Is your startup working on effluent or, more specifically, Salty water treatment? 
If so, our call for projects should be of interest to you!

Who we are: 

We are Paul Wurth, a worldwide industrial technology provider that fosters a continuous capacity to innovate as we are convinced that innovation is a key factor to maintain the competitive lead on the market. 

Our current focus: 

In the frame of our environment protecting technologies/activities, we have developed a new process dedicated to the recycling of ironmaking zinc bearing residues, especially sludge resulting from the gas cleaning of blast furnaces.  The issue which such material is the content of Zn and Pb which are detrimental for the blast furnace process operation and thus direct recycling is not possible. That is why at Paul Wurth we have developed a new hydrometallurgical process, called CIROVAL TM, using HCl to selectively remove Zn and Pb. This process works in 2 steps:

  • The first step is a leaching process to remove the Zinc and the Lead in order to be able to recycle the valuable fraction, mainly composed of Fe and C.

  • The filtrate coming from the previous step is neutralized to precipitate the heavy metals. A water, highly concentrated in salt is produced and composed mainly of calcium chloride (~5%[w]) and some remaining heavy metal at very low concentration.


This salty water is an issue for our customers who are not located close to the sea and/or not allowed to discharge into any river. Indeed due to the high chloride content (~20-35 g/l) this water cannot be recycled internally.

The production of salty water is highly depending on the blast furnace sludge quantity treated by the process. One has to take into account that a production of blast furnace sludge per steelmaking plant is around ~15-30 kty. Consequently, 200-450 m3/d of salty water is recovered at the outlet of the hydrometallurgical process. Moreover, at EU level, we consider that more than 300 kty of fresh blast furnace sludge is produced annually and an important proportion of this sludge is currently dumped internally or externally , hence generating huge volume of stockpile. It was estimated that since 40 years, 11 Mio.t sludge was produced by steelmakers and are currently stored in EU. Worldwide far more than 100 blast furnace sites are looking for innovative recycling options like CIROVAL. This, whithout considering plants located in China.

Detailed composition of this salty water will be provided on request.


What we are offering: 

Our proposal through this call operated by Paul Wurth InCub, the entrepreneurial branch of the company, is to share our technological expertise in developing market ready solutions with young, innovative companies, through cooperative technology development, field testing and other business development activities. Besides, we have the capability to accelerate your product development and market access. 

What we are looking for: 

We are deep diving into the technologies that are designed for:

  • Concentrating high salinity water and enabling the recover of the valuable calcium chloride located in our salty water. The idea will be to use the calcium chloride content to produce valuable product as de-icing salt…. In such an application the salt concentration in our salty water has to increase from 5%[w] to 34%[w]. Due to this concentration, the heavy metals will concentrate proportionally and should be removed up front.

  • Recovering by precipitation the contained calcium chloride

  • Using the calcium chloride in chemical/biochemical reactions

  • Any idea which enables to transform/use this salty water into/as a valuable product….

If you’re onto something new and disruptive, we want to hear from you.

As for your current stage of development:

We know some new technologies are either difficult or expensive to bring to the market, so what we require is a validated proof of concept (POC). The more you have the more we can help you scale. . 

Do you have what it takes to impress our panel of experts? 

Our invitation to APPLY: 

Please submit your application describing your technology value proposition until 08.12.2017 using the link below. Our scouting team will then review your application and be in touch if they feel you’re onto something promising! We’ll then schedule an interview with our selection jury at our Luxembourg HQ.

More about this OFFER?

You will get the opportunity to develop your business by a startup-corporate collaboration with Paul Wurth S.A. and our #InduTech members. During the incubation period in our InCub, you will get support from our experts. For more information please visit