Prof. Dan SHECHTMAN, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Chairman of China-Israel Water Technology (CIWT) had his visit to China in November and December 2017, to promote wastewater recycling technologies.

Prof. SHECHTMAN is the discoverer of quasi-periodic crystals and considered an expert in the field of materials science. Today, Prof. SHECHTMAN uses his position as a top scientist to promote advanced water technologies from Israel. For this end, he has engaged his good friend, Prof. Gedaliah SHELEF, “the father of wastewater recycling”.


Prof. Dan SHECHTMAN with longtime friend Prof. SHELEF, photo taken at the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant, September 2017

For his expertise, Prof. Gedaliah SHELEF is often consulted by Israeli engineering company Balasha-Jalon Infrastructure Systems (BJIS). His student and also the partner of BJIS, Mr. Doron LEVIN, joined the China trip with Prof. Shechtman and Ms. LAW Yee Ping, managing director of CIWT and Hong Kong Innovation Services.

Help China and Belt and Road Initiative


Mr. ZHENG Jiucun, Vice Chairman of WEGU (1st  left) welcomed Prof. SHECHTMAN (2nd right), Ms. LAW Yee Ping (2nd left) and Mr. LEVIN (1st right).  

WEGU is powered by PowerChina, one of China’s largest SOE active in the field of energy infrastructures , thermal and hydro energy. It exists now for one year, is very active and counts 58 member companies. Currently, CIWT is applying for membership at the WEGU and will attend WEGU’s Annual Meeting on Dec 29, 2017.

Mr. ZHENG Jiucun, Deputy Chairman of WEGU and General Manager of Powerchina Water Environment Governance : “Why will PowerChina go into water recycling? Because the Chinese government is determined to change the current situation. We are happy to introduce Israeli water technology, we want to solve problems. After China, we want to introduce it to Africa, and other regions of the Belt and Road Initiative.”


Mr. ZHENG Jiucun

Prof. SHECHTMAN pointed out that, China has the same amount of desalination plants as Israel, despite that China has a 1.3 billion population while Israel has only 8 million. Leading desalination countries are Saudia Arabia, USA and the UAE – all developed nations with a need for fresh water.




China and Israel have the same amount of desalination plants.


Mr. YU Zhiwen ,Secretary General of WEGU and Deputy General Manager of Powerchina Water Environment Governance  attributed China’s lagging situation to the high cost of desalinated water. In China, the average consumer price for tap water is 0.50 USD per m³, while in Israel consumers pay as much as 1 USD per m³.


Mr. YuZhi wen introduced the Chinese situation to Prof. Shechtman. The middle is Ms. TIAN Weihong, Deputy Secretary General of WEGU.

Clean Water Education, Reasonable Fee

Attributed to a combination of public campaigns, children’s education and Israel’s centralized water economy, the price Israeli citizens pay reflects the real value of water. As Prof. Shechtman said: “Water, Pay more, live longer!”.

Ms. LAW Yee Ping, Managing Director of CIWT mentioned, the company would like to contribute to the China Israel Collaborative Innovation Platform for Water Technology. In Israel , 85% of its wastewater is recycled , ranking first in the world . Spain ranks second with 19% ,while in China this number only has a single digit. The market in China is much bigger than Israel and CIWT would like to enlarge the current Chinese market with lower cost and price.



Ms. LAW Yee Ping of CIWT

Mr. LEVIN introduced BJIS, and its many years of activity in the design of wastewater treatment plants. Dozens of wastewater treatment plants have been designed by BJIS in Israel and worldwide, including the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant. The Shafdan wastewater treatment plant was chosen by the United Nations as a global model, to demonstrate the ability of local authorities to deal with environmental problems.

BJIS has designed the thermophilic anaerobic sludge digestion facility at the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant, with eight digesters of 13200 m3 each. The digestion tanks stabilize the sludge to Class A sludge, as defined by international regulations. In addition, the biogas that is produced during the digestion process is utilized to produce electricity. After the treatment process, the dewatered sludge is applied as fertilizer on farmlands in Israel.


The thermophilic anaerobic sludge treatment facility at the Shafdan Plant, designed and engineered by BJIS. The digestion tanks digest the sludge into a Class A bio-solid, while the released biogas is used for electricity and heat generation.

In contrast to current practice in China, the Shafdan sludge digestion tanks use thermophilic bacteria at a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. This innovative practice has two benefits: (1) shorter digestion time and (2) providing Class A bio-solids.  In China, mesophilic bacteria at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius are used.

According to Mr. YU Zhiwen, the main barrier for China to adopt this innovative practice, is costs. Therefore, in China Class B bio-solids are produced and hereafter dumped in landfills, or discharged into the sea.

Since the beginning of 2017, the discharge of sludge into the sea has been forbidden in Israel. This strategic decision was decided by the Israel government in 2006, and the country has undergone a gradual implementation. Today, a land-based solution for sludge is fully accepted, obliging the production of Class A sludge.


Mr. Doron LEVIN


Both sides have many areas to share and we are looking forwards to the Annual Meeting of WEGU.

The presentation of Mr. LEVIN can be found below:

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Revised:Nobel Laureate Shechtman: Water, Pay More Live Longer
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