Express Pharma

Alfa Laval holds leading global market position within its fields of expertise

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Alfa Laval provides the complete spectrum of technologies and services that help process industries maximise reuse of water. NP Desai, Segment Manager PWW, Alfa Laval (India), speaks on his company’s offerings and their advantages, with Sachin Jagdale

Describe the technologies Alfa Laval offers for the industrial waste water treatment?

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NP Desai

Alfa Laval offers the following key technologies for industrial waste water treatment:

Alfa Laval Membrane bioreactor (MBR) system, that combines secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment and delivers a superior effluent quality (effective filtration in sludge to 0.2 µm) suitable for reuse. It removes suspended solids down to <1 mg/l, BOD down to <5 mg/l and handles 5-40 liter/h/m2 filtration area. The gravity driven, pump free and energy efficient design with compact membrane filtration modules (MFM) is based on our patented hollow sheet technology. Compared to other MBR solutions it offers improved safety, simplicity of operation, plus low operation and maintenance costs.

Alfa Laval Multi Effect Evaporators are ideal for concentration of effluent, waste reduction and product recovery plus water reuse. Based on the application requirements Alfa Laval has range of solutions for MEE including Falling film and Forced circulation Tubular Evaporators or Rising Film Plate type evaporators.

From the above range Alfa Laval provides its customers the most effective way to enable excellent performance in most difficult and high fouling applications. Examples include anaerobic and salty chemicals effluent, reverse osmosis reject etc.

Reclaimed water is then recycled and reused in many ways: as industrial process water, for cleaning, cooling towers or ground water recharge.

Thermal sludge treatment: For pre-heating of wastewater sludge using Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers and tube-in-tube heat exchangers prior to dewatering can also cut costs and provide an opportunity for heat recovery. Our thermal equipment can also be used for sludge digestion to produce biogas and for sludge hydrolysis and pasteurisation  to meet even the most stringent environmental legislation and obtain class A or B sludge quality suitable for reuse as compost or fertiliser. For some types of industrial waste, e.g. pharma, pasteurisation of waste water sludge is a must. Spiral heat exchangers can also be used for final effluent cooling to recover heat and, if it is to be discharged into the sea, river or stream, to protect the biology of the water body.

Dewatering: To reduce the amount of waste for disposal by up to 90 per cent. On-site dewatering of sludge is a fundamental part of all current wastewater treatment options to significantly reduce the sludge volume. This has a huge impact on costs for transportation, effluent disposal, storage and drying. It is also highly relevant for sludge to be used as digester feed for biogas production, thermal processes and composting. To meet every need, Alfa Laval offers a complete spectrum of robust, well-proven technologies that effectively separate off the liquid phases and achieve a high level of dry solids content.

For efficient dewatering of primary or biological sludge and separation of liquid and products from other waste streams you can choose ALDEC, ALDEC G2 and G3 range of decanters for centrifugal separation of very large volumes of sludge with very small footprint and low energy consumption.

Do pharma companies require special technologies for the waste water treatment?

Bringing a drug or vaccine to market requires cutting edge technologies. To succeed, pharma manufacturers demand efficient, hygienic equipment that delivers continuous processes and sustainable performance. In this sector most of the industries are operating based on partial Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) system and partially treating effluents in the conventional way. In most of the cases, domestic effluent is treated separately or mixed with either low or high TDS effluents. Central Pollution Control Board, in its recent notification, has stressed upon  water reuse and recycle by employing the ZLD concept. In some cases, ZLD can be achieved by adopting conventional primary, secondary and tertiary effluent treatment and polishing by filtration and using clean water back into process/ or domestic use.

In the majority of cases, Reverse Osmosis, Micro Filtration and concentrating with Multiple Effect Evaporators (MEE) can be employed.

What is the average spend by the Indian pharma industry on waste water treatment technologies/ solutions?

The Indian pharma market size is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2025, driven by increasing consumer spending, rapid urbanisation, and rising healthcare insurance among others. Need to reuse, recycle water combined with stringent governing laws, investment in waste water treatment plants shall be significant.

Which are the useful resources from the main process that are usually found in waste water from the pharma plants? How do you retrieve them?

Alfa Laval has developed a wide range of waste recovery solutions based on our separation, filtration and thermal technologies. These include products that can be used for water recovery for reuse and waste heat recovery.

Which are the other industries that you cater to?

The core of Alfa Laval’s operations is based on three key technologies: heat transfer, separation and fluid handling. All three have great significance for industrial companies and Alfa Laval holds leading global market position within its fields of technical expertise. Our customers are found in various process industries such as pharma, chemical, oil & gas, pulp and paper, waste water treatment, marine, power and food to mention a few.

How will you compare industrial waste water treatment plants in India with their overseas counterparts?

Waste water from the pharma industry can be heavily laden with toxins, contaminants and organic nutrients which needs to be treated before disposal. There is a great degree of awareness and willingness to comply with the norms and invest in waste water treatment plant. India is now one of the leading manufacturers of pharma and biopharma products in the world and we have kept pace with the international standards, even on waste water treatment. This can partly be attributed to our pollution control regulations also.

Who are your pharma clients?

Our esteemed clients include all leading/ big players in the industry.

Any new technology in the pipeline?

Alfa Laval has acquired Ashbrook Simon Hartley, UK recently and thus now has added new product range comprising belt presses, Iso disc filtration, automatic filter presses and decanters for SBR to enhance its product portfolio and technologies for water and waste water treatment. These are very likely to be launched in India in the near future.

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