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Port of Antwerp-Bruges seeks innovative solutions for sustainable PFAS water treatment

February 9, 2024
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ANTWERP : During infrastructure projects in the Antwerp Port area including soil excavation, significant amounts of PFAS-contaminated drainage water are released.

This water, comprising contaminated groundwater and brackish Scheldt and dock water, undergoes purification before being discharged.

However, current purification methods are deemed insufficiently effective and sustainable. Consequently, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, with the backing of VLAIO’s Innovative Public Procurement Programme, is initiating a market consultation targeting pioneering companies in the water treatment sector. Their collective objective is to devise, trial, and showcase innovative, scalable solutions.

Furthermore, PFAS contamination is widespread across various locations in Flanders and Europe, including the Antwerp port area. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges prioritizes the well-being of people and the environment, emphasizing environmental stewardship and community welfare in its port operations and infrastructure endeavours.

PFAS compounds exist in both long and short chains. While existing methods using activated carbon effectively adsorb long-chain PFAS, they are less efficient for short-chain variants. In the Antwerp port area, short-chain PFAS compounds are predominant, having spread extensively with brackish groundwater. Sustainable and scalable solutions tailored to this specific challenge have yet to undergo large-scale testing in Flanders. Therefore, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, supported by the Innovative Public Procurement Programme (PIO), is issuing a public tender aimed at companies with innovative technologies. Through this tender, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges seeks to expedite the development of scalable solutions within an operational setting in a short timeframe.

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