HighTech Finland › Energy & The Environment › All articles in this section   ›  Cleaner and more efficient

Energy Solutions
Working for a Better Environment
All articles in this section

 

Cleaner and more efficient

Got a problem with biowaste, wastewater, or process water? Watrec might well have the solution you’re looking for, as its numerous customers in industry, energy generation, waste treatment, and agriculture could tell you.

Biogas plants are one of Watrec’s key strengths, and the company’s first reference project, completed in 2005, was Finland’s first largescale co-digestion plant. This treats 120,000 t/a of organic by-products and waste from agriculture and industry and generates 4 – 5 MW energy, converted into 1.5 MW of electricity. Owned by local pig farmers, the plant features pre-digestion systems, hygienisation, anaerobic digestion, dewatering, and two CHP units – and has performed very well.

Generating biogas in this way and producing both high-quality fertilisers and energy has many advantages. By recovering methane from waste, it is also a particularly useful way of helping combat global warming. As a closed system, the level of impact on the immediate environment is typically much smaller than that of many other waste management systems.

Watrec-designed biogas plants can be viable in a variety of sizes. Economic viability improves as treatment capacity rises, and a plant capable of processing in excess of 60,000 t/a of municipal and industrial waste is normally more cost-effective than competing solutions. If biogas can be utilised nearby, much smaller sizes are feasible, and plants with a
gross energy output of 150-500 kW can be suitable for pig and dairy farms, for example.

Anaerobic processes can also be used in environmental cleanup work, as highlighted by the groundbreaking system designed by Watrec for treating leachate from contaminated wetland in Central Finland.

Biogas plants like this from Watrec offer an attractive solution in a wide range of sizes.

Reducing the need for chemicals

Watrec offers state-of-the-art technology for treating industrial wastewater and process water based on a combination of long practical experience and the latest scientific know-how.

The Membro® process for treating effluent containing high levels of ammonia and organics combines biological and physical processes to give cost-efficient operation and excellent removal rates for ammonia, COD, solids, and phosphorus.

For treating process and cooling water, Watrec’s VRTX® system does not require the use of any biocides, corrosion inhibitors, or anti-scaling agents and only needs small amounts of other chemicals in particularly challenging environments.

It does this through the use of controlled hydrodynamic cavitation. The tremendous force created in a VRTX chamber causes molecules to collide in the hyperkinetic zone. Micro-organisms are typically incapable of surviving here, and the mineral bonds in the water are broken as they pass through the system. The soluble calcium in the water precipitates to calcium carbonate, reducing the risk of boiler sediment. The VRTX vacuum also removes and vents any harmful gases and oxidizers that may be formed and keeps pH at a consistent, elevated level. For guaranteed performance, a VRTX system includes a filtration unit based on Watrec’s Filtomat® filters.

> Juhani Suvilampi
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)