30 June 2009 12:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Investment in water treatment technologies could significantly reduce the torrent of costs faced by chemical producers, a source from ?xml:namespace>
“Water reuse is one of the emerging demands that we’re seeing from our customer base; a lot of that is driven by them looking to control cost and to become a more sustainable business,” said Darren Gurney, project manager for Linde Gas’s aquaculture and water treatment business.
“Against a conventional solution, we’re looking at something that would use less energy, requires less capital expenditure or indeed needs less space. If it produces a secondary by-product, then we’re looking to minimise and reduce that too.”
Typical savings can be quite substantial, he added, with potentially 40-70% of water being reused and no additional effluent costs being incurred. “Reusing some of this water will benefit them at both ends of the production cycle,” said Gurney.
“Companies making biodiesel, for instance, could reuse up to 70% because their process effluent is biodegradable from the very nature that it’s derived from organic matter. It’s very amenable to treatment,” he said.
Linde Gas plans to introduce new technology later this year and is currently underway with its first major installation.
The oxyMBR (oxygen membrane bioreactor) treatment process uses oxygen and air, rather than air only, to clean waste water.
This new technique should help to minimise investment and use existing plants in a more efficient way, added Gurney.
Despite the difficult start to the year, Linde Gas reported improved demand and an increase in the number of enquiries regarding water treatment.
“The water market sector is very resilient because it’s driven by factors that are larger than cyclical events such as recession and investment cycles,” noted Gurney.
“What we’re dealing with are global issues that affect everyone, and these big issues tend to override recessionary or other factors. I would suggest that while it’s not totally recession-proof, water treatment companies will always have some stability compared with other sectors.”
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