One of the most exciting things we have been working on at Summit Equipment is turning trash into treasure with SmartFlow Technologies.
Our technology, with it’s high throughput and high flow crossflow membrane modules at its core, is capable of micro-, ultra-, and nano- filtration of most product and waste streams.
While the bulk of our applications have been product recovery, filtation, and concentration, we have found a unique new niche in filtration technology: extracting usable products from waste streams.
During the drought of 2012, we saw many large factories in small cities begin to question their water consumption. As stress on local rivers and groundwater supplies increased, we found companies more receptive to the idea that their water should be preserved and reused more.
In the course of concentrating slurries and filtering waste to remove solids, we discovered that cost recovery works both ways. Many plants pay a huge penalty for TSS (solids) in their wastewater that raises the BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand). Often local municipalities have to dispose of their solids and pass the costs on to the plants. So removal of the solids lowers the cost of disposal, but often yields a product that can be sold.
You probably have an intuitive feel to this at your own plant. If you think about what’s going down the drain, you may be telling yourself that it’s something valuable, and maybe it is. If the solids aren’t the valuable thing, perhaps the liquids are. Many plants are finding uses for less than pure water, including watering their lawns or rinsing off the floors, among other things.
There are other benefits, too. How do you account for the time spent unclogging drain lines? What would it be worth to reduce the chemicals spent on pretreating your wastewater? Maybe it’s something as simple as making a plant smell better because there’s less solids lingering in the wastewater system.
In any case, we’re rapidly reaching a period where we’re being forced to spend more time thinking about what we throw away and what we flush down the drain. Next time this subject comes up, if you suspect that something valuable is going down your drain, give us a call.
Summit Equipment Company