Waterstromen / Dutch Tanneries

Treatment of complex tannery wastewater with Paques technologies

The Hulshof Royal Dutch Tanneries (today Vitelco) was founded in 1876. It is one of the largest European producers of high quality upholstery leather, processing many thousands of hides every week for the furniture and aviation industry. The leather is both produced and specially finished at the Royal Dutch Tannery.

Motivated by the wish to reduce the amount of solid waste produced combined with increasing demands for the removal of sulphate, chloride and nitrogen, Hulshof outsourced their wastewater treatment to Waterstromen BV in 2001. Paques constructed a new plant for Waterstromen two kilometres outside the town of Lichtenvoorde where the tannery is located.

The new plant consists of anaerobic treatment of sludge and wastewater combined with biological sulphide oxidation and the Paques’ process for nitrogen removal. COD, sulphate, sulphide, chromium and nitrogen are all removed to low levels. The amount of solid waste was significantly reduced compared to the earlier physical/chemical treatment. The biogas generated in the treatment process is used to produce electricity.