Innovative technology solutions solving Australia's industrial wastewater challenges

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 | Supplied by: Calix Limited


Wastewater management across mining, farming, construction and other industries is a challenging problem that can threaten vital waterways, with adverse health and environmental impacts. Ongoing technical innovation is needed to help factories and farms move towards more sustainable wastewater practices.

For example, the recent fish kills in the Darling River near Menindee1 highlight the impact high-nutrient run-off from farms can have when river flows drop due to drought and water management practices. Blue-green algal blooms can quickly form, which deplete the dissolved oxygen and release toxins.

Treating wastewater from industries and farms has a dual potential benefit. Treated water can be recycled to help cut down industries’ fresh water use, and the waste load in wastewater can be converted to biogas and used to produce electricity.

Anaerobic digestion is a natural process that converts organic matter present in wastewater sludge into biogas for electricity, as well as significantly reducing the contaminant load in treated water.

Anaerobic treatment with biogas production is a realistic solution for industrial sites and farms with concentrated wastewater management issues aiming to work sustainability philosophies into their wastewater management strategies.

Treating wastewater with anaerobic processes to produce biogas energy can significantly reduce pollution, and help industries recycle water and cut costs that would otherwise go towards electricity and energy demands. Increasingly, industrial sites are investing in on-site anaerobic cogeneration plants to treat wastewater.

For example, Calix has been involved in improving the performance of three biogas plants connected to palm oil plants in Thailand, converting the wastewater into up to 25% more biogas energy that the palm oil mill then uses to power its operations. This is a major opportunity for sustainable progress in Southeast Asia, which is home to more than 780 palm oil mills.

Calix has also worked with a Southwest Victorian piggery to reduce hydrogen sulfide (H2S or ‘rotten egg gas’) from pig waste biogas, and to improve biogas production. Animal waste contributes significantly to groundwater pollution as a result of seepage, and traditional forms of concentrated animal farming often see significant quantities of wastewater find its way into external environments.

The Calix ACTI-Mag helps make anaerobic biogas plant work much more efficiently, which reduces groundwater pollution, generates potentially re-usable industrial water, and delivers a financial return on investment through sustainable power production.

Industrial sites that take up smart, sustainable wastewater practices and waste-to-energy technology aren’t just saving money — they’re saving water, local environments and communities.

Reference
  1. https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/habitat/threats/fish-kills

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/papa1266

Online: www.calix.com.au
Phone: 02 8199 7400
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