Leather Cluster Barcelona Pilot Plant to obtain osmosis and reusable water in the leather industry

The treatment plant of Igualadina de Purification and Recovery S.L. (IDR), one of the pioneering plants in Europe in the treatment of industrial wastewater, and in this case in the process of transforming the leather of the 28 adobe companies in Igualada associated with the Leather Cluster Barcelona, ​​is working on the implementation of a Water Regeneration Station (ERA).

The project consists of treating the effluents from the IDR purification plant to obtain a flow of osmosis water (pure water) and another of salt water (the leather industry needs salt), both reusable for the leather industry or for other purposes. applications.



Project justification

The Catalan Water Agency (ACA) is betting on the use of unconventional resources to increase the guarantee and availability of water.

One of them is the regenerated water that is obtained from the application of an additional treatment to already purified water, through facilities called tertiary or Water Regenerating Stations (ERA). These tertiary processes, which include reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration treatments, give the water a quality suitable for different uses.

The adobe industry, as an agent of the circular economy that it is, since it revalues ​​waste from the food sector to produce durable and useful consumer goods for society, is well aware that water is a scarce commodity and that its good Management is a fundamental pillar for the sustainable use of natural resources.


The pilot plant is already in operation, it has been designed by the company from Iguala, Waterologies, experts in technology and intelligent equipment for water treatment.


The plant has two phases. The first is prior treatment to prepare the water to enter a membrane system and the second consists of passing the water through different types of state-of-the-art membranes to separate the water from the salt and other elements present in various stages such as nanofiltration and osmosis.

The automated pilot plant will generate 10 m3 of osmosis water and 2 m3 of salt water per day for a year. Different membrane options, their performance and all auxiliary systems will be tested.

The water obtained is analyzed at the A3 Leather Innovation Center UdL Research and Innovation Center to check the quality of the water and its suitability for the leather dressing process, and then the water is submitted to various companies that check the behavior of these waters in their respective processes.

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