On January 21st Royal HaskoningDHV organized a special client seminar on the role of anaerobic wastewater treatment in industry. Lennart Silvis, Global Director Water for Industry at Royal HaskoningDHV, hosted the plenary program and introduced the audience to the keynote speaker, Jules van Lier, Professor Wastewater Treatment / Environmental Engineering at Delft University of Technology.
Following a short history of wastewater treatment and an introduction to the basic concept of the anaerobic treatment process, Mr. van Lier’s keynote revolved around the concept that the potential energy in wastewater should be used as efficient as possible, either in the form of an energy carrier (e.g. methane gas) or as a biopolymer. Because anaerobic digestion is just very slightly exothermic, energy losses are minimal and the efficiency of the treatment process is high. Depending on the composition of the influent, this makes anaerobic wastewater treatment a very cost-effective and environmentally responsible method of wastewater treatment for most forms of industrial wastewater, especially in Food & Beverage and Pulp & Paper.
After Mr. van Lier’s inspiring keynote, the seminar continued with three case studies on anaerobic waste water treatment in the paper & pulp and food & beverage industry. Jelena Brown (Waste Development Projects Manager at DS Smith) and Diederik Schuurman (Senior Process Engineer Industrial Water at Royal HaskoningDHV) shared their experiences on the extension of the existing WWTP with an anaerobic treatment system at a large paper mill in the UK. The new system not only significantly increased the treatment capacity on the same footprint, but also enabled DS Smith to supply biogas to the local natural gas grid.
Frans Horjus, Senior Water Technology Process Engineer at Royal HaskoningDHV, showed through an interesting insect analogy how soft sensors enable an anaerobic real-time controller to automatically optimize the operation of an anaerobic reactor at a Mars plant in Veghel, leading to both higher efficiency and better reliability of the treatment plant without an extensive analysing program.
André Visser, Senior Water and Sludge Technology Process Engineer at Royal HaskoningDHV, rounded off the plenary program of the seminar with a presentation on improved biogas recovery. Ephyra and Themista technologies can significantly improve the methane yield of anaerobic digestion, transforming wastewater treatment plants into true ‘energy factories’.
After the presentations, there was ample room for lively discussions over snacks and drinks. Royal HaskoningDHV would like to thank the speakers for their informative presentations, and the audience for their attendance and interesting questions.