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Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1938; doi:10.3390/su9111938

Design, Prototyping, and Assessment of a Wastewater Closed-Loop Recovery and Purification System

Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum—University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2, Bologna 40136, Italy
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Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Abstract

Efforts to decrease the water use within industry are mandatory to pursue product and process sustainability. Particularly, the European Union (EU) is at the top level for water consumption in industry, while some sectors, such as the food and beverage (F&B), are highly water-intensive with hundreds of liters per hour of consumed and, then, drained water. This article provides a systematic overview of the most innovative insights coming from an EU Eco-Innovation project dealing with greening the F&B industry through the design, prototyping, technical, economic, and environmental assessment of a wastewater closed-loop recovery and purification system. The system, tailored for a standard mid-size F&B company using 2–3 billion L/year of raw water, collects, purifies and recirculates the key produced wastewater streams with an overall recovery efficiency of about 56%. The proposed purification technology comes from the most efficient combination of membrane-based filtration methods, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet modules. Evidence from the technical design, full-scale on-site technology prototyping, net-present-value (NPV) analysis and system life-cycle-assessment (LCA) are presented concluding about the convenience of adopting the proposed solution to reduce costs and impacts on the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater purification; food and beverage industry; water reuse; water saving; ultra-filtration; economic assessment; life-cycle-assessment; EU project wastewater purification; food and beverage industry; water reuse; water saving; ultra-filtration; economic assessment; life-cycle-assessment; EU project
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bortolini, M.; Gamberi, M.; Mora, C.; Pilati, F.; Regattieri, A. Design, Prototyping, and Assessment of a Wastewater Closed-Loop Recovery and Purification System. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1938.

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