media release

Generating Cleaner Water

Residents of the Puglia region in Italy are raising a glass to Akzo Nobel after the company helped to provide them with cleaner tap water and a cheaper method of disinfection.

Located in the “heel” of Italy, Puglia’s regional waterworks, Acquedotte Pugliese, collects it supplies of water from various rivers.

To help disinfect that water supply, Akzo Nobel’s Pulp and Paper Chemicals business, Eka Chemicals, has installed new generators for the production of chlorine dioxide, which replaced an older, less efficient method.

“Chlorine dioxide is nothing new in itself, it has been used in many countries for a long time,” explained Harriet Otterholm, head of Eka Chemicals’ Purate® in Europe.

“However, we have replaced the traditional method of producing chlorine dioxide with our own method. This is based on the knowledge we have acquired from pulp and paper manufacture.”

The Eka method uses sodium chlorate as a raw material instead of sodium chlorite (chlorate is cheaper).

“The generator has to be a little more complex, but by using our expertise, we have been able to develop a generator which is very efficient and user-friendly,” added Otterholm.

Puglia now benefits from more efficient generators and new technology, while costs have also been reduced. The change has also resulted in an improvement in the quality of drinking water.

In total, 14 new generators have now been installed in Italy since May last year, helping to supply around five million people with their daily drinking water.

(Released: June 7, 2004)