged into the river Scheldt. The project will be fully implemented in 2017 and from 2018 onwards, a decrease in tap water consumption of 300,000m³ (9.4%) per year can be expected, while the wastewater flow generated by LANXESS will be reduced by 15.8%.
The integrated production complex for polyamide and precursors for plastics in Lillo (Antwerp) is the backbone of LANXESS’ global business for high-tech plastics. The complex has a capacity of 220,000 metric tons of caprolactam per year.