Wastewater Sludge Processor
GrahamTek's Sludge Processor technology was developed to produce a material of a fine micron size. Material used is generally of no economic benefit in their current state, but becomes commercially viable once broken down to a fine powder. Commonly used materials include low grade coal, soft rock minerals and sludge from wastewater treatment works.
The Processor is extremely effective when processing wastewater sludge. Sewage sludge ("bio solids") is created at wastewater treatment plants as sewage water is processed and purified. Currently many municipalities are facing challenges to dispose of these solids in an environmentally responsible and economically viable way. The Sludge Processor can de-water bio solids to reduce their volume and thus reduce the associated transportation and disposal costs.
The Sludge Processor is certified to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency rules for the destruction of pathogens including salmonella, e-coli, and fecal coli forms. The dry powders produced by the system are suitable as fertiliser in the agricultural industry, or for use as a fuel source where they can replace fossil fuels.
The integration of the Sludge Processor into the Water Treatment system helps our clients Reduce, Reuse and Recycle while at the same time giving our clients a vital competitive advantage.
A typical application in the Food and Beverage industry relates to Dairy farming; equally, wastewater in abattoirs could be treated and reused as indicated below. The GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® system is well suited for these operations and is able to reclaim much of the wastewater and reduce not only the strain on public resources but also on the cost of water for these industries.
Water use in dairies is on a large scale and requires a high degree of purity. An average dairy facility will use 1 300 000 Litres of fresh water per day of which between 40%-80% will be wastewater depending on the type of dairy product being made. Processing water, which includes water used in the cooling and heating process, is normally free of pollutants and can be reused or just discharged into the storm water system generally used for rain runoff water, with minimum treatment required.
Wastewaters emanate mainly from the cleaning of equipment that has been in contact with milk or milk products, spillage of milk and milk products, whey, pressings and brines, CIP cleaning options, and waters resulting from equipment malfunctions and even operational errors. This wastewater stream may contain anything from milk, cheese, whey, cream, separator and clarifier dairy waters, to dilute yogurt, starter culture, and dilute fruit and stabilising compounds. Much of this wastewater is generally combined with sanitary wastewater which is then piped directly to a sewage works.
Presently approximately 60 000 new fracking wells are created annually. Each well is approximately 3 000 meters deep and can use up four to eight million gallons (15,150 m³ to 30,300 m³) of water, typically within about a one week period, to complete the fracking process.
By combining the specific desalination design of GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® with the hydraulic fracking operation, the specific energy requirement of the operation can be reduced. GrahamTek's techniques reduce the Environmental Impact that normal wastewater flowback will create from the fracking operation by creating water suitable for agriculture and industry. Furthermore, potable water can then be derived by injecting the treated wastewater (WHO potable standard) into subterranean aquifers.
Wastewater generated from fracking wells requires disposal or recycling. Up to 60% of the water injected into a wellhead during the fracking process will discharge back out of the well shortly thereafter as flowback wastewater. Thereafter, and for the life of the wellhead (10-20 years), it will discharge up to 100,000 gallons (378 m³/day) of wastewater. This wastewater needs to be captured and disposed of or recycled.
The costs for hauling away wastewater for deep-well injection ranges between $3 and $7 per barrel ($0.35 to $0.85 per cubic metre). For a newly fracked well, the cost could reach $100,000 for transporting over 14,000 barrels (1,670 m³) of flowback. Add to this a further potential 3,400 barrels (405 m³) each day of transported produced wastewater, at $20,000 per day.
To haul water off-site for disposal over the 20 year life of a hydraulic fracturing well-project could be an estimated $160 million (includes trucking costs, water disposal costs and labour). Wastewater associated with shale oil and gas extraction can contain high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), fracturing fluid additives, total suspended solids (TSS), hardness compounds, metals, oil and gas, bacteria and bacteria disinfection agents, and naturally occurring radioactive materials.
In recent years fracking companies have been facing increasing legislation to prevent surface disposing and deep well injection disposing of blowback wastewater. This is forcing fracking companies to evaluate alternative options for blowback wastewater treatment. Due to the remote locations of fracking works, the solutions require a high degree of robust mobility for deployment at remote locations where there are limited availability of spares, trained operators and energy sources. GrahamTek has designed for one of its clients a high mobility unit that combines seawater desalination and flowback wastewater reuse capability. The advance benefits of this technology is restocking acquirers with potable water which reduces the total environmental impact of fracking on the communities.