The water treatment process for brewing companies

One of Veolia's success stories from 2014 has been with a major international multiproduct brewing company, providing them with the right water treatment process for their business.

The water treatment process for brewers

The Brewery's steam boilers consume 75m3/h of make-up water which is produced onsite by a reverse osmosis plant. The waste stream from the reverse osmosis system, about 30m3/h, was being discharged to sewer. As part of an overall environmental assessment, the Brewery wanted to reduce their wastewater discharge.

Veolia's Reco Solutions water treatment process provided the answer. From the results of the RecoBLUE online calculator, part of Reco Solutions, it was clear that about 50% of the reverse osmosis waste stream could be recovered at a quality (better than 120μS/cm conductivity) suitable for use as boiler make-up water.

The Solution

Veolia provided a SirionTM Mega Recovery reverse osmosis unit configured for the treatment of the wastewater stream. Because the feed to the main makeup reverse osmosis unit is softened, the waste stream is also soft meaning that it was not necessary to take special precautions against scaling, like acid dosing.

With low pressure high rejection membranes, the SirionTM Mega Recovery system has low energy consumption which minimises its carbon footprint and operating costs. The feed pump is fitted with a frequency controlled variable speed drive to optimise the feed flow and pressure under all operating conditions. This arrangement can save up to 50% of the electrical power required by conventional fixed speed pumping systems.

The Results

The new system is performing as predicted by the RecoBLUE calculator and is recovering 16m3/h of water 24/7. That means a reduction in discharge of over 130,000m3 per year and a similar reduction in mains water consumption. The financial savings mean that the system's capital cost of £410,000 will be paid back in four years, even after allowing for the operating costs of the Mega Recovery unit.