The water technologist

Abbas Alloul (aged 30) recently started as a water treatment engineer at Project ONE. He is currently supporting the start-up of the water treatment plant. Later, he will also be responsible for its management, together with the plant manager and operators.

From the lab to Project ONE

How can we purify our wastewater even better? A question that has captivated Abbas Alloul for years. He obtained a PhD in water treatment from the University of Antwerp, where he also taught water treatment technology as a co-lecturer. In total, Abbas has eight years of research experience, mainly in the development of new water treatment technologies. For example, he investigated how we can treat wastewater with bacteria and then use it as a protein-rich food for shrimps and fish.

“By purifying wastewater, we produce a useful product at the same time. Such technologies are much needed to make the shift to a circular economy. After my academic research and some pilot projects, I am eager to apply my knowledge in practice. At Project ONE, I get to collaborate on a complete water treatment system. From the development phase over commissioning to its management. A unique experience as a water technologist.”

State of the art water treatment

With Project ONE, INEOS is building Europe’s most sustainable ethane cracker. The water treatment also meets the highest standards. “Our water treatment process produces very high-quality water,” Abbas explains. “In the first stage, we immediately remove certain components through physical separation. This is followed by a biological phase, in which bacteria convert the organic material in the wastewater into biomass. We can then easily remove the biomass, the released emissions we will capture and treat. In the final stage, we remove the most persistent material from the water through various filters and an ozone reactor.”

Not only wastewater is treated. Water reclamation is also high on the agenda at Project ONE. For instance, a system is provided to purify and reuse rainwater. An important process in Flanders, which is increasingly faced with drought.

Building the future

With his expertise and experience, Abbas is an important link in the development of sustainable and efficient water treatment at Project ONE. And he is helping to build the future of Antwerp. “The opportunity to collaborate on such a large project does not come around very often. With this ethane cracker, INEOS is investing in the future of Antwerp as a world port. And it immediately raises the bar in terms of sustainability. I have already learned so much in a short time. That bodes well for the future!”

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