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The challenge involves the dispersions produced in BASF Heerenveen, which find application in paints and printing inks. During the rinsing process of production units, a by-product called latex sludge is released in the form of an aqueous dispersion with film-forming properties. Although undesirable, the material is unsuitable for incineration due to its relatively low calorific value. BASF is seeking innovative ideas and concepts to effectively utilize and valorize this latex sludge, considering its unique characteristics. While this area is not currently a core activity for the company, the focus is on reducing the ecological footprint. Furthermore, the challenge involves exploring flocculation, filtration, membrane technology (already in use at BASF Heerenveen), and thickening processes to isolate the latex material from the water emulsion. Out-of-the-box ideas are welcomed and encouraged. Your solution should address and provide a proof of concept for the separation process, avoiding the destruction of a potentially valuable product, and contributing to a closed water management system.

Valorisation and upcycling (into products) of latex sludge waste streams.

  • Physical processes
  • Biological processes
  • Hybrid processes


Participating in this challenge offers the opportunity to achieve the following benefits: A significant reduction in your ecological footprint through innovative solutions for utilizing latex sludge and adopting more sustainable waste management practices. The transformation of a cost-intensive activity into a revenue-generating endeavor. Instead of viewing the management of latex sludge as a financial burden, your solution can turn it into a valuable resource that generates income or cost savings. This shift in perspective presents a unique chance to enhance financial profitability and operational efficiency. We therefore prefer to develop, together with a startup, a business case with an investment and return of investment element, whether or not through a pilot.


We are seeking innovative solutions in the following technology areas: Flocculation Filtration Thickening processes specific applications already under consideration include flocculation and membrane technology. We are not looking for solutions that involve cost and labor-intensive processes. In addition to the previously mentioned, your solution should meet the following criteria: Sustainability: It must align with environmentally friendly practices. Cost efficiency: The solution should offer economic viability and efficiency. Non-labor intensive: The ideal solution should minimize reliance on extensive manual labor.