When washing, grading and packing fresh vegetables for supply to the wholesale, retail and catering trades around the UK, having to stop the process because the water has become dirty can have a significant effect on productivity and profit levels.
Potable water for the wash process is typically held in storage tanks, flowing around at 30cu m/hr. This means that, after an hour, it is contaminated with impurities is too dirty to continue operating. The plant then has to be taken offline while the water is either recycled or replaced.
CDEnviro’s solution for a food production facility in the Midlands is a solids recovery plant designed to reduce decanter wear and lagoon loading, increase the volume of recycled wash water, and recover two solid waste streams.
The system integrates a solids recovery system and fines thickener within the existing equipment. This allows for a consistent flow process, and means the wash water used to prepare vegetables is recycled immediately after the washing phase.
The system allows for two solid particle streams to be recovered: small potatoes and organic matter, which can be used in anaerobic digestion; and fine sand and grit, which can be used in low-grade reuse applications
The remaining silt fines are thickened into a sludge which is easily processed by the existing GEA decanter centrifuge on-site. The recycled water is then stored in existing tanks and reused within the washing process.