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Energy from wastewater in the potato & starch industry

Treatment of protein-containing wastewater with anaerobic-aerobic treatment

Treating wastewater and potato waste

Potato processing requires large amounts of water. Raw potatoes need cleaning prior to processing. In addition, operations such as potato peeling, dicing or cutting cause the cells to release starch, which is often rinsed-off using fresh water resulting in large quantities of starch-loaded wastewater.

Our portfolio includes smart solutions for the treatment of potato processing wastewater as well as the valorization of potato peels and spills. Depending on organic pollution concentration, a dedicated digestion reactor is selected for optimal water treatment and biogas yield.

Wastewater treatment

In most cases, the concentration of organic pollution in potato processing wastewater ranges from 10 up to 25 kg COD/m³. Depending on the available plot size, two treatment options are to be considered.

  • With more than 25 BIOTIM® UASB reactors in de potato industry, the proven technology offers a robust solution offering the highest removal efficiency and biogas production for less concentrated wastewaters.
  • For smaller plot-sizes and higher concentrated wastewater containing up to 25kg COD/m³, the BIOTIM® High Rate Anaerobic Tower enables similar efficiencies in taller reactors requiring half the plot size.

Potato waste valorisation

High-capacity potato processing comes with large volumes of concentrated potato waste like starch-loaded wastewater, potato peels or waste oils. The organic load varies from 160 kg COD/m³ for potato peels, up to 500 kg COD/m³ for French fries. The biogas and energy potential increases accordingly.

Depending on the bio-waste characteristics, the BIOTIM® UAC or BIOTIM® CSTR reactors will help reducing the organic pollution while recovering a maximum of energy. Unfolding the energy potential of waste helps cutting down on the energy supply needed from the grid.

A potato processing factory can produce up to 60% of its electrical and thermal energy needs

Reducing the eco footprint

Large potato processors combine 2 dedicated reactors to digest up to 90 % of the total organic pollution. Both reactors are designed for maximum biogas yield.

The effluent from the reactor treating the wastewater will be further treated in a LUCAS® aerobic post-treatment for compliance with discharge regulations. The digested sludge from potato waste can be recovered as soil conditioner for agriculture after dewatering.

potato industry cases

How upgrading aerobic treatment allowed membrane water reuse technology

How upgrading aerobic treatment allowed membrane water reuse technology

To cut tap-water dependency, a treatment step was integrated in the existing set-up, making it possible to reuse the bio-effluent as process water.

Redesigning and operating an out-of-use wastewater treatment facility

Farm Frites
Redesigning and operating an out-of-use wastewater treatment facility

Waterleau redesigned and transformed the out-of-service and original wastewater treatment plant to comply with regulatory discharge regulations.

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