AquaLine – A sustainable water management concept

Maximum water savings with AquaLine

    Sustainable paper production is only possible with professional water management. With AquaLine Flex, you reduce your fresh water consumption; with AquaLine Zero, you close the water circuits in your packaging paper machine and slash fresh water requirements to about 1.5 liters per kilogram of produced paper – exactly the amount that evaporates during paper production.

    The last few years have seen a steady decrease in the consumption of fresh water for the production of packaging papers. To address the technical challenge of closing the water circuits and thereby reducing the required fresh water supply to an absolute minimum, Voith has now developed a solution concept in cooperation with Progroup. AquaLine Zero promotes sustainability and decarbonization and has already been deployed on the ultramodern PM 3 in Sandersdorf-Brehna. “This not only enables closing of the water circuits and reduction of the effluent volume to zero liters but also lowers CO2 emissions by about 10 percent,” says Eckhard Gutsmuths, Product Manager Low Effluent Mill at Voith.

    With the new AquaLine Flex and AquaLine Zero concepts, Voith is expanding its water management solutions, which can already be found in numerous paper mills today.

    Substitution of fossile fuels of approximately 10% through bio gas generation by anearobic reactor

    Overview of AquaLine concepts

      How much effluent is produced, how much fresh water from the circuit is replaced, and is biogas recovered for thermal management? Below is a brief overview of the AquaLine concepts:

      Voith's AquaLine water management concepts in comparison
        AquaLine AquaLine Flex AquaLine Zero

      Specific effluent flow [l/kg]

      5 - 7 < 4 0

      Fulfillment of COD target range in paper machine loop

      Degree of fresh water substitution paper machine High Maximum
      Biological kidney *

      Salt content

      Low Low Increased
      Biogas generation ** **


      * depending on degree of water loop closure

      ** if anaerobic clarification stage is available


        Water management concept for existing lines

        With AquaLine, you can equip your existing lines with a modern water management concept to meet today’s needs – and thereby reduce your fresh water supply to about 7 liters per kilogram of produced paper.

        AquaLine water managament concept from Voith
        No matter where your paper mill is situated, the local legal provisions and the topics of environmental protection and resource consumption are becoming ever more important. With our AquaLine concept, we provide you with a module for making your paper mill significantly more sustainable and thus more environmentally friendly. AquaLine reduces the fresh water supply to about 7 liters per kilogram of produced paper. As a result, the amount of effluent, or purified process water in this case, flowing out of the paper mill is limited to about 5.5 l/kg.

        AquaLine is suitable for…

        • existing board and packaging paper lines
        • locations with moderate water rights
        • reduction of fresh water and effluent costs

        AquaLine Flex

          More flexibility and more sustainability

          With AquaLine Flex, you reduce your fresh water consumption to about 5.5 liters and simultaneously limit the amount of effluent to about 4 liters per kilogram of produced paper.

          AquaLine Flex water management concept
          AquaLine Flex offers you enhanced flexibility with lower resource consumption. Increasing production capacities is often met with stricter water rights. The solution to this is AquaLine Flex. The anaerobic and aerobic treatment of the process water makes it possible to return parts of the purified water to stock preparation. The process water from the paper machine loop is additionally treated in special filter systems. This water is reused as a replacement for fresh water at various consumption points. In this way, you considerably reduce your fresh water consumption and effluent volume.

          AquaLine Flex is suitable for…

          • new and existing packaging paper lines 
          • production increases at existing locations
          • locations with limited water availability, high fresh water and effluent costs, and relatively strict water rights
          • paper mills aiming to align production to environmental and sustainability criteria

          AquaLine Zero

            Closed water circuits and reduced CO2 emissions

            With AquaLine Zero, you close your water circuits, reduce your fresh water consumption to max. 1.5 l/kg of produced paper, and set the effluent volume to 0 l/kg. You can lower your CO2 emissions by about 10% at the same time.

            AquaLine Zero

            AquaLine Zero combines the outstanding technological developments in anaerobic water treatment in the form of a “biological kidney” and the consistent fresh water savings in connection with fresh water substitution in the complete production line. The biologically purified water is returned 100 percent to the production process. Thus, no effluent water is produced. The effluent treatment with AquaLine Zero generates a large amount of biogas, which can be used to reduce the primary energy consumption in the paper mill.

            In our reference line from Progroup in Sandersdorf-Brehna, the CO2 reduction achieved amounted to about 10%.

            AquaLine Zero is suitable for… 

            • new packaging paper lines 
            • locations with limited water availability, high fresh water and effluent costs, and relatively strict water rights
            • paper mills aiming to align production to the latest environmental and sustainability criteria

            Voith Engineering

              The key to sustainably successful water management

              With over 150 years of experience in papermaking, Voith has already brought about numerous innovations that have not just improved the quality of the produced paper while consistently reducing the raw materials and energy consumption. Voith has made papermaking sustainably more environmentally friendly.

              Voith engineering is the key to successful water management
              But it is not the development of pioneering technology alone that characterizes an increasingly environmentally friendly process – it is the close connection between high-tech expertise, innovative products, automation processes, and the concept planning and realization of complete mill layouts.

              For this, Voith has more than 120 engineering experts worldwide to support you with their knowledge and experience in the planning and realization of your sustainable paper mill. The concepts are based on 3D plans and modern industrial design incorporating all relevant operational and safety concepts.

              Our technical solutions for your sustainable water management

                Sustainable water management is ensured at your paper mill through various technical solutions and working principles, which we describe briefly below.

                Solution / Working principle   Short description
                Consistent water loop separation   The consistent separation of the water circuits with the InfiltraDiscfilter and the InfiltraScrewpress reduces the introduction of contaminating substances via the process water into the downstream process loop in order to reduce downtime for cleaning work and lower chemical consumption.
                Fresh water input   We lower fresh water consumption at all relevant consumption points, for example, with the FlowJec and the GyroSand Filter, while simultaneously ensuring the safe, quality-optimized operation of the paper machine.
                Stock water balance   We check and calculate the process water streams to be treated as well as the stock and water buffer capacities and optimize them.
                Counter current principle   Fresh water is only added at the paper machine and raw material input in the stock preparation section. As a result, the fresh water and the stock flow in opposite directions. This ensures minimal contamination in the process water circuit in the paper machine.
                DDynamic stock and water buffer arrangement   Dynamic buffers are not directly level-regulated; dynamic buffers can compensate for a lack or excess of water in the system by changing the stored volume.
                Effluent flow   With this principle, several parameters are pursued: almost constant effluent discharge, constant inlet conditions for the effluent treatment plant (so that no surge loads arise), and the stability of the relevant process parameters (such as temperature, pH, etc.) in the production process.
                Control strategy  

                This involves a self-regulating water management system that requires minimal intervention by the line operators.



                  AquaLine Flex increases resource-efficiency at Palm Aalen PM 5 

                  The complete AquaLine Flex water management system for the new plant, incorporating the wet-end process of the paper machine, was designed and installed with the full-line supplier expertise of the Voith and Meri team. This comprehensive mill-wide water management system ensures reduced fresh water consumption and resource-efficiency.

                  "We’re proud to have stepped up to the challenge. The combination of the state-of-the art BlueLine technology with our smart water management system achieves a maximum yield of high quality stock, while setting a new benchmark for the lowest energy consumption in the industry." 
                  Dr. Michael Trefz, President Projects at Voith Paper

                  Read the complete success story here

                  AquaLine Flex at Green Bay PM 4 for more sustainable production

                  At Green Bay PM 4, Voith's AquaLine Flex system was installed in cooperation with Meri and is an important component for sustainable production and protecting the environment. With the AquaLine Flex concept, 600,000 gallons (2,271 m³) of fresh water can be saved every day compared to comparable mills.

                  "Together with our municipal effluent treatment plant, we developed a concept that makes us completely independent of the nearby Fox River."
                  Jonathon Gates, Project Manager at Green Bay Packaging

                  Read the success story of this project

                  Progroup and Voith install the first AquaLine Zero in high-performance paper mill Taurus PM 3

                  Biological kidney at Taurus PM 3

                  Around 3,750,000 cubic meters of fresh water, corresponding to the annual water consumption of more than 80,000 people in Germany, can be saved annually.

                  The closed water circuit and modern processing technology for effluent treatment from Meri Environmental Solutions, a Voith subsidiary, enable especially sustainable operation of the mill.

                  Learn more about this project

                  The shared philosophy of Progroup and Voith includes long-term and sustainable thinking and actions and taking responsibility. The closed water circuit is therefore one of the most important innovations at the new packaging paper mill in Sandersdorf-Brehna, Germany, which produces around 750,000 metric tons of testliner and corrugated medium annually from 100% recycled paper.

                  Through the AquaLine Zero water management system, all process water occurring in the paper manufacturing process is treated in the company’s own water treatment facility on site (so-called biological kidney) and returned to the production process. This allows a reduction in fresh water consumption of around 80% in comparison with comparable mills.

                  m³ of fresh water can be saved annually

                  Consulting and support

                    Get in contact with us

                    Eckhard Gutsmuths

                    Global Product Manager


                    t +49 751 83 3053


                      AquaLine: Voith’s sustainable water management concept for paper production


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