Amid rising energy prices and the need for measures to counter global warming, green energy generation from wastewater treatment does not always get as much attention as other renewables such as solar and wind. In fact, there is a huge and often hidden potential in using wastewater as a source of renewable energy.
Represented in Australia by CST Wastewater Solutions , Global Water Engineering (GWE) encourages businesses with organic content in their wastewater and waste streams to investigate the anaerobic potential for their specific case.
The concept of using wastewater to create green energy can be applied much more widely than is often realised. Any factory with a biological waste stream or wastewater with high COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) can easily use this model to generate energy.
Industries have traditionally focused on treating their effluent to meet local discharge standards, and by doing so, wastewater treatment installations have only generated additional costs and have never been seen as revenue generators.
Applying anaerobic wastewater treatment sheds new light on the cost structure of wastewater treatment infrastructure. Anaerobic wastewater treatment now has the ability to become a substantial additional source of income for many factories and processing plants in Australia, including vegetable and other primary product processing.
Anaerobic wastewater treatment with biogas recovery is possible for a wide range of industries and the main criteria for energy-generating projects to become viable is the COD loading rate.
The higher the organic load of the wastewater the more biogas, and thus renewable energy, can be generated from it. Cost of fuel also plays a significant role. Choosing anaerobic technology now holds the key to immediate and future safeguarding of power supply for many industries.
Industries amongst GWE’s proven references that are suitable for anaerobic wastewater treatment include:
- beer and beverages (beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee- and milk-based drinks, fruit juices)
- food processing & canning (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood)
- snacks, confectionary, dairy
- fermentation industry (alcohol, yeast, monosodium glutamate etc.)
- biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel)
- pulp & paper
- agro and agro-processing industries (vegetables, beet sugar, starch, palm oil)
- petrochemical (PTA, PET, glycol and polyester factories)