Using paper mill sludge for cleaning water surfaces

Labels: Slovenia

PapermillTechnological Environmental and Logistic Center (TOC d.o.o.), a R&D company owned by Port of Koper d.d., has developed an innovative process for conversion of paper mill sludge into a highly effective absorbent for cleaning water surfaces named HAWSC. It can be used as an absorbent of oils and chemicals, primarily in ports and marinas.

The product has dual environmental benefit: on one hand it uses waste, that is a considerable environmental burden (over 4 million tonnes of paper mill sludge is produced annually in the EU), while on the other hand the product is a natural replacement of synthetic absorbents that require significant energy input and greenhouse gas emissions during production. It is up to 7-times more efficient than existing commercial absorbents. After use, the used HAWSC absorbent becomes a high-calorific fuel and its ash becomes a new absorbent (meta-caolin), thus prolonging benefits through its life-cycle.

The company has been awarded a EU Eco-innovation grant in 2009 to establish two production lines in Slovenia and Finland with 20.000 tonnes of production capacity each, what would cover 2 % of EU potential demand. The first production line was established in the paper mill Vipap Krško in Slovenia in 2010, the second in Finland is planned to be operational in 2011.



  • requirement for using large quantities of waste sludge from paper mills
  • commercial opportunity for competitive product – a highly efficient absorbent


  • limited human and financial resources for industrial-scale investment


  • industrial solid waste recycling
  • resource efficiency
  • energy efficiency
  • cost reduction

Further Information

Back to Eco-Innovation in Practice

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Tags: Slovenia