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An Automotive Industry biggie in India generates 300 m3 of sewage wastewater. The idea was to recycle its treated STP effluent and reuse it. This case study shows how a Hybrid RO technology helps achieve it.

By Turbaashu Bhattacharya

Wastewater reuse – recycling and reusing water from our sewerage systems – may prompt what is quite simply known as the “yuck” factor. People are naturally squeamish about the idea of reusing water that comes to the sewage plants, even though it’s quite common. Wastewater reuse has been around for thousands of years.

In India, Singapore, Mexico, and Spain, reused water can provide a valuable water source for key industries, reducing the demand for limited water resources. Power plants, refineries, mills, and factories, including, for instance, those in the auto industry, can use reused water.

The need is great. Not only do some 4.2 billion people around the world lack access to safely managed sanitation services, but 80 percent of global wastewater is not adequately treated. As much as 36 percent of the global population lives in water-scarce areas, and water demand is expected to rise to 55 percent by 2050 amid rapid urbanization.

The electric power production industry, comprising hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, and oil-fired power stations account for 50% to 70% of industrial water use. Paper and pulp production, chemicals, mining and metal processing, and petroleum refining all use substantial amounts of water in their operations. The amount of water used in producing various goods and services is called water intensity. Manufacture of a pound of paper takes about 11,400 liters of water, while producing one car takes, on average, about 2,46,000 liters. A pound of aluminum takes about 7,57,000 liters of water to produce and a hamburger around 4,999 liters.

FRESHWATER CONSUMPTION AND WASTEWATER DISCHARGE: COMPARISON BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF INDUSTRIES

Recycling Sewage Wastewater And Reusing For Industrial Applications

Rather than a disposal liability, recycling and reusing industrial wastewater and sewage water onsite is now considered a smart business practice, one that helps companies become more profitable and efficient. The transport of wastewater to offsite facilities is very expensive. When industrial facilities recycle wastewater on-site for reuse in a variety of industrial processes, they are saving substantially on transportation as well as disposal and energy costs. Recycling and reusing wastewater is an economical path to meeting your industry’s large-scale water demands because, let’s face it, many, many industries are extremely water-intensive.

Sustainability is a term that is heavily used but not necessarily well-understood. In simple terms, it is focused on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It has an economic, environmental, and social component.

CASE STUDY: AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

At one of our client’s facility, an Automotive Industry biggie, their process generates around 300 cubic meters of sewage wastewater. We came up with an idea to recycle this treated STP effluent and reuse it for non-potable applications such as washing, flushing, cleaning, gardening, and for infrastructure applications. Following is the case study which shows how this Hybrid RO technology helps to achieve our targets and gives us a sustainable solution.

EARLIER SCENARIO
  • Wastewater Source: Sewage from toilets, wastewater from the canteen
  • Quantity: 300 cub. meters per day
  • Fresh Water Cost: Rs. 60/ cub. meter
  • Existing Treatment Facility: Basic Sewage Treatment Plant (STP)
  • Application of Treated STP Effluent: No applications – drain out to the river

Based on the last 6 months’ analysis reports and subsequent trials we have designed and installed a 300 KLD hybrid RO system with 75% recovery. The treated water quality is better than the freshwater quality which can even be reused for industrial applications in utilities, washing-flushing, etc.

PRESENT SCENARIO
  • Treatment System: Hybrid RO system
  • Feed Quantity: 300 cub. meters per day
  • Permeate Quantity: 225 cub. meters per day
  • Recovery Rate: 75%

The following table illustrates the breakup of treatment cost and comparison against the freshwater cost:

Recycling Sewage Wastewater And Reusing For Industrial Applications

APPLICATIONS
  • Utilities: Cooling tower make-up, boiler feed water.
  • Civil infrastructure
  • Washing auto parts, cars
  • Flushing and gardening
WATER ANALYSIS REPORTS

Recycling Sewage Wastewater And Reusing For Industrial Applications

HIGHLIGHTS OF ‘PLUG & PLAY’ RECYCLING MODEL
  • Ready to use equipment
  • Quick mobilization
  • Pay per use model
  • Rental options on Zero Liquid Discharge
  • Flexible renting solutions along with short-term rental options
  • Consistency in quality and quantity of treated water
  • Less footprint area
  • Technologically upgradable with minimum increase in costs

This Plug & Play recycling model has been initiated by us to provide a strong foundation for the Automotive Industry to ensure they achieve their sustainability norms, while at the same time are able to manage their harmful effluent disposal impact on the environment.

BENEFITS UNDER OPEX MODEL

Roserve Enviro Pvt. Ltd. is a FinTech company that provides solutions for wastewater management using cutting-edge technology along with innovative BOOT/BOO models viz., Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer.

We design the treatment system based on the quality and quantity of effluent and the requirement of treated water quality. This system is specially designed for your applications. We are backed with the latest technology and expert service teams with almost 30 years of experience across more than 1800 installations in India and the world.

Roserve Enviro takes care of the entire system including operations, maintenance, manpower, health of the system, etc. We provide assurance for the service as well as treated water quality and quantity.

Recycling Sewage Wastewater And Reusing For Industrial Applications

About the Author
Turbaashu Bhattacharya is the Business Head of Roserve Enviro Pvt Ltd. He heads the sales and business development vertical for Roserve Enviro Pvt Ltd, the Indo-Danish Joint Venture startup offering innovative financial solutions in the field of wastewater recycling and treatment including Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) to meet sustainability norms for industries and corporates.

This case study was published in the annual “Finest-50 Global Case Studies” Special Digital Edition, March-April 2022. Click here to read the complete e-Magazine issue.

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