In the face of this challenge, Research, Development and Innovation work within SUEZ focuses not only on recycling complex material in the waste business but also on the reuse of wastewater, the optimisation of water networks and even seawater desalination.
In order to reach these ambitious complex waste recovery objectives,SUEZ, through its BUs, combines its expertise with those of other industrials which are complementary (Renault, Airbus, Nexans, etc). To do this, close coordination upstream with manufacturers is essential. Along with is industrial clients, SUEZ is thereby developing methods for dismantling large equipment such as aeroplanes and automobiles. These methods thereby encourage the reuse of parts and the recycling of materials (metals and carbon fibre, for example) to improve the “circular” potential. Since 2012, the Group stepped up its involvement in R&D on industrial technologies.
In the waste, business, SUEZ launched significant innovative programmes on improving solid waste treatment processes through material recovery (recycling of plastics, rubber and metals) and organic recovery (compost). Today, these innovative programmes enable environnement to be a reference player in these fields.
As another contribution to the circular economy, SUEZ introduced in June 2014 “High5”, a new glass sorting and recovery facility in Antwerp (Belgium). This plant is a crucible of cutting-edge optical sorting technology for glass recycling. High5 is the product of an industrial partnership between SITA, the European leader in waste recovery, and Sibelco, world leader in the supply of minerals to the glass industry.
In the water business, Degrémont has strengthened its leadership in the area of desalination,, thanks to the technique known as reverse osmosis. This technique enabled a major advance in watertreatment and constantly continues to develop. Exploratory research in new desalination technologies is currently being conducted and should enable energy savings to be pushed further. SUEZ, through its BU Degrémont, is present in the largest desalination market. The Perth plant, and more recently that in Melbourne, emphasise the level of the Group’s involvement in setting up solutions adapted to the requirements related to climate change.
In the area of water disinfection using ultraviolet rays in addition to ozone the range of products developed by Degrémont Technologies was expanded in order to meet requirements in higher flow rates. This range of products marketed directly or incorporated in turnkey solutions offered by Degrémont, are also applied in the areas of drinking water and urban and industrial wastewater. The development of oxidation techniques to treat residual micropollutants in wastewaste is also being studied.