A collaboration between L’Oréal, a cosmetics company with US$30.85 billion in sales last year, and the Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies (VWS), a design-and-build company and a specialist in water treatment, has led to a revolutionary wastewater treatment plant that reduces the environmental impact of L’Oréal’s manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China.
The wastewater treatment plant has cut its carbon footprint and today treats bulk waste on-site, thus eliminating transportation of waste and incineration.
The solution implemented at the L’Oréal Suzhou manufacturing site is based on the unique combination of VWS’ patented technologies, one of which is the Biothane® Biobulk CSTR (Completely Stirred Tank Reactor) anaerobic treatment to replace the existing dissolved air flotation (DAF) pre-treatment system in the treatment of wastewater.
Source: Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies
The former is designed especially for wastewaters that contain high concentrations of non-dissolved substances and fats, and is the anaerobic equivalent to the conventional activated sludge digestion system.
VWS also introduced the Anoxkaldnes™ MBBR (Moving Bed Bio-Reactor) aerobic treatment technology, upstream of the Activated Sludge reactor, to increase capacity for future expansion, stabilise discharge quality and optimise future tertiary treatment and reclaim.
These newly installed technologies are designed to significantly reduce chemical use and sludge production by eliminating the DAF unit and expanding the aerobic treatment capacity to meet future wastewater flow rate, as well as to stabilise and improve the biological treatment process and produce a more stable wastewater discharge quality for further treatment.
L’Oréal investment have contributed to significant environmental improvements that include energy savings of 8.5%, reduction of sludge production by 58%, elimination of highly concentrated liquid waste, and reduction of CO² emissions related to transportable waste by 82%.
As a result, total CO² emissions from the wastewater plant is reduced by 43%. The impact of the factory on the water environment is also reduced with lower water usage and better quality effluent.
In fact, the Water Impact Index of L’Oréal’s manufacturing facility in Suzhou is projected to go down by 35%. Veolia’s Water Impact Index is an indicator enabling a comprehensive assessment of the impact of human activity on water resources.
The solution at the manufacturing facility is designed for expansion, and to address future water challenges. It also allows a reclaim system, such as sanitation or cooling, to reduce overall water consumption.