Monthly archives: November, 2015

SA’s first energy from effluent in anaerobic waste water treatment facility

Over the past four years Distell has been developing a “green plan” to install a common anaerobic
water treatment facility in the Stellenbosch area, Western Cape.
The facility is expected to lower the chemical oxygen demand (COD) load in the outfall to the municipality, harvest the energy in the waste water, and lower the overall cost of effluent treatment.
The Veolia Biobulk® Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR)
The contract to design, build and operate SA’s first Biobulk® waste water treatment facility was awarded to Veolia Water Technologies SA. Veolia uses innovative technology and specialised skills to achieve water sustainability for people and industries.
The Distell-owned plant will be ready for commissioning in March 2016.Distell has three operational sites in the Stellenbosch: Adam Tas, Van Ryn and Bergkelder.
The Biobulk CSTR technology is a robust and proven process which treats industrial effluents with significantly high amounts of suspended solids.It is the anaerobic equivalent of the conventional activated sludge digestion system. Blended solid or liquid waste streams enter the reactor and are treated by anaerobic suspended bacteria. The majority of the soluble or solid COD is converted into biogas, significantly reducing the solids concentration in the waste stream. After a retention time of
several days, the treated waste stream leaves the reactor.
The Biobulk can be operated as a once-through system. Alternatively, biomass can be returned after a
clarification stage. The key to the Biobulk design is the manner in which the reactor vessel is mixed and the design of the degassing stage prior to clarification.
Produced biogas is temporarily collected in the headspace of the Biobulk CSTR, which acts as a biogas holder.
Biogas can be used as a source of renewable energy or burned in a biogas flare.
Technology features:
• Tolerance for high concentrations of TSS, fats, oil and grease (FOGs).
• Medium volumetric loading capacity (2-5kg COD/m3/day).
• Energy source from biogas production.
• Economical operation.
• Proven reliability.
The technical manager at Veolia Water Technologies SA, Jaco Oosthuizen, says the system represents a long term capital saving.
“It brings with it an operating cost saving in that solids in the effluent no longer need not be removed. They can be converted to biogas (energy) in the reactor.”
The Biothane Biobulk® Anaerobic Digester is the heart of the plant. “Ancillary equipment includes storage
buffer tanks, clarifiers, the centrifuge, boiler and biogas flare. First, the digester reduces the effluent COD content by 94.1%. Next, a clarifier removes suspended solids, in turn followed by Veolia Hydrotech drum filtering for tertiary treatment. This ensures the total suspended solid (TSS) concentration is less than 150mg/l.”
On commissioning of the facility, a 10-year Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT)agreement comes into force.
“The 10-year BOT contract will enable Veolia full ownership of the plant’s functions for the agreed period. This will ensure an appropriate transition from Veolia’s commissioning teams to its operations team,” says Oosthuizen.
Veolia’s Operations and Maintenance division in the Western Cape will perform all operations and maintenance functions for 10 years.
Veolia is mandated to deliver:
• The specified quality of water;
• Carry out ongoing maintenance;
• Ensure the plant’s operating performance is in accordance with set objectives.
Veolia will treat 1,000m³ of effluent with an organic load of 8.6 tons COD per day. The water that is treated will be discharged to the municipal wastewater works.
The final effluent discharged to the municipality will contain less than 500kg COD per day and the suspended solids concentration will be less than 150mg/l.
Veolia’s operation and maintenance personnel as well as engineers from Biothane in the Netherlands will form part of the commissioning team. The operational personnel will be trained,via on-the-job coaching and theoretical training modules, to take over full plant responsibility.
Veolia Water Technologies South Africa:

There are 2 major types of systems used for wastewater treatment
They are aerobic and anaerobic systems. This particular piece focuses on anaerobic treatment.
Anaerobic treatment is a process where wastewater or material is broken down by microorganisms without
the aid of dissolved oxygen. However, anaerobic bacteria can and will use oxygen that is found in the oxides introduced into the system or they can obtain it from organic material within the wastewater. Anaerobic systems are used in many industrial systems including food production and municipal sewage treatment systems.
Anaerobic digestion is commonly used to treat sludges in the first areas of a wastewater treatment plant. This process is popular because it is able to stabilize the water with little biomass production.
Anaerobic treatment occurs in many different stages. The key microorganisms are methane formers and acid formers.The acid formers are microorganisms that create various acids from the sludge.
Methane formers convert the acids into methane.
The two main anaerobic systems are batch systems and continuous systems. In a batch system, the biomass
is added into a reactor that is sealed for the rest of the digestion process. This is the simplest form of anaerobic treatment but can have odor issues associated with it. As the most simple, it is also one of
the least expensive ways to achieve treatment.
A continuous system has organic matter constantly added to the treatment system. Since it is continuously being fed, there is a need for the byproduct to continuously be removed. The byproduct can result in a constant source of biogas, which can be used as an alternative source for energy. This system is usually more expensive to operate because of the need for constant monitoring and manpower.
Whether it is aerobic or anaerobic treatment, each treatment system has its place in the world today.
They are very different in the process but both are used to achieve maximum degradation, while meeting
the strict regulations set by the environmental agencies that regulate what is released into the air, ground, or water.

Little Green Beverages goes green

As sustainability makes waves in the corporate world, members of the food and beverage industry have begun to follow suit and take the necessary steps to go green. Little Green Beverages (LBG), manufacturers of the carbonated drink line Refreshhh brand, recently did an overhaul of their Isando factory in Johannesburg, in a bid to become completely eco-efficient
Speaking to director Lyle Batchelor, the concept of being eco-efficient has always been on the cards for the manufacturer, it was merely a matter of the right time: “Our main focus for the company was to do the right thing with regards to our overall carbon footprint. In so doing, we were faced with the task of looking at our whole supply chain and seeing where we were able to reduce our carbon footprint. We
started with collaborations with our suppliers, encouraging partnerships that support our sustainability stance and furthermore exploring partnerships that will in turn be mutually beneficial.” LGB furthermore reduced part of their carbon emissions by purchasing a number of new delivery trucks which boast light
weight bodies.
According to Batchelor, LGB found a perfect partner in Extrupet Group (Pty)Ltd, a modern recycling operation, dedicated to the recycling of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles company also based in Johannesburg. Joint managing director at Extrupet, Chandru Wadhwani explains that it is a phenomenal step LGB is taking, “The volume of waste generated was growing faster than the recycling habits in South Africa. On the other hand our landfills are also inadequate and not entirely safe. The ability to recycle post-consumer bottles back into new PET bottles will help ensure the long-term viability of PET plastics recycling in South Africa. The resin will be used in new carbonated soft drink bottles for LGB.”
LGB partnered with a preform manufacture who uses a percentage R-Pet produced by Extrupet in a newly
designed preform for LGB. The preform is reheated in the green oven which is made out of ceramic heaters using less energy. The blower will then work at a lesser pressure resulting in further energy efficiency. This is truly a first of its kind in carbonated drinks; the goal has always been to move from just bottling water to carbonated soft drink with PhoenixPET.
Wadhwani explains further: “PhoenixPET has the capability to provide a level of quality assurance to meet the growing local and regional demand in the bottle and thermoforming industry (the food, beverage and packaging market) for environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. PhoenixPET is to be viewed
as a bench-mark for other recycled polymers as well as packaging mediums aspiring to attain a cradle-to-cradle solution for sustainable packaging.
Convertors and brand owners can now strengthen their corporate image with a sustainable message in all their products. By using food grade recycled PET, the demand for virgin material is decreased, less energy is used and a huge reduction in net carbon emissions achieved.
Both Batchelor and Wadhwani agree that the aseptic system machinery provided by Italian company SIPA, has
allowed for this revolutionary process to occur without passing the expenditure to consumers and retailers. Says Batchelor, “The investment from LGB, in the form of this highly technologically advanced
equipment, as costly as it was will not directly impact consumers via price changes. As it is a well-known fact,recycled material does cost more but the investment was never driven by returns but rather by carbon costing.”
So committed is LBG to reducing its carbon footprint that in the near future it will be upgrading the existing line to meet the standard of the new aseptic line along with inserting a new reverse osmosis water plant that will enable them to use recycled water for in-house use prior to dumping.
Little Green Beverages: Tel 011-865-2598;;

PhoenixPET plant in Wadeville, Johannesburg was recently relaunched and now includes a state of the art Bottle-2-Bottle recycling plant furnished with Starlinger recycling technology, specially engineered to
fulfil the expectations and standards needed for bottles for carbonatedsoft drink, bottled water and all other forms of PET packaging. The whole expansion is worth R75-million. The plant is ISO 9001:2008 accredited and we use what we call NIR (near infrared) auto sort technology which is a first on the
continent. The system is such that the plastic bottles are automatically sorted by polymer types

SAAFoST addresses food science

SAAFoST, the South African Association for Food Science and Technology, held its 21st Biennial
international congress and exhibition on the 7th to 9th September 2015 in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal
hosting a multitude of global food and beverage scientists.
Opening the three day event, current SAAFoST President Ryan Ponquette highlighted the theme,Growing Food Science and Technology for a sustainable future, as a very important one especially for a developing country like South Africa as much work is still to be done with regards to food technology.
Said Ponquette: “ This congress promises the best and latest from the South African food industry – from technology and trends, academic research and new ingredients to world class exhibition stands, all contributing to a lovely networking and innovation space.”
Ponquette also spoke of the launch of MySAAFoST, a cyber forum where young scientists, students and technologists are encouraged to share their ideas and knowledge. Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) James McLean, emphasised the importance of having support and participation of eminent international Food Scientists and food organisation – IFT, IUFoST and ILSI, as this brought up the level of the congress and exhibition.
Known speakers from abroad as well as many African countries included well known South African food consultant Nigel Sunley, Malebogo Lekgoa from the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at the University of Botswana, amongst many others.
Students from all tertiary institutions also took part exhibiting various posters which covered a large spectrum of scientific research.
Jake Norman of the OAL Group in the United Kingdom , gave an insightful presentation on the collaborative research and development of a steam infusion system for the provision of healthier food
products using Zambia’s DairyGold as a case study.
SAAFoST is a National Association which is concerned with advancing the knowledge of Food Science and
Technology. This it does through encouraging scientific research, organising meetings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, congresses, publishing papers and assisting in educational activities. Currently the Association has in the order of 2000 members throughout Southern Africa – the Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern branches attend to the regional affairs of the Association. The national secretariat is situated in Durban.
SAAFoST Tel: +27 31 3688000;;

Agro Processing Africa Summit 2015

26th & 27th November 2015, Amabhubesi Training Centre, Ferndale, Randburg, Johannesburg
Africa’s dominant agricultural sector makes the continent a prime location for the establishment of agroprocessing industries. Processing of food adds value to agriculture and edible animal products by grading standardization, packing and preserving of produce so that products could be formed in such a way that they can be sold in market of the country and abroad. This is vital since it creates employment and helps in import substitution, foreign currency earnings from exports of processed products coming from agriculture, forestry and fisheries. African governments and the private sectors need to develop concerted efforts and strategies to support agro processing ventures since they convert raw materials into manufactured products and reduce the number of farmers practising at subsistence level. Agro processing in Africa is in the hands of the few conglomerates and this effectively closes doors for aspiring small holder farmers and small business to benefit from the earnings that agro processing has to offer. Agro processing can succeed if farmers and agro processors were able to access the requisite funding to embark on sustainable ventures. Investment, ICT, access to markets as well establishing and enabling environment also play a crucial role in making agro processing a success story. In many eveloping countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa, communities are largely rural and agriculture is often the sole source of household income. They earn low incomes and unemployment is high. Agro processing offers an opportunity to reduce hunger and fight poverty. South Africa is establishing Agri Parks across the country. They seek to link production areas to support communities, smallholder farmers and emerging black farmers.
Discover the various funding opportunities which are available for aspiring small enterprises and agro processing ventures.
Learn about the Agri Parks which the South African government is establishing in all the nine provinces in a bid to support communities, smallholder farmers and emerging black farmers. Network and mingle with funders, peers and decision makers in Southern Africa and even beyond. Identify and understand the factors which allow agricultural commodity value chains to grow and thrive. Learn about the challenges which face small holder farmers in their quest to market and process their produce. Learn valuable lessons from real life and successful case studies in East and Southern Africa on running viable cooperatives and community projects.
The summit seeks to explore ways in which such programs can be implemented sustainably and improve the standards of living of many who are struggling to make it.
Who Should Attend:
• Directors and branch managers for agricultural produce retailing
• Food processing companies
• Heads for retail finance
• Financiers and funding managers
• Commodity brokers
• Exporters and importers of agricultural produce,
• Private sector value chain or multi-stakeholder associations
• Farmer organizations and unions
Farming cooperatives members
• Commodity group dealers
• Civil society organizations actively involved in value chain work and policy makers.
The event will characterized by robust dialogue with leading experts around the challenges and opportunities for linking agriculture, processing and marketing.
Registration contact Micheal Chansa Tel: +27 11 326 0353;