The anaerobic wastewater treatment process results in a controlled, continuous production of valuable biogas or methane, which is fed back into industrial processes to be burned for heating and boilers. Surplus gas collected can be fed to localised electricity generators that provide either on-site energy or can be directed back into local grids to earn electricity and carbon credits.
Global Water Engineering’s RAPTOR technologies, distributed throughout Australasia by CST Wastewater Technologies can convert almost any organic residue into biogas. RAPTOR, short for Rapid Transformation of Organic Residues is a powerful liquid-state anaerobic digestion process that consists of enhanced pre-treatment followed by multi-step biological fermentation.
Recognised by the UNDP as one of the most useful and efficient decentralised sources of energy supply, anaerobic digestion facilities are less capital-intensive than large power plants and can also benefit local communities by providing local energy supplies while eliminating the need for large environmentally challenging settling lagoons.
Given the increased focus on climate change mitigation, the re-use of waste as a resource as well as new technological approaches that have lowered capital costs, anaerobic digestion has in recent years received increased attention among governments in a number of countries in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.
Modern anaerobic processes vastly concentrate the process in environmentally harmonious closed reactors, operated under ideal temperature and process control to optimise waste consumption and, in the process, generate large quantities of methane from the organic content in the wastewater.
The quantities of methane produced can diminish or even completely replace the use of fossil fuels in the production process with one ton of COD (chemical oxygen demand) digested anaerobically generating 350Nm³ of methane, equivalent to approximately 312 litres of fuel oil, or generating about 1,300 kWh of green electricity.
Any factory with a biological waste stream or wastewater with high COD can easily use this technology to generate energy. Payback on the investment can be achieved in as little as one year with most companies achieving ROI within two years, according to Global Water Engineering CEO Mr Jean Pierre Ombregt, whose company has been involved in more than 300 water and wastewater projects in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, China, Europe and Russia.
Mr Ombregt observes that most industries have not realised the potential of this green energy cash cow as they have mainly been focusing on treating their effluent to meet local discharge standards at the lowest possible investment costs. By doing so, wastewater treatment installations have only generated additional operating costs and have never been seen as revenue generators.
However, applying anaerobic wastewater treatment sheds a whole different light on the cost structure of wastewater treatment infrastructure as it can now actually become a substantial additional source of income for many factories and processing plants throughout the world, including the food, beverage and agro industry and other primary product processing segments.
GWE is introducing new generation technologies to transform wastewater by-products from an industrial disposal expense into green energy profits.
GWE’s RAPTOR treatment system for organic residues can convert almost any organic residue or energy crop into biogas, valuable electricity or heat, says GWE, which has successfully built and commissioned more than 75 biogas utilisation plants for clients worldwide.
GWE clients include Bonduelle, Budweiser, Chang, Carlsberg, Coca Cola, Corn Products Int’l, Danone, Fosters, Heineken, AB InBev, Kraft, Mondi, National Starch & Chemicals, Nestlé, Pepsi Cola, SAB-Miller, San Miguel, Singha, Stora Enso, Sunkist and Tsingtao.
CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Mr Michael Bambridge says a RAPTOR plant is a total solution, starting with logistics for handling the energy crop and ending with the production of biogas, green electricity or steam.
RAPTOR technologies are particularly applicable to the following industries:
- Food waste such as market surplus, kitchen waste, off specification fruit and vegetables, and excess crops
- Agro-industry residues such as starch and sugar pulp, vegetable or potato waste
- Industrial residues such as brewery waste, fruit processing waste, and paper mill sludge
- Energy crops, for example corn (silage), various grasses and algae