Energy from wastewater
How wastewater can be recycled and energy generated
The new process from Flexbio Technologie GmbH, Einbeck, offers small and medium-sized breweries an ecological and economical solution for dealing with operational wastewater. The core component of wastewater treatment is an anaerobic high-performance reactor with a compact and modular design. The so-called modular principle and the plug & play solution are a contemporary answer to the requirements of the brewing industry.
The brewery industry embodies tradition, innovation and efficiency like no other. The subject of energy is particularly demanding because the constant heating and cooling cycles in the brewing process mean that energy conversion plays a central role in production and is therefore the focus of every master brewer. The water is also required in every brewing step and is closely linked to the use of energy. The energy is partly stored as thermal energy in the wastewater or as chemical energy in the form of organic pollution. The pollution is biodegradable – especially under anaerobic conditions (with exclusion of oxygen and with methane generation from the organic load). Due to the high concentration of organic compounds in the brewery wastewater, the concentration of organic compounds is higher than the typical pollution of domestic wastewater. In sewage technology, the organic load is specified as the sum parameter “chemical-biological oxygen demand” (COD). Typical pollution of the brewery wastewater is usually with COD concentrations of 1,200 mg / l to 4,500 mg / l 2 to 5 times higher than the pollution of domestic wastewater. Despite the good degradability of the organic pollution, high wastewater charges and contributions (heavy pollution charges) are often levied by the sewage treatment plants. In many cases, the breweries have to contribute to the construction or expansion of the municipal sewage treatment plant.
Despite these requirements for the discharge of wastewater, in practice most companies in the brewing industry have no pre-treatment or only neutralization. Often the surcharges and wastewater charges are still economically viable or, in the absence of alternatives, they are accepted.
FlexBio Technologie GmbH from Einbeck has recognized the problem and has been offering compact wastewater treatment systems in compact and modular container design since 2014. The market-ready solution is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized companies in the brewery industry, for which there were hardly any economical solutions up to now. The systems are delivered turnkey, filled with inoculation material on site and put into operation by the manufacturer. The entire technology is built into a 40 foot container. Thanks to its modular structure (building block principle), the treatment system can be expanded with additional container modules if required. In addition to the basic module, up to 7 additional system modules can be combined in a system network and controlled centrally. If necessary, the system can be supplemented with aerobic treatment stages (activation in combination with MBR) and enables the most extensive wastewater treatment.
Concept of holistic wastewater treatment in a brewery
The wastewater technology from FlexBio Technologie GmbH enables energy to be obtained from wastewater and a significant reduction in wastewater disposal costs. Both the pretreatment to avoid heavy pollution charges and a full clarification for direct discharge are implemented with the process. The systems are offered as compact and modular container solutions and are also economical for smaller breweries. With the help of the resource-saving FlexBio process, breweries can develop sustainably and take responsibility for the environment. The use of anaerobic wastewater treatment enables CO 2 emissions to be reduced. The use of the energy potential from the wastewater leads to the avoidance of emissions that are harmful to the climate and the environment. Because the wastewater is used as an energy source by the wastewater treatment plants of FlexBio Technologie GmbH.