Modern boiler plants are increasingly focused on energy efficiency, reducing their physical footprint, as well as minimizing capital and installation costs. Companies are striving to keep their total cost of operation as low as possible to remain competitive in the global economy. One of the challenges is having a steam supply that can handle large variations in demand. If the boiler is too small to handle peak demands, the plant cannot operate as designed. If the boiler is sized to handle short bursts of steam, the boiler may be oversized and have higher energy input versus output due to lower efficiencies at lower loads.
What Standard Microbiological Tests Don’t Show
Uncontrolled microbiological growth in cooling and process water systems is a multi-billion dollar problem for businesses each year. The primary cause of this expensive problem is biofilm. Biofilms form when bacteria and other microorganisms found in the bulk water attach to exposed surfaces and begin to produce a mass of biopolymers known as extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). The EPS provides a sticky, protective barrier that allows complex communities of bacteria to thrive and exponentially grow. Bulky, biofouling deposits can quickly form as the EPS traps dirt, corrosion byproducts, and other debris suspended in the water, leading to blockages.
One Water Treater’s Perspective
Covid-19 has rapidly altered the daily life of Americans in a way that few other events have and industrial water treatment professionals are no exception. Field service representatives have had to deal with new access restrictions at customer sites, corporate engineering staff are working from home and learning how to remotely diagnose problems and support field staff, supply chains have been strained, and shipping has dealt with massive increases in volume. All of these challenges have caused companies to take a step back and look introspectively at their business model and see what changes they can make to become more nimble and efficient. What does this mean for the future of industrial water treatment?
Water softeners are ion exchange systems designed to remove scale-forming calcium and magnesium ions prior to boiler, cooling, and reverse osmosis systems. Many different sizes and configurations of softeners are available, with selection based upon factors such as water quality, system demand, and the overall application. In industrial applications, it is imperative that a properly sized softener is selected to ensure that hardness is not allowed to pass to critical system components. Both over and under-sized softeners can result in serious problems due to hard water in these systems.
Dairy processing plants have a unique opportunity for water reuse: Condensate of Whey or “COW” water, is the water generated when milk products are evaporated or concentrated. Because milk is almost 90% water, a lot of cow water may be available for reuse. For example, a dairy plant producing 50,000 pounds of cheese a day requires about 500,000 pounds of raw milk and generates over 50,000 gallons of COW water for each day of production. That’s almost 20 million gallons of COW water annually. The economic and environmental benefits of reusing this water is significant both in terms of reducing fresh water requirements as well as the load on the wastewater treatment plant.