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With beverage production comes a lot of wastewater. System vendor Krones has developed a treatment concept to convert wastewater into new process water, saving up to 80 per cent of water consumption. This article was first published in Food & Drink Business July/August 2020.

For every litre of beverages produced there is one to three litres of wastewater. Growing concerns about climate risk and related costs, combined with consumer expectations on corporate responsibility, mean such wastage is no longer tenable for beverage and liquid-food producers. 

Having optimised its machines for corporate settings, Krones has focused on the factory level. Its latest treatment concept converts wastewater from the production line into new process water, covering all steps that create wastewater. 

From effluent to process water

All the process wastewater from the production operation is passed through the existing network of gullies into a central storage basin. From there, any solids it contains are sieved out, whereupon the wastewater is neutralised in a collecting tank. 

The next step, depending on the size of the system concerned, is traditional-style water treatment. 

If very sizeable quantities of wastewater are involved, it is expedient to use an anaerobic stage: this will then produce biogas, which can be re-used in a unit-type cogeneration plant, for example.

Once all the residues have been removed from the wastewater, it needs to be treated to make it suitable again for use as process water. 

Krones’ Hydronomic water treatment systems uses ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis, so even the tiniest particles like micro-organisms or salts are filtered out 
of the water. 

Following the subsequent admixture of chlorine dioxide in order to disinfect and stabilise the water, it is ready
to be used again in the production process.

The closed-circuit concept enables the water consumption in the production operation to be substantially reduced by up to 80 per cent less. This has a perceptible effect on both the company’s water costs and its environmental performance balance. 

The system can not only be installed in new factories, it
can also be retrofitted in existing plants.

 

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