Treating vapour condensate – reducing water footprint
A multi-national dairy co-operative wanted to treat its vapour condensate sustainably at a German site and thus reduce its fresh water requirements and operating costs.
Dairies need large quantities of fresh water for production purposes. Although dairies essentially produce dry products, vapour condensates are generated. If these are treated, the fresh water requirement can be reduced considerably.
The dairy cooperative wanted to improve its water footprint at a German site by treating vapour condensates. Their discharge into the wastewater treatment system was costly and time-consuming. The aim was to use water sustainably and reduce operating costs.
After a thorough analysis of the company’s processes, our industry experts suggested an Envopur® ReVap plant solution. This process combines a Biomar® biological treatment and an Envopur® membrane process. The substances contained in the vapour condensate are first biodegraded then filtered off via biofilters, after which microorganisms and residual turbidity are removed by ultrafiltration. Finally, salts and any remaining organic substances are removed by reverse osmosis.
The dairy cleans approx. 120 m3 of vapour condensate an hour and, with the new plant solution, can reduce the volume of wastewater to 15–20 percent. The water recovered can be used in a variety of ways: as rinse water, cooling tower make-up water or boiler feed water.
After actioning a treatment plant of this type, costs are around 0.75 euros per cubic metre of water, including depreciation and operating costs. The membrane technology ensures it is germ-free and reverse osmosis means it is particularly low in salt.
Treatment can make commercial sense from as little as 25 m³ vapour condensate an hour. If the price of fresh water or wastewater is particularly high, the process can be worthwhile at 10 m³ per hour.
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