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Wastewater Reuse at Flexo Printer



    
    Your mention of paste caught my attention...we visited a box 
    manufacturer with a "starch kitchen" (I'm hoping for 
    similarities).
    
    There appeared to be options for water reuse from a couple areas.  
    The starch kitchen generated its own waste water...there seemed to 
    be no reason this water could not be reused in production of the 
    next batch, while saving on some raw materials, with reformulation 
    of the starch mixture.  [An interesting note about the starch 
    waste water was that our water quality folks felt the local 
    treatment plant should pay for the waste water...the starch being 
    a "food" for the treatment plant "bugs".]
    
    Our facility also used a vacuum drum (again, I wonder how similar) 
    (with diatomaceous earth) in their wastewater treatment 
    system...this is very inefficient.  The d-earth adds directly to 
    the waste stream.  The vacuum drum used a large amount of water 
    simply to operate.  The water used to operate the vacuum drum was 
    discharged (this plant had a sewer connection).  There appeared to 
    be no reason this water could not be reused in the starch kitchen, 
    or other processes (ink wash, general cleaning, recirculated to 
    the drum) assuming the treatment system couldn't be upgraded.
    
    Other than the treated water carried some color from inks (not 
    viewed as a problem by the facility), there seemed to be no reason 
    why the water could not be reused in the starch kitchen again with 
    some reformulation of the starch recipe (at this point we had the 
    kitchen flooded!!)  The expected excess water was not really too 
    bad...emphasis was placed on upgrading the wastewater treatment 
    system to emilinate the waste water from the vacuum drum, and some 
    reuse in cleaning (both general and inks) helped to balance the 
    excess.  Monitoring of water used in ink/machine cleaning process 
    to minimize this waste stream was also expected to help.
    
    I realize you indicated a bacterial problem which seems to need 
    tackled first.  I heard no mention of this as a problem at the 
    facility we visited, which makes me wonder how much they knew 
    about the starch process.  [by the way, the facility was 
    re-investing in a new starch operation which left open doors for 
    considering starch reformulation, piping changes, potential future 
    improvements in the ww treatment system (more piping), and a 
    starch silo for bulk shipments (eliminated a lot of packaging 
    waste and improved a bad history of worker back problems from 
    lifting heavy sacks).]
    
    Ric
    illig.richard@a1.dep.state.pa.us