- Water Minimization and Reclamation
This Midwestern facility manufactures ethanol, starches, high fructose corn syrup and animal feed products from corn. In the late 2000s, the client constructed a cogeneration plant and expanded annual ethanol production by 275 million gallons. In 2006, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources determined that groundwater resources nearby were approaching full appropriation. Because the plant expansion would increase water consumption, the client retained Burns & McDonnell to identify water minimization and reclamation options as an alternative to permitting a new groundwater well.
The following options were considered to reduce water consumption and reclaim wastewater for beneficial use:
- Reduced thermal load on cooling water system
- Advanced treatment of cooling tower makeup water
- Use of air or geothermal cooling
- Treatment of CIP water
Treatment technologies considered included reverse osmosis (RO), multimedia filtration, ultra-filtration, ion-exchange and lime softening. As part of the evaluation, effluent toxicity associated with high dissolved solids concentrations was considered.
The following alternative water sources were also evaluated as a potential cost savings measure: irrigation canal water, treated municipal wastewater, groundwater from existing center pivot irrigation system, and combined facility effluent (wastewater, blow-down and stormwater). The most probable solution identified was reclamation of facility effluent, RO treatment and use of reclaimed water as cooling tower make-up. The forecasted water savings was 2,300 gallons per minute.
- Water minimization
- Wastewater reclamation
- Front-end planning
- Effluent toxicity