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FERMACID - Optimization of the fermanox®technology (natural groundwater deferrization) under extreme conditions.

In 2017, the pumping permit for ground water from the fertilizer manufacturer ‘DCM’ from Grobbendonk will expire. Therefore they will need another source of water. Since tap water is too expensive, surface water is not nearby and not enough rainwater is available, they decided to make use of shallow groundwater. Shallow groundwater contains a lot of iron and manganese, and this must be removed before it is used as process water. Conventional deferrization methods need chemicals and filters to precipitate and remove iron from the water. The fermanox technology, used during this project, is based on oxidation in soil aquifer. By introducing oxygen in this layer by means of the back flow of oxygen-enriched water, the iron and manganese become insoluble resulting in pumped water that no longer contains iron or manganese. Deferrization of groundwater is difficult in acidic conditions, as they occur in the soil where the fertilizer manufacturer ‘DCM’ is located. Therefore ‘AQ fer’, the distributor of the fermanox technology in Belgium, will send the water over a bed of calcite which will buffer the water and will remain the iron undissolved in the aquifers.

With this demonstration, the operation, stability, simplicity and ease of use of the technique will be proved in difficult circumstances.

Companies that have submitted this project:

·         ‘Alguma SPRL’ is already provider of solutions for various water problems since 2007. Four years ago,  ‘Alguma SPRL’ started with the distribution of the FERMANOX® technology in Belgium (Flanders). Until recently there was no legal framework in which this technology could be applied. Consequently, the introduction of the Fermanox technology in Flanders is really slow.

·         Claus Fermanox: Mr. Carl Claus has extensive expertise in the marketing of technical products and new technologies and the expansion of dealer network.

·         ‘Winkelnkemper GmbH’, the manufacturer of FERMANOX® systems acts in this demonstration and dissemination project as subcontractor of CLAUS FERMANOX. The company celebrates the 30th anniversary of the FERMANOX® technology. This technology was developed 30 years ago by Dr.-Ing. Winkelnkemper in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Rott from the ‘University of Stutgard’. Currently there are about 10,000 installations in Germany and the Netherlands.

·         ‘DCM’: The family-company ‘De Ceuster Meststoffen’ from Grobbendonk is widely known as a manufacturer of organic fertilizers, among others, sold in all garden centers under the trade name ‘DCM’. For the production process (and in the context of further expansions) the water consumption is calculated at 160 m³ / day (for about 16 hours). Water of good quality is  indispensable for the production process.

·         ‘AQ fer’ is founded in January 2015 and the distributor of the fermanox technology in Belgium. This company will also be part of the consortium.

The consortium is supported by VITO as knowledge center.


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