MULTI-ReUse – Modular treatment system for water reuse

The aim of the research project is the development, demonstration and assessment of a modular toolkit for the treatment of municipal wastewater for various purposes. The treated wastewater can for example be used by the industry, in agriculture or for groundwater recharge. For Germany, the project focuses on the usage as process water in the realm of industry. For usage outside Germany a modular toolkit for water treatment will be developed.

Research approach

Starting point is determining and ensuring various water qualities for the reuse of wastewater. To this end, possible markets will be identified in cooperation with potential exporters of the innovation. Usage demands and legal requirements will be assembled from literature. ISOE will focus on municipal water supply and will establish basic data for an international market analysis. For a sustainability assessment of the envisaged innovations it will be established in how far users are prepared to pay for the reused water and to what extent the new product is accepted individually and within society as a whole.

Another focus of ISOE’s research work will lie on knowledge transfer and the design of an export strategy with the help of which the modular toolkit and all its innovations developed within MULTI-ReUse can be marketed in other countries.


Over-utilization and contamination of conventional water resources will lead to water scarcity in the coming decades. As a new and currently still uncommon resource, wastewater comes into view which is a secondary raw material: there is great potential in the reuse of treated wastewater if producing at competitive costs is possible. Another challenge is the occasional supply of significant amounts of water on demand in the required quality. This supply has to be controlled and guaranteed as soon as the necessity arises.

Project partners

  • IWW Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wasserforschung, gGmbH (coordinator)
  • German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (DECHEMA)
  • De.EnCon GmbH, Oldenburg
  • BASF SE / inge GmbH
  • OOWV Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband
  • University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Chemistry - Biofilm Centre/Mechanical Engineering-Process Engineering
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
  • LANXESS, IAB Ionenaustauscher GmbH Bitterfeld, Bitterfeld-Wolfen


Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding measure “Future Proof Technologies and Concepts for Increasing Water Availability through Water Reuse and Desalination (WavE)”


Drewes, Jörg E./Engelbert Schramm/Björn Ebert/Marius Mohr/Marc Beckett/Kerstin Krömer/Christina Jungfer (2019): Potenziale und Strategien zur Überwindung von Hemmnissen für die Implementierung von Wasserwiederverwendungsansätzen in Deutschland. KA Korrespondenz Abwasser, Abfall 66 (12), 995-1003

Wencki, Kristina/Verena Thöne/Dennis Becker/Kerstin Krömer/Isabelle Sattig/Gunnar Lischeid/Martin Zimmermann (2019): Sustainability Assessment of Water Reuse Technologies - Application of a Decision Support Tool in International Case Studies. Book of Abstracts. 12th IWA International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse, Berlin, 16-20 June 2019, 638-644

Becker, Dennis/Sebastian Maaßen/Kerstin Krömer/Andreas Nahrstedt/Engelbert Schramm/Kristina Wencki/Barbara Zimmermann/Martin Zimmermann (2019): MULTI-ReUse: Zweckgebundene Wasserwiederverwendung für Industrie und weitere Sektoren. KA Korrespondenz Abwasser, Abfall 66 (6), 464-471

Schramm, Engelbert/Martin Zimmermann (2018): Das MULTI-ReUse-Verfahren. Häusliches Betriebswasser aus Siedlungsabwasser. fbr-wasserspiegel (2), 3-7

Becker, Dennis/Alexander Frey/Christina Jungfer/Kerstin Krömer/Philipp Kulse/Sebastian Maaßen/Engelbert Schramm/Kristina Wencki/Barbara Zimmermann/Martin Zimmermann (2017): Marktpotenziale der Wasserwiederverwendung - Anforderungen und Kriterien in unterschiedlichen Sektoren und mögliche Zielmärkte für das MULTI-ReUse-Verfahren. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 49. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

Cornel, Peter/Marius Mohr/Andreas Nocker/Hans-Christoph Selinka/Engelbert Schramm/Claudia Stange/Jörg E. Drewes (2018): Relevance of microbiological parameters for water reuse. Fact sheet by the WavE cross-cutting working group "Risk management in water reuse"

Cornel, Peter/Marius Mohr/Andreas Nocker/Hans-Christoph Selinka/Engelbert Schramm/Claudia Stange/Jörg E. Drewes (2018): Relevanz mikrobiologischer Parameter für die Wasserwiederverwendung. Fact Sheet zum WavE-Querschnittsthema "Risikomanagement in der Wasserwiederverwendung"

Drewes, Jörg E./Engelbert Schramm/Peter Cornel/Sebastian Maaßen (2018): Requirements for water recycling projects. Fact sheet by the WavE cross-cutting working group "Risk management in water reuse"

Drewes, Jörg E./Engelbert Schramm/Peter Cornel/Sebastian Maaßen (2018): Anforderungen an Wasserrecycling-Projekte. Fact Sheet zum WavE-Querschnittsthema "Risikomanagement in der Wasserwiederverwendung"

Merkel, Wolf/Barbara Zimmermann/Engelbert Schramm/Dennis Becker/Sebastian Maaßen (2018): Wasserwiederverwendung - ein Thema für deutsche Kommunen, Industrie und Landwirtschaft?. Factsheet MULTI-ReUse


2016/09 – 2019/12