Using additional water for steam boilers better: Ekopak received this question from a food company in Ghent. This enterprise had a classical water treatment system that needed replacing after 20 years. The installation consisted of a decarbonator, a softener and a degasser.
First of all, the customer wanted to retain the same process that handled city water and replace the complete installation. Ekopak first investigated whether all of the water facilities of the company were being fully used. After thorough examination, it appeared that also the well water reservoirs were useable. Subsequently, Ekopak developed a system with membrane technology that ensures that the company recovers the new investment completely in just one year.
By means of a number of lab- and pilot tests it was sorted out which were the most interesting solutions. By using ultra-filtration the water became clear and also suitable for undergoing a membrane treatment. As a result, we were able to disconnect the softener and attained relatively soft water. By adding the correct chemicals the water became suitable to switch to installing reverse osmosis. The water finally was used for a low-pressure steam boiler.
The advantage of this solution is that the customer earns back the cost of the installation in just one year. That is because the company no longer needs any city water. In addition, the quality for their additional water is even better (previous conductivity approx. 500 μS and only bicarbonates and total hardness were removed).
Ekopak has chosen consciously in this case to figure out a solution with a pay-back term of just one year. The customer also saves considerable operating costs. It is an application based purely on membrane technology. Barely any chemicals are used, only for the chemical cleaning of the ultra-filtration.
The new installation is built based on ultra-filtration membranes. When this has been operating for a few months, the option can be looked at to process more cubic metres and to determine whether the water could also be used for production purposes. This solution also circumvents the traditional method of extracting humic acid from the water by coagulation, flocculation and filtration. It shows that we try to offer the customer more than he has originally asked, so that it may mean an absolute added value, both as an investment and as an operation.