Recovery and Purification of Industrial Effluent: An Innovative and Sustainable Process in the Tobacco Industry.

At Philip Morris Brasil, the input of water into the system in 2019 was around 43,000 m3: 80% from artesian wells; 14% from the public network and 6% from rainwater. The company annually delivers around 24,000 m3 of treated water through its effluent treatment plant. This volume already meets all the requirements of the State Foundation for Environmental Protection of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FEPAM-RS), but it needs to adapt to the necessary parameters to be used in equipment such as cooling towers and boilers, avoiding incrustations and premature wear. For this reason, Philip Morris Brasil is developing an innovative project for the reuse of water in the tobacco industry, through the implementation of an ultra purification system for ETDI water, having the reverse osmosis process as a main reference, which can be combined with other mechanical and/or chemical treatment systems. The water from this reuse, which will be used in the boiler and cooling towers, will reduce the volume of water collected from artesian wells by up to 20%.

The Project was submitted and approved by the Gaúcho Innovation Notice for Industry (EGII), and is being developed in partnership with the SENAI Institute of Technology in Leather and the Environment. The cost of the project is being supported by the SENAI Institute of Technology in Leather and the Environment (70%) and by PMB (30%). As already concluded phases we can mention: 1) physical, chemical and biological characterization of the water discarded in the ETDI; and 2) report containing the bench tests carried out to define the ideal combination of reverse osmosis aggregate systems and the definition of the best combination. In progress: 3) prototype construction. And planned for 2022: 4) prototype test and validation report with treated reuse water in the boiler and cooling tower and; 5) delivery of the technical, economic and environmental feasibility study of the system.

In executive terms, the project consists of 5 main stages: 1) physical, chemical and biological characterization of the water discarded in the ETDI; and 2) report containing the bench tests carried out to define the ideal combination of reverse osmosis aggregate systems and the definition of the best combination; 3) construction of the prototype; 4) prototype test and validation report with treated reuse water in the boiler and cooling tower and; 5) delivery of the technical, economic and environmental feasibility study of the proposed system and final report. To monitor the status, PMB and SENAI meet monthly to talk about the actions of the stages, challenges and next steps aimed at delivering a project capable of recovering up to 20% of water from ETDI, for use in boilers and cooling towers.

SENAI's Laboratory evaluates physical, chemical and biological data of the ETDI-PMB water in its laboratory and performs bench tests to define the ideal combination of reverse osmosis aggregate systems to define the best combination to deliver quality water suitable for reuse in cooling towers and boiler. Through the construction of a prototype, it will be possible to evaluate the best reverse osmosis model to meet the incoming water (industrial effluent from the tobacco industry, which already meets all the requirements of the State Foundation for Environmental Protection) and outgoing water requirements (purification of industrial effluent from the tobacco industry).

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