Case study 4 - Procter & Gamble, Belgium

Enhance in-process water loop closure by integrating biocidal with wastewater treatment technologies

Led by Procter & Gamble, Belgium

Situation: Wastewater with high concentrated organic load and low flow (< 1m³/h) are represented in the case study 4. The site PGB is located in southern Europe (Italy) and has reduced already significantly its wastewater production in the recent years. Further progress is not possible since the discharge of the remaining high concentrated wash water streams into the public sewer system is not possible and these streams need to go to external incineration . In CS4 the three innovation pathways are combined. As example the treatment of concentrates (COD 20,000 - 50,000 mg/l) generated during cleaning and sanitisation in household chemicals production was selected. The aim is to (I) blend the streams directly back into the specific process and (II) upgrade wastewater to generic process water. In process the proper separation of the original concentrate stream will be enhanced by using inline sensors. For the concentrate stream possible treatment trains of “wastewater treatment technologies”, and ”pasteurization/sterilization” technologies will be developed. Two routes will be investigated, the direct treatment of the concentrate stream and its segregation into a low concentration (< 2,500 mg/l COD) and a high concentration (>150,000 mg/l COD).

Industry site characteristics: Treatment of complex concentrated organic water streams to avoid heat technologies and to unlock further recycling and reuse.

Success indicators: Closing process loop. Replacing incineration with treatment train. Eco-nomic feasibility (baseline = incineration with 100 €/t).


To demonstrate how a combination of wastewater treatment technology and biocidal technologies (e.g. sterilization/pasteurization) can be used to treat and recycle the high concentrated wash water in a liquid detergent site.

Overall objective:
• Operational cost: Treat this stream at a cost which is much more cost effective versus current practice of external incineration. Enable further water efficiency improvements by removing the financial barrier of the concentrated streams.
• Water efficiency: Improve the water efficiency of the site by 20% by recycling the water back into the process.
Additional potential benefits:
• Resource efficiency: Ingredients, which are captured in the wash water, can be recycled back into the process.
• Wastewater: This technology will bring a major step forward towards zero process wastewater discharge capability.

Specific objectives for CS4
• to define the characteristics of discharged wash water at the industrial site (PGB)
• to define the target requirements for reuse of water in the production process at the demo-site (PGB)
• to choose the most promising combination of technologies for up scaling at the demonstration facility (PGB, Ondeo IS together with VITO and Campden BRI)
• to design and install the demonstration water treatment plant at the factory (mainly PGB & Ondeo IS, help from VITO and Campden BRI)
• to assess performance of the demo plant regarding the target requirements formulated in objective (2) (PGB, VITO, Campden BRI)

The new treatment train resulted from lab scale experiments will be demonstrated and evaluated at CS4-PGB. The resulting treatment trains will be applicable to chemical and related industries where water after production process use is loaded with raw materials and product phase and process interfering pollutant need to be removed to avoid discharge of the whole stream.

This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 280756.

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