Saving water: full water recycling for a cosmetics manufacturer

A global corporation recycles 90% of the wastewater at its Brazilian cosmetics production site and reuses it in production.

What we did

Access to clean water is a basic requirement for effective production. However, in Brazil, many regions suffer from acute water shortages. Appropriate water technology ensures that the available water is used sustainably.

  • Objective

    Objective

    In order to adapt production to local conditions, we analysed all the water and wastewater flows at the customer's production site in Brazil. We answered the following questions:

    • What wastewater streams are generated?
    • Do they contain resources that can be economically recycled?
    • Can the wastewater streams be used for energy production (e.g. biogas production or heat recovery)?
    • What water qualities are required at the site (e.g. for irrigation, cleaning or reuse in production)?
  • Solution

    Solution

    A water and wastewater register was created for the entire factory. Two main wastewater streams were identified:

    1. Predominantly inorganically contaminated wastewater from the supply circuits: backwash water, reclaimed water from the water softening plant, and purge water from the cooling tower and boiler.
    2. Predominantly organically contaminated wastewater from manufacturing cleaning processes.

    A treatment concept was developed based on laboratory and pilot-scale tests. The organically contaminated wastewater is treated with the Biomar® OMB membrane biological process. The outflow from the biological treatment stage undergoes a secondary treatment with submerged membranes to further improve the quality of the treated wastewater.

    Dissolved and undissolved salts are pre-filtered from the inorganic wastewater with a multimedia filter and separated in a downstream Envopur® reverse osmosis process. The resulting concentrates are evaporated.

    The plant technology was pre-assembled and tested in Germany in a compact EnviModul design and then installed ready for connection on site in Brazil.

  • Result

    Result

    With an intelligent concept and first-class plant solution, water is used in an energy-efficient and sustainable way. And it is economically feasible even with small amounts of wastewater.

    • 90% wastewater recycling for re-use in production
    • Modular plant concept for water recycling with a performance of 1–100 m³/h
    • Production site secured despite water shortage
    • Quality assurance through wastewater technology preassembled and tested in Germany
    • Modular system that is easily extended or adapted to changes in conditions.

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Contact

General contact

General contact

+49 6154 6998 100