Bruck Textiles Pty Ltd has partnered with Victoria University and received a $794,000 Federal Government grant for research on converting waste heat and waste water from textile processing into recycled water.


Project leader at the University’s Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, Associate Professor Mikel Duke, said previous industry trials of the technology showed desalination of wastewater – which usually relies on large amounts of electricity – could instead be powered by an industry’s own waste heat.


This project is the next stage in the commercial development of Victoria University’s membrane distillation technology, successfully demonstrated in previous projects funded by the Smart Water Fund, Water Quality Research Australia Ltd, City West Water and GWM Water.


Membrane distillation technology uses waste heat to evaporate wastewater through a fine membrane. This evaporated water condenses on the other side of the membrane as treated water for re-use around the plant.


"The technology is relevant to textile and other industries as saline effluent resulting from industrial processes is a common trade waste issue businesses must manage, both internally and in negotiation with water authorities," Associate Professor Duke said.


The funding is part of the Federal Government’s investment in projects to enhance the competitiveness of Australia's textile, clothing and footwear sector.