As with a lot of industries, food and beverage manufacturers consume high volumes of water in their processes. This results in high volumes of wastewater, and with that comes a number of problems and after effects.
Wastewater is exactly that, waste. That waste forms into sludge, the residual solids associated with the primary and secondary phases of the wastewater treatment process. After chemical addition to promote liquid-solid separation in the primary phase of treatment and then from biological sludge after further treatment, the residual solids become a waste sludge.
Sludge can become a problem; it’s usually very wet so direct disposal costs can be significant via the traditional road tanker route. It can also become septic very quickly, causing malodours and even forming sulphuric acid which can rot away metal work. Current routes for disposal via waste handlers can be significant. Previously, some sludges could be disposed at zero net cost. However, with tightening legislations and reduced options for disposal, sludge is starting to cost. Because of this, food and beverage manufacturers are looking for alternative ways of removing sludge.
One way of doing this is sending it to an anaerobic digestion plant. It was discovered previously that sludge can be used for anaerobic digestion to create methane gas, which then generates electricity. The anaerobic digestion process can be done at an on-site plant, or an independent plant can pick the sludge up. The problem that arises from this is that independent plants are restricting the number of nasty things that can be found in the sludge they pick up, a particular problem for food and beverage manufacturers. Anaerobic digestion plants are rightly concerned about the metals they are finding in sludge, some of which come from the chemical added into the wastewater at the start of the treatment process, and in some cases are denying some sludge from entering their plants.
This leaves food and beverage manufacturers with one option, to ‘clean-up’ their sludge so that AD plants will accept it. The only way to do this is to eliminate the addition of metals and nasty materials from the sludge. We developed a product range called Ecochemica specifically to do this job. Ecochemica products are metal free and therefore do not add any metals to the sludge after treatment to promote liquid-solid separation of the wastewater at the start of the process.
The results of Ecochemica mean that food and beverage manufacturers never have to worry about their sludge being turned back by anaerobic digestion plant.
If you would like to speak to one of our technical experts about Ecochemica, call 08455 045440