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ENPI-project with Lappeenranta University of Technology 

Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT, has received ENPI funding for the Exploiting Municipal and Industrial Residues project, which investigates the use of an electric discharge method for the purification of waste water and utilization of paper mill waste.  The Finnish partner in cooperation is the CTS Engtec from Kouvola. Professor Mika Horttanainen from LUT is responsible for the project.

Together in cooperation with its Russian partners, LUT will investigate utilization of industrial waste and purification of waste water.

There are three LUT units participating in the project – Environmental Engineering, Chemical Technology and Nordi – as well as Russian partners. The Russian parties in the research are Saint Petersburg State Technological University of Plant Polymers and Saint Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics. The Finnish partner in cooperation is the CTS Engtec, which brings international experience of engineering and project management in process industry. 

SCA's tissue paper mill in Svetogorsk uses recycled paper as raw material

Mixed with it there are impurities such as metal wires and plastic, as well as paperboard and paper, which is unsuitable for recycling and is separated from the raw material. The paper manufacturing process itself creates waste water, which contains sludge. The project investigates how these two materials can be processed and recovered. At the moment, both waste components are taken to a landfill.

The project systematically studies the paper mill's industrial processes and looks for processing methods for the waste. In addition, utilization of waste as material and energy on the Russian side is investigated. Transfer of the waste over the border to Finland for waste recovery is also possible, Horttanainen tells, and he continues by saying that the transfer must be sustainable from the viewpoint of the environment and economically as well before undertaking it.

Water purification research by LUT

Adjunct Professor Sergei Preis and Professor Marjatta Louhi-Kultanen from the LUT Chemical Separation Technology Laboratory are responsible for the project's water purification research. The project uses the electric discharge method to purify residues of medicinal products and vitamins from the waste water of Polysan pharmaceutical firm in St. Petersburg. According to Louhi-Kultanen, there are about a dozen pharmaceutical firms in St. Petersburg and new production processes are underway. Therefore, the water treatment method could be utilized even more widely in the area of St. Petersburg.

In the method, a quick high-voltage discharge, which is comparable to a lighting strike, is conducted to water.  In the treatment facility, the discharge forms ozone and hydroxyl radicals, which, with the help of a chemical reaction, break down medicinal residues dissolved in the water. The method has been tested on waste water, and it has been found a good and economic way to purify water. The project also studies the suitability of the method as a method of disinfection. Horttanainen believes that the technology can be commercially utilized in the near future.

Water treatment investigation with the help of Ekotrans

In another investigation related to waste water treatment, Ekotrans, a waste treatment firm, is about to begin collection and treatment of plastic waste to provide raw material for recycled plastic.

– The project studies purification of waste water created in the manufacture of recycled plastic. Among the waste water there are detergent, label, solvent and glue residues, and the electric discharge method is used in their removal, Preis tells. 

Co-operation with EU´s neighbour countries

The purpose of the EU's ENPI programme is to support cooperation with the European Union's neighbour countries. The South-East Finland - Russia ENPI Programme area consists of South Karelia, Kymenlaakso, South Savo, as well as the city of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The goal of the programme is to strengthen cooperation between the regions and create good conditions for its implementation.


Additional information:

Professor Mika Horttanainen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, tel. +358 (0)40 848 5850, mika.horttanainen(at)

Professor Marjatta Louhi-Kultanen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, tel. +358 (0)40 701 8078, Marjatta.Louhi-Kultanen(at)

Director, Russia market, Juha Kemppi, CTS Engtec, tel. +358 (0) 400 158 408






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