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Industry: Food and Beverage

Removing Oil from Water in the Food & Beverage Industry

Oil from kettles and fryers or canning/seamer applications often mixes with wash water in the food and beverage industry.

Overview

From packaged food producers to snack-food manufacturers and more, those in the food and beverage industry typically find oil – such as that from kettles and fryers or canning/seamer applications – often mixes with wash water used during production and/or cleaning. The resulting water/oil mix becomes part of the wastewater stream, complicating the wastewater treatment process by making it more expensive, more time-consuming, and less effective.

For these reasons and more, removing used oil and solids from wastewater before it is discharged is a priority and brings advantages such as:

  • Improves efficiency of wastewater treatment, resulting in cleaner wastewater and lower operational costs
  • Eliminates and/or minimizes need for supervision/attendance and maintenance
  • Improves the process for cleaning cooling water that can be reused (such as adding labels in the canning industry)
  • Increases opportunity to meet and/or exceed local, state and federal EPA wastewater disposal requirements
  • Enhances environmental responsibility through reduced waste and decreased environmental impact
  • Eliminates the need for chemicals used to treat wastewater and decreases the amount of sludge produced, also reducing the volume of solid waste removed
  • Creates new revenue through the recovery of used cooking oil that can be sold for a profit; i.e. biofuels
  • Helps avoid clogs in the wastewater treatment system and lowers maintenance associated with having to clean clogged lines

Applications

Examples of oil removal applications in the food and beverage industry, include:

  • Lift stations where oily wastewater can collect following processing and cleaning (best to remove oil before it reaches lift stations to avoid oil-induced complications)
  • Wastewater treatment plants where oily water is piped from lift stations
  • Washing facilities where equipment such as fryers and kettles are washed
  • Wastewater collection pits
  • Sewer lines
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