Enhancing Sustainability in the Automotive Industry through Efficient Water Treatment

Picture of Niels Voges
Niels Voges

Product Manager

Picture of Florian Wolf
Florian Wolf

New Polymers and Wastewater Manager

The global automotive industry is currently in a phase of massive change, facing new concepts of mobility and the intrinsic drive and external pressure to more sustainability and efficiency in a plethora of aspects. Despite the overwhelming impact of mobility based on fossil fuels, the production of vehicles itself is a major, but often less considered factor.

Historically, sustainability was not always much of a focus in the automotive industry and its energy and resource-consuming processes. Particularly water is a resource that has long slipped the attention of many efficiency-orientated incentives despite being of great significance in processes like surface treatment and coating, paint spray booths, washing, rinsing, hosing, cooling, air-conditioning systems, and boilers.

In addition to the use of water as a process carrier, there is the matter of wastewater, which needs to be treated to high standards to meet environmental regulations.

The general drivers pushing industry and society for sustainable change are universal but particularly apply to the automotive industry.

Next to political interventions, such as the regulation of CO2 emissions by the European Commission, social megatrends and the changing expectations of customers and investors lead a strong drive for change.  

The pressure to reevaluate every detail of their manufacturing and shipping details has not bypassed the executives of big and small players in the automotive industry. This accounts for their manufacturing and logistic solutions, questions of recycling, but in particular also for their resource, i.e. energy and water consumption.

Innovative solutions are essential for enhancing processes.

Every process step in which water is used or consumed requires a suitable approach for resource optimization. The surface treatment of car bodies, i. e. coating, washing, and rinsing processes in particular place high demands on water quality.

The common demineralized water production using ion exchange processes is now increasingly being replaced by more efficient, cost-effective, and safe processes. Membrane units becoming one of the most important technologies in the production of highly purified water. Nevertheless, these systems often face problems with scaling and fouling and are therefore limited by frequent maintenance, downtime, and high costs. With AvistaTM, a global brand of Kurita for membrane treatment solutions, Kurita offers efficient and effective treatment concepts that achieve an optimal economic operation and a maximum operational reliability of a plant.

Kuristuck Technology: The Key to Sustainable Paint Booth Treatment.

In paint booth systems, different body and spare parts from automotive industry are coated by using one or multiple layers of paints. The main goal of the paint booth treatment is to remove as much overspray paint as possible for successful operations. Our Kuristuck technology meets these requirements.


Kuristuck is an innovative technology for detackification and coagulation for solvent and water-based paints. The Kuristuck B series are paint killers for both water-borne and solvent-based paints and are effective for paint detackification, coagulation, and floatation. They provide sticky sludge formation without adhesion to the system and have an anti-foaming effect resulting in smooth plant operation and total cost of operation reduction.

Wastewater treatment is vital for success.

One of the most complex process steps in optimizing water-based resource management is wastewater treatment. Process streams from a wide variety of production steps must be processed in such a way that legal limits are met.

Water from car bodies and parts pre-treatment requires extensive physical and chemical treatment because of high levels of zinc, nickel, total phosphate, COD and fluoride.

Through continuous research and development work, Kurita offers wastewater treatment products that are able to achieve optimal results with minimal use of chemicals and ensure the high legal requirements for the treated wastewater.

In particular, Kurita’s tailor-made technologies can safely meet the high requirements for heavy metal and fluoride limits.

Kurita has developed water-based, oil-free flocculants that deliver outstanding results in paint booths and wastewater applications. Our patented hyperlinked flocculant technology is highly effective in sludge dewatering, significantly reducing waste generation, manpower and operating costs.

In combination with the S.sensingTM CS technology to optimize wastewater treatment processes and minimize product dosing, Kurita offers a complete package to reduce costs, energy and maintenance and contributes significantly to optimizing the carbon footprint.

Kurita’s value-driven innovative water technologies are assisting businesses globally in conserving resources, enhancing plant efficiency, and promoting environmental sustainability. Our cutting-edge solutions effectively address water management challenges, promote sustainable energy usage, reduce waste, and advance industrial production technologies. Ensuring ethical business practices with a positive impact on the world is our topmost priority that demands our daily attention.

Share this article

Share on LinkedIn
Share on Twitter