Frito Lay’s Casa Grande Facility in Arizona was one of 40 chosen by Frito Lay in 2007 to demonstrate a “Net Zero” environmental footprint. Built in 1984, the 188,000-square-foot manufacturing facility produces Lay’s potato chips, Fritos corn chips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Doritos tortilla chips, and Cheetos cheese-ﬂ avored snacks. The company’s goal to “leave no trace” means that energy primarily must come from renewable power—solar, in this case—and that water is primarily reused. The plant began commissioning in the summer of 2009.
The solution for the Casa Grande Facility was SUEZ’s ZeeWeed* membrane bioreactor and reverse osmosis system. ZeeWeed-immersed ultrafiltration (UF) membrane technologies are engineered for specific applications to ensure a highly cost-effective system, enhanced to meet customer needs. They form a physical barrier against common contaminants, minerals, bacteria and viruses. The systems are simple to operate, offer the highest solids tolerance and small footprints, which reduce capital costs. The UF membranes also produce an ideal reverse osmosis (RO) feed that improves RO membrane reliability, performance and service life.
At Casa Grande, ZeeWeed* technologies treat and recycle 648,000 gallons per day of wastewater from the potato chip manufacturing process for reuse as rinse and wash water, as well as for irrigation. Other aspects of the system include solar power, a biomass boiler, and zero landfill. This solution helped the plant achieve renewable energy and recycled water goals, including a 90 percent reduction in water and electricity usage. The plant has the unique distinction of being the first existing food manufacturing site in the United States to achieve LEED EB Gold Certification. It also is one of the few in the United States where wastewater is biologically treated and the treated wastewater is directly reused in a food application.
In 2010, SUEZ and Frito Lay received the Environmental Contribution of the Year Award from Global Water Intelligence for the Casa Grande Facility.
White Energy’s Russell, Kansas plant has been producing about 40 million gallons (151,000 m3) of ethanol per year since 2001. The plant plays an important role in helping the United States achieve its 2007 “Twenty in Ten” goal, which aims to replace 20 percent of the nation’s gasoline use with ethanol over the next decade.
White Energy’s plant, like most ethanol facilities in the United States, is located in the nation’s mid-west where it is in close proximity to the milo, sorghum and corn plants that provide the primary ingredients for ethanol production. But in addition to the feedstock, a large amount of water is also needed to convert the biomass into ethanol. White Energy’s Russell, Kansas plant draws as much as 600,000 gallons (2,271 m3) of water per day from the municipal supply—about a third of the total daily water requirements for this small community of 4,200 people. As the city confronted an extended drought during 2006, White Energy, along with the City of Russell, began working together to find ways to reuse water and reduce the plant’s use of increasingly limitedmunicipal water supplies.
SUEZ’s broad portfolio offered White Energy the opportunity to create an integrated water reuse and chemical treatment strategy that could not only help the ethanol producer recycle water, but also reduce operating costs and yield environmental benefits. SUEZ’s teamproposed a water reuse solution that would recover wastewater from the ethanol production process and recycle the treated efﬂ uent as makeup water for the plant’s cooling towers. Within nine months, the team had completed pilot testing, design, construction and commissioning of the water reuse system, and by August, 2006 the system was fully operational. The multi-step process incorporated ultrafiltration pretreatment to first remove virtually all suspended solids from the waste stream. Next, SUEZ’s reverse osmosis (RO) membranesfilter dissolved contaminants; producing high quality efﬂuent that is reused within the plant’s cooling towers. A second SUEZ RO system was also installed to produce high quality boiler feedwater.
A major bottler of carbonated soft drinks and bottled water, located in the Northwest United States, has trusted SUEZ for many years to provide them with high-quality water treatment solutions, such as ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis systems. With such large volumes of water required for their product, this bottler wanted to decrease the ratio of gallons of feedwater required per gallon of product manufactured.
SUEZ designed a recovery system that could treat efﬂuent from numerous unit operations, and recycle the treated water back to the feed into the water treatment system. By incorporating this water recovery system into their water room operations, the bottler was able to realize greater than 90% overall water usage efficiency.
SUEZ successfully implement the solution for this customer to realize their water efficiency goals on their finished products.
A major European dairy company used hydro static autoclaves to sterilize bottles and cans of condensed milk at its manufacturing plant. However, these relatively large autoclaves had developed serious corrosion and other water conditioning problems. The equipment was at risk of completely deteriorating, and would cost millions to replace. A competitive water treatment company had tried to solve the problem with applications of a corrosion inhibitor based on Zinc phosphate. That treatment proved unsuccessful, resulting in expensive retrofits on one of two autoclaves. Unless the problem was resolved in the second autoclave, similar retrofits would be necessary.
SUEZ worked closely with the dairy company team to collect baseline data, which helped identify the corrosion’s root cause and mechanism. Data showed that water pH variances caused the original treatment to fail, leading to corrosion. When pH was high, it caused uncontrolled deposit formation and loss of active corrosion inhibitor. A low pH caused protective layers to dissolve and unprotected metal surfaces to corrode. Steam condensate was diluting the water during the sterilization process, slowly reducing the water’s alkalinity. Leaking milk bottles also contributed to a drop in the water’s pH.
SUEZ’s treatment strategy combined a change to a FoodPro corrosion inhibitor with pH and alkalinity adjustment of the feedwater with caustic. SUEZ incorporated a blend of surfactants to help keep the metal surfaces free of organic debris, causing sticky walls. SUEZ’s special polymer chemistry solution stabilized the phosphate and allowed higher effective PO4 levels in the water.