Beverage Industry Wastewater

As more consumers consider the products they buy and companies they invest in, manufacturing companies are increasingly scrutinised for..

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Technology for wastewater in the beverage industry safeguards the environment

As more and more consumers consider the products they buy and companies they invest in, manufacturing companies are increasingly being scrutinised for their ethics and the steps they are taking towards becoming net zero by 2030. In the water industry, this means not only reducing consumption to minimise impact on natural resources, but ensuring that any wastewater discharged will not harm the environment. Mike Froom, Business Development Director, Te-Tech Process Solutions explains further.

The beverage industry is one of the largest consumers of water, typically using between 2 -5 litres of water to produce 1 litre of product and therefore, also creates 1 – 4 litres of wastewater per litre of product. Granted that some of this wastewater may be reclaimed and treated for use in clean-in-place (CIP) operations, but that’s still a lot of wastewater. Depending on the size of the operation, the wastewater generated may be discharged to sewer for treatment at a municipal sewage treatment works, partially treated on site to reduce the load prior to discharge to sewer or treated on site for discharge to a watercourse. The decision of which route to take is simply a matter of economics (the Mogden formula gives costs for sewer discharge in the UK) and the availability of a discharge licence from the Environment Agency.

Partial or full on-site biological treatment is usually economically attractive for all but the smallest facilities, and it can often be the first step towards recycling and re-use. There is a bewildering array of wastewater treatment processes available and it is difficult to know which to choose to remove the principle contaminants in wastewater generated from beverage production: biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solids and, depending on the type of beverage, nitrogen in the form of ammonia and/or nitrate.

Treatment Options

Biological processes work well provided that the wastewater is consistent in flow and composition, but problems can arise if there are changes, these occur frequently in batch or campaign operations such as brewing and soft drinks production. Over the years a cyclic process – the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) – has proven to be very flexible in dealing with variable wastewaters because the timings of the process stages are easily configurable to allow for variations such as changes in BOD and the requirement for nitrification and denitrification.

Published in Process Industry Informer, August 2021 Read full article:

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