Tannins for waste water treatment (TanWat)

Last changed: 20 August 2020

The project will develop methods for water purification by using residues in the forest industry. By increasing the use of the side product, it will benefit both the forest industry and the environment as the methods will be more environmentally friendly.

The long-term goal is to describe the  fundamentals for establishing an industrial process based on the extraction of chemicals, tannins, from pine andspruce bark, a rich by-product that currently has very low value. The global production of tannins is about 1 million tons / year, but no significant production takes place within the EU.

Previous tests have shown that commercially available products based on wood raw materials in South America have good effects as chemicals for sewage treatment and the purpose is to produce similar products from internal resources from the forest. The products will be evaluated in a number of practical applications; including municipal wastewater, drinking water, wastewater in a biogas plant, treatment of wastewater streams and applications in other flows in the cellulose industry.

The project includes: selection and pretreatment of raw materials, extraction techniques, chemical identification and modification of tannins and applications in the described systems, including a number of pilot scale demonstrations.

The project will also provide a preliminary estimate of production costs for a designated industrial output and revenue from products generated during the process. This will be done in close cooperation with industry partners in the project. The project will lead to new biomaterials from bark that could replace fossil-based chemicals under several industrial processes such as the pulp and paper industry, sewage and water purification plants.

Financial support by Botnia Atlantica (Europa), Österbotten Förbund (Finland), Region Västerbotten (Sweden). Project partners: Swedish University of Agricultural sciences (SLU) and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE).

The project will engage and involve regional forest industries such as SCA, UPM, etc. and also other related regional chemical industries, e.g. Wibax, that provides chemicals for waste water treatments in industrial scale and plants that manage waste waters (e.g. DÅVA DAC, Norrmejerier, Maitokolmio, Karleby Vatten and Vakin.).


Project timetable: 2018-06-01 – 2020-12-31

Co-financiers: Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences (SE), LUKE (FI), Österbotten Förbund (FI), Region Västernorrland (SE)

Totalt project budget: 1 119 741 EUR

EU-support: 671 843 EUR