Kaumera – creating value from sewage

Kaumera is a biobased raw material that is extracted from the sludge granules that form during the Nereda® water purification process. Kaumera is a versatile raw material: it can repel and absorb water and has fire retardant properties. It is also very suitable for coatings and composite materials.Various applications of Kaumera are being developed at this moment. In agri- and horticulture, it is directly used as a biostimulant or as the main ingredient to produce a controlled release coating for fertilizers. Research is ongoing to develop materials for the building industry. Also, by combining Kaumera with for example clay or cellulose, biocomposite materials can be produced.


Kaumera can change the world. It’s potential is huge. The Dutch water authorities see wastewater as valuable source of energy and raw materials.

Hein Pieper, Chairman of the regional Water Authority Rijn en IJssel

What is Kaumera?

Kaumera results from intensive collaboration in the Netherlands between Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), engineering and consultancy company RoyalHaskoningDHV, the Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), the regional water authorities Vallei and Veluwe and Rijn en IJssel and the biotechnology company ChainCraft. There are two Kaumera installations globally, both situated in the Netherlands.

Soon after the launch of Kaumera, they received several prestigious awards, such as the Aquatech Innovation Award 2019 and the Water Innovation Award from the Dutch Association of Water Authorities. Parties are involved in the research and development of various new applications. On the other hand, their project has inspired (inter)national companies and governments to investigate the circular use of raw materials from sewage.In the coming years, they plan to focus on international business development. They expect that their research will result in several feasible applications which they will be able to bring to the market.

The development of Kaumera is made possible by the EU LIFE Programme, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (RVO, DEI) and the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands.

Data regarding impact:

  • By removing Kaumera from the purified sludge, 20- 35% less sludge needs to be removed and processed. This has a positive effect on energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, Kaumera has the potential to yield a profitable return.